[ About Yosakoi ]

Yosakoi is a Japanese dance genre that was established in Kōchi in 1954. Within this genre, traditional dance is combined with modern dance moves. Ranging from elegant gentle motions to energetic and powerful moves, yosakoi enjoys many different styles of dance. Costuming often has vibrant colors and is truly a part of the uniqueness the dance genre offers. It can be inspired by traditional clothing, have a modern look, or be a combination of both. Among props that are used, traditional objects like fans, parasols and flags are but a few examples. There is one signature object however that makes yosakoi truly stand out, which is the naruko (Japanese clapper). Like the costumes, choreography and music also combine tradition with contemporary trends in that the classic is mixed with the upbeat modern.

Sapporo_main_yosakoi © Sapporo Tourism Official Website

Another element that marks yosakoi is the group spirit. Seeing as yosakoi is a typical group sport, through dancing individual performers become one unit, creating (loud) positive energy and a feeling of solidarity. In Japan, teams perform at events but also at special yosakoi festivals designed to initiate friendly competition with other teams and inspire both performers and speculators. The audience also often gets the chance to bond with teams through dancing commonly known and fairly simple dances together which are called souodori. The core elements of yosakoi are therefore having fun, trying your hardest, sharing the burdens of dancing with the team, and being proud of performing this traditional but definitely not forgotten dance style.

[ About Raiden ]

Raiden was founded by student Japan Studies Natascha Dames from Leiden University in February 2011. The name Raiden is a wordplay on thunder and lightning as well as the city Leiden in Japanese. Over the past few years Raiden has grown increasingly. Now we have become a well established sports association including our own designed outfits and choreographed dances, with approximately 50 members. Everyone is always welcome to join!

We train three times a week and perform across the Netherlands at various (anime) conventions and other Japan related events. We always perform with pleasure, so if you would like us to perform at your event, please do not hesitate to contact us!


Besides dancing, Raiden members do lots of fun side activities together such as celebrating Dutch traditions (3rd of October, Sinterklaas, King’s Day) as well as Japanese traditions (nomikai, bounenkai, shinnenkai). Besides that we organize our own events of which some have already become tradition, like the annual Raiden Camp and 48 hours End of the Year Party.

[ About YEN ]

YENYEN group photo (click to enlarge)

Raiden is part of YEN, which stands for Yosakoi European Network. This is an initiative that has been established in October 2014 in order to strengthen the ties and contact between European yosakoi teams. Currently six known teams are part of this network, Raiden included.

Koidoukai 鯉道会 from Bordeaux, France (founded in 2010).
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Raiden Yosakoi 雷電よさこい from Leiden, Netherlands (founded in 2011).
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Zyka Yosakoi 瑞花よさこい from Stockholm, Sweden (founded in 2012).
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Sakuramai Poland 桜舞 ポーランド from Kraków, Poland (founded in 2012).
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Todoroki Stuttgart 轟シュトットガルト from Stuttgart, Germany (founded in 2013).
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Yosakoi Paris Hinodemai よさこいパリ日の出舞 from Paris, France (founded in 2015).