Thursday, 7 August 2014

Bon Bon 2014 – Let me see your Union Jacks

Ready to start
This year was my first ever experience of the Matsumoto Bon Bon, I don’t even know how to begin describing this immensely monumental occasion. The streets were jam packed with different companies, groups, organizations, schools, clubs, and anything else you could think of, in their various unique uniforms, happis or kimonos. Everywhere was hustling and bustling in preparation for the 3 hour dance marathon, the crowd was buzzing.

Home-made fans
We had a great turnout, with many of our students taking part including their parents and family as well as friends, both new and old. This year we got to show off our own custom fans to use for the Bon Bon, which our students worked very hard to make themselves. We were armed with our very own Union Jack design fans as we paraded the streets of Matsumoto, chanting and dancing, fuelled by the atmosphere of the occasion with the “veterans” of Luna leading the march.

Having never participated in the Bon Bon before, I thought it best to
In full swing
prepare myself and learn the Matsumoto Bon Bon dance. So I took it upon myself to search the dance on YouTube in order to familiarize myself with the steps to avoid cluelessly flailing my arms around when the fun begins. However when 6 o’clock rolled around and the dancing began, it became apparent that I had learnt the wrong dance! D’oh!  For the opening few minutes I was in a complete state of panic, I had no idea where my arms where going or where they were meant to be going. I found myself in the exact circumstance I was trying to avoid. What made the situation worse was the fact that the students were looking to me so they knew what they were supposed to be doing. I tried my best to stay calm and observe the participants around me, attempting to compose myself and fit in with the dancers around me. The initial few minutes were nerve-racking to say the least. Nevertheless, I soon became accustomed to the Bon Bon dance, and as the evening continued I enjoyed myself more and more. It was fantastic fun rallying up our group, I was very fortunate not to lose my voice from all the chanting.

Finishing troopers
A huge thanks goes out to everybody who took part, even those who joined us briefly or part way through, and a huge congratulations to those that made it to the end. An extra thanks to Kento’s granddad, who helped distribute drinks for our young dancers so they could remain refreshed and energized. Also a special mention must go to: Naomi, who without any obligations helped us set up, get organized and lead from the very beginning, Jim, for making sure everyone was safe and enjoying themselves, and more importantly made sure there was never an empty beer cup in sight, and Yukari who was the star of the show as she was responsible for all the behind the scene jobs of organizing such a successful event. I hope even more of you will be able to join us next year, I guarantee it will be another cracker!

Now, who has a spare pair of legs I can borrow for next year?