XI Congreso Nacional y II Internacional
de la Asociación de Estudios Japoneses en España

Imagen Fondo AEJE


Flamenco and Japan.

Kyoko Shikaze - Correspondent of the magazine Paseo Flamenco.

The relationship between flamenco and Japan started in last century twenties decade. Although not even a hundred year old, the love of flamenco is outstanding. Why? Firstly, the volume. It is said that in Tokyo there are more academies of flamenco than in Spain; there are more than 500 professionals in Japan and about 50,000 Japaneses go to classes, most of them to dance classes, but also to other kind of classes (cante or compás). Secondly, the quality. On the one hand, Spanish professionals go to Japan continually. Apart from the several performances of Spanish artists, there is a theater (tablao) where artists as Cristina Hoyos or Sara Baras have been performing flamenco since 1967. On the other hand, Japanese artists. There are Japanese companies which have taken part in prestigious Spanish festivals, as the Bienal de Flamenco in Seville or the Festival de Jerez. A Japanese woman has the Cordoba National Prize of ‘baile por guajiras’, and in other competitions we have also great winners. Thirdly, the image. Japanese people are not the only ones that love flamenco, but Western people are not as striking as Asian. They are seen more exotic.

It is not true that all Japanese people loves flamenco. We are not very much, but there are really fond of flamenco in Japan. The question is: Why Japanese people likes flamenco? There are some hypothesis. One of them explains that the relationship with gypsies from India is basic, because the oriental origin. Other hypothesis explains that Japanese culture involve not over-expressing feelings. Flamenco is the opposite, so Japanese people feel that flamenco is a way to express what they have in their hearts. Nobody can say which of them is true, but flamenco is an interesting art and everywhere the love for it appears.