TOPICS February 2022

Matsuyama Baseball Dance PR Video

The Matsuyama Festival Executive Committee recently produced a “Baseball Dance” PR video of a new version of the traditional local dance called Yakyuken Odori. The new version was released last summer in an attempt to broadcast the dance domestically and internationally. The committee tied up with a company called Avex Entertainment (Tokyo) to create new music and choreography for the Yakyuken Odori, fusing Japanese and Western, and traditional and modern styles. Last November the video was shot at such sites as Matsuyama Castle and the Dogo area. It was directed by Usui Hiroshi, who has directed many music videos for famous artists. Komiyama Naoto choreographed and performed in it with actress Ohara Yuno. About 50 local citizens are in the video, including members from a local girl idol group, Himekyun Fruit Can, the Matsuyama baseball team “Mandarin Pirates”, and the Matsuyama Seiryo High School dance club. It can be viewed by googling ‘Baseball- Dance Branded Movie’. (January 5, Ehime Shimbun)


Matsuyama Castle named JAPAN 100 Moonrise Site

Across Japan the YAKEI Convention & Visitors Bureau and other organizations have worked on the JAPAN 100 Moon project to promote moon-viewing as a tourism resource. Since 2016 they have held Japan Moon Summits where they announce the registered sites. As part of the selection criteria, sites should be a tourist facility where people can enjoy the moon safely, even at night. On January 17, the 7th summit was held in Kitakyushu-city, southwestern Japan, and 32 newly selected sites were announced, including “Moonrise on Matsuyama Castle”, reaching a total of 100 locations. Matsuyama Castle was praised for showing hospitality, holding moon-viewing events in autumn, and opening up the castle tower for special night business hours to view the city under the moon. The Matsuyama City Tourism and International Exchange Division said that they wanted to promote the castle as a moon-viewing spot. As for other sites in Ehime, the moon of Ozu, south of Matsuyama, was certificated in 2017. (January 20, Ehime Shimbun)


Matsuyama Speed Skater to be flag bearer at the Olympics

On January 20, the Japan Olympic Committee announced that they chose Takagi Miho (27) to be captain of the Japanese athletic team for the Beijing Winter Olympics. Go Arisa (34) and Watanabe Akito (33) will be the flag bearers. Takagi and Go are female speed skaters and Watanabe is a male skier for the Nordic skiing complex. Go was born in Hokkaido, northern Japan, and now belongs to the Iyotetsu Speed Skating Club in Matsuyama. Ehime prefecture hung a 7-meter-long banner in front of the prefectural main building to celebrate her second consecutive participation in the Olympic Games. In the last Olympics, she won eighth place in the 500-meter speed skating event. (January 21, Ehime Shimbun)

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