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Ukrainian student evacuees perform traditional Japanese dance in Fukuoka

Ukrainian students are seen performing a traditional Nihon Buyo dance at Ohori Park Noh Theater in Fukuoka's Chuo Ward on Nov. 3, 2022. (Mainichi/Akihiko Tsuchida)

FUKUOKA -- Eight Ukrainian students who fled from the Russian invasion performed a traditional Nihon Buyo dance they had practiced, at the Ohori Park Noh Theater in this southwest Japan city on Nov. 3.

    The students, accepted by Japan University of Economics in the Fukuoka Prefecture city of Dazaifu, had been trained for several months by the Fukuoka-based "Koi-no-Kai" volunteer group working to deepen mutual understanding of different cultures through Nihon Buyo. The group, headed by Koichika Nishikawa, holds weekly lessons, and about 1,100 foreign students from 30 countries have been taught how to wear kimonos.

    Ukrainian students are seen performing a traditional Nihon Buyo dance at Ohori Park Noh Theater in Fukuoka's Chuo Ward on Nov. 3, 2022. (Mainichi/Akihiko Tsuchida)

    The Ukrainian students on Nov. 3 performed a dance choreographed by Goro Nishikawa, 65, a group member and Nihon Buyo dancer. The dance movement was inspired by cherry blossoms and the Kuroda Bushi folk song. The students moved their fans gracefully and danced in circles, entertaining some 420 people in the audience.

    Elyzaveta Androsova, a 20-year-old Ukrainian student from Donbas in eastern Ukraine, said she visited the Himeyuri Memorial Tower in the Okinawa Prefecture city of Itoman this summer as part of classwork and learned about a fierce ground fight that took place there during the Battle of Okinawa.

    "I listened to these stories with tears in my eyes because the same thing is happening in my city. I learned that the Japanese people have also experienced tragic times. There should be no wars in the world for any reason," said Androsova.

    (Japanese original by Akihiko Tsuchida, Kyushu News Department)

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