Sōran Bushi

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Sōran Bushi

Sōran Bushi (ソーラン節) is one of the most famous traditional songs and dance (min'yō) in Japan. It is a Japanese sea shanty that is said to have been first sung by the fishermen of Hokkaidō, northern Japan.

Sōran Bushi accompanies the bon dance in many parts of Japan, and it has its own dancing styles that date back generations. The dance acts by acting ocean waves, fishermen dragging nets, pulling ropes and lifting luggage over their shoulders. This dance is taught in many schools across Japan as part of the curriculum.

During regular intervals of the dance, the words "DOKKOISHO! DOKKOISHO!" and "SORAN! SORAN!" are called. Those words were used in the past to encourage the fisherman during their work.

Lyrics and translation[edit]

An excerpt from "Sōran Bushi"