Nishimonai Bon Odori – Workshops and Performance

Let Yoshitaka and Mariko guide you, and experience this unknown area of Japan!

Deshima AIR invites you to get a glimpse of the traditional dance of Akita, called “Nishimonai Bon Odori”. This dance pays respect to one’s deceased ancestors and originates from over 700 years ago.

Yoshitaka Suzuki will introduce you to this Northern Region of Japan with his dance. Special guest calligraphy artist Mariko Watanabe will accompany him during the performance. After the performance traditional food and drinks from this region will be served.

In the afternoon we invite you to experience a flavor of Nishimonai Bon Odori yourself. Take part in the two workshops and learn more about shodo (calligraphy) and “Bon” dance.

Yoshitaka Suzuki

Yoshitaka Suzuki is a professional dancer who has performed in several musicals, movies and music videos and performed all over the world with his unique performances. He started out with his focus on modern dance and specialized in UK Jazz, but has also embraced the Traditional Japanese Folk Performing Art. He combines the two genres in Fusion Japanese Folk Art. Nowadays he lives in Amsterdam, but originates from Akita, in the northern part of Japan.

Mariko Watanabe

Mariko Watanabe was born in the northern region of Japan, Aomori. Mariko is a professional calligraphy artist and has worked on both commercial and more traditional projects. Her works have been exhibited in various countries and she has won several awards for her shodo art pieces. Currently, she also teaches calligraphy.



Yoshitaka Suzuki will perform a dance inspired by the painting “Akita no Gyoji” (1937) by Tsuguharu Foujita. This painter created a 20 meter wide mural, which depicts festivals and life in Akita. Mariko Watanabe will perform with him on stage and create a live shodo art piece.

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Yoshitaka Suzuki will learn you about “Nishimonai Bon Odori”, a traditional dance ritual that has specific ways of using the body and hands.

With calligraphy artist Mariko Watanabe you will use the brush to express this Nishomonai Bon Odori dance ritual. You can choose a saying and create your own calligraphy banner with brush and black ink.

You can experience both workshops during this event and explore two different aspects of Nishimonai Bon Odori.

In between the two workshops there will be a break where you can enjoy a UK Jazz dance performance from Yoshitaka’s pupils from Amstelveen.

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16:00 – 16:55 First round
17:00 – 17:05 UK Jazz dance performance
17:05 – 18:00 Second round

Entrance fee: €10,-

The workshop is for all ages and no experience is required. All materials will be provided.

Location: Dokzaal, Plantage Doklaan 8, 1018 CM Amsterdam.

20:00 – 21:00 Dance performance

Entrance fee: €10,-

Location: Dokzaal, Plantage Doklaan 8, 1018 CM Amsterdam.

Due to limited seats please register directly by sending an e-mail to ensure your spot!
Register here!