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Lineup 2012

国・地域 アーティスト名 Name Country (Area)
アメリカ ブライアン・ホルス Brian Hulse USA
アラスカ チバック・チュピック・ダンサーズ Chevak Cup’ik Dancers USA (Alaska)
イギリス 「トゥーザリ」コミュニティーアーツ Toozalii Community Arts International Artists UK
インド パスファインダー・ダンスグループ Pathfinder Dance Group India
インドネシア アイオーブイ・ユースセクション IOV Indonesia Youth Section Indonesia
エクアドル シサイ Sisay Ecuador
韓国 處容(チョヨン)舞保存会 Korean Traditional Performing Arts Foundation Korea
中国 北京ダンスアカデミー Beijing Dance Academy China
フランス テンプス・フギト Tempvs Fvgit… France
ポーランド ジェドリニオク Jedliniok Poland
マリ ラミン・トラオレ Lamine Traore Mali
岡山 踊ろうマチルダ Odorou Matilda Okayama
淡路島 えま&慧奏 Ema & Esoh Awaji Island
東京 タカパーチ Takapartch Tokyo
京都 ザッハトルテ Zahatorte Kyoto
京都 ドレクスキップ Drakskip Kyoto
札幌 ウルソ・ダ・フロレスタ Urso da Floresta Sapporo
千葉 ボンバングー Bonbangoo Chiba
東京 ショピン Chopiiin Tokyo
東京 ラビラビ RaBiRaBi Tokyo
洞爺湖 トヤトヤ Toya Toya Toyako
函館 バンダカスターナ Banda Castana Hakodate
函館 ひのき屋 Hinoki-ya Hakodate
函館 水口議 Hakaru Mizuguchi Hakodate

Motomachi Stage
Arigatou Party


Brian Hulse


The multi-talented Brian Hulse is involved in Japan's entertainment industry both as a producer and performer. Originally from the small farm community of Knightstown, Indiana in the United States, he began his professional performing career as a comedy juggler in 1986 at the age of seventeen. Since then, he has performed throughout the United States and around the world. He currently lives in Japan, where he works at the Festa advertising agency as well as performing at events, hotels, and various street venues.

Brian has become a stalwart supporter of WMDF, sharing both his awesome performances and his in-depth production knowledge. We are grateful for both, and are looking forward to celebrating WMDF's 5th anniversary together.

Chevak Cup'ik Dancers


Chevak is a town located in southwestern Alaska, where Cup’ik means "a real human being" in the native language. The Chevak Cup’ik Dancers perform "Yuraq" dance, which resembles storytelling, recounting real experiences such as hunting seals in the ocean, catching salmon along the river, and even playing basketball in the school gym. Stories are told using the whole body, along with singing and drumming. Yuraq is an entertainment as well as a performing art, and it has been nurtured by the land and the ocean over a long period time. Yuraq is used to receive and welcome guests and to create and strengthen bonds at the many Alaskan dance festivals, not only by watching, but also by dancing together. This group have performed Yuraqs in various parts of the U.S. and in Russia, Canada, Australia, and Fiji. Please be inspired by their drumbeat and song and energetic performance.

Toozalii Community Arts International Artists


Toozalii use many different art forms to enable and to provide social inclusion workshops for minority groups within mainstream Arts events.

Toozalii are especially committed to the joys of Carnival Arts. The concept of "Carnival" is maybe unique in its ability to incorporate so many cultural influences. It can combine a complete range of performing arts and continually adapt itself to a contemporary social and political context, and yet simultaneously involve all sections of a community.

The 5th Anniversary WMDF marks our expansion to include visual arts for the first time. This year, Toozalii will do two things in Motomachi Park: display some of their amazing flags from the UK, and also run workshops. If you have ten or twenty minutes to spare, why not try your hand at making a design? Toozalii will take all of our artwork back to the UK and transform it into yet more amazing flags that we will display at WMDF 006. So, you have the chance to see your own handiwork flying if you come to see us again next year. As Toozalii say: "Creating stuff makes you happy". We hope to see lots of vexillological smiles around WMDF this year.

Pathfinder Dance Group


Pathfinder Dance Group came into being with a passionate view to make Indian dance more accessible to audiences in India and across the world. Rooted in the Indian dance tradition of Bharatanatyam, Pathfinder Dance Group is constantly exploring new creative ways of bringing out the true essence of Indian dance.

Madhura Khire - the choreographer and artistic director - has been learning and practising classical Bharatanatyam dance for over 20 years, having completed her training under the guidance of the renowned Bharatanatyam exponent, Dr. Sucheta Chapekar. She has won many prizes in competitions and is a panel member of the prestigious "India World Cultural Forum".

Pathfinder's musical director and sitarist, Sameep Kulkarni, has played over 600 concerts in India and abroad over the last 23 years, and has also played the sitar for two Hollywood movies. He has completed successful tours of the US, UK and Thailand, and his albums include "Live in Chicago" and "Musician's Guild". With Sameep Kulkarni, different worlds really do meet: he is also a successful software engineer, and describes his ultimate goal for life as becoming one of the "topmost and very successful 'Software Sitarist[s]' / 'Corporate Artist[s]' / 'Mathematical Musician[s]' in the world".

The other artists are tabla player Aditya Athalye and dancers Gauri Kashelikar, Neha Athalye and Snehal Parsekar.

IOV Indonesia Youth Section: AZKAFADA


In a practical application of "Long Now" thinking, UNESCO has recognised that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and has encouraged NGOs to form youth programs in order to prepare young people for the work that lies ahead. The "IOV" International Organisation of Folk Art officially formed its Indonesian Youth Program and Commission at its 2007 General Assembly.

The representatives of IOV Indonesia at WMDF are the 25-strong group "Azkafada" from the "AL AZHAR KELAPA GADING" university preparatory school (SMA). In Arabic, the name Azka has meaning of "purity" or "chastity", and FADA has meaning of "freedom". Among the dances they will be performing is the Saman Dance from Aceh, which was officially recognised as an "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO on November 19 2011. The Saman (or, "thousand hands") dance originates from the Gayo and the Alas ethnic groups of the province of Aceh. The dance is traditionally performed to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad and other important occasions. It starts with slow movements and gradually increases its tempo to great speed before finally coming to a sudden stop. The name of the dance is derived from one of the great scholars of the province of Aceh, Sheikh Saman. Nowadays, Saman dance is performed on many special occasions, including the opening of festivals. WMDF is honored to be included in this category, and invites you all to expand your thinking by finding out more about this unique style of performance.



The name "SISAY" means "bloom" or "flower" to the Quichua people of Ecuador in South America. Their language, Quichua, bears the same name as their tribal name, and is believed to mean "those who speak correctly". One theory explaining this is that the Quichua language was the "official" language that the Incas used throughout their empire.

SISAY were formed in Ecuador in 1983 by the fathers of the current members, and the group members are all native Americans of Ecuador.

After touring across much of North America and Europe, they came to Japan for the first time in 1994. Currently they participate in events, give stage performances, and regularly visit schools throughout Japan, Asia and South America.  They represented Ecuador at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 in the Ecuador Pavilion.  With a basis in the folk music of Ecuador but also incorporating Andean and Latin influences, their music has a power of expression all of its own.

Beijing Dance Academy


This group comes to WMDF through the China Arts and Entertainment Group and is made up of college students from the Department of Traditional Chinese Folk Dances at Beijing Dance Academy, the highest-level professional dance-teaching institution in China, and one of the largest in the world. The Dance Academy embraces a huge range of different traditions including, for example, Han, Tibetan, Mongolian, Uygurs, Korean, Dai, Qiang, Miao, and Yi. In total, it specialises in dances based on the cultures of 56 different minority ethnicities. By performing these traditional Chinese folk dances, they demonstrate the unique and profound history and culture of the Orient.

In a first for WMDF, the group will be accompanied by a delegation of government officials. The entourage will include representatives from the Chinese Ministry of Culture, accompanied by officials of the Beijing Municipal Education Commission. We look forward to welcoming both our first Chinese artists and our first Chinese officials to Hakodate.

Tempvs Fvgit...


"Time flies". It's hard to imagine a group profile more suited to WMDF's "Long Now" theme. This sextet of singers describe themselves as "giving voice to time". They "explore the meanders of harmony and human and musical authenticity as a way of resolving the hollow quarrel between modernity and tradition". Singing, for them, represents a way of leaving time.

They come from a time that dreamily flows on the island of Corsica, from the tempo of work on festivities, and from the flow of religious rituals that still today maintain their archaic fragrance uncontaminated. They aim to faithfully pass on and carry beyond their island a holy and profane polyphonic repertoire with extremely ancient origins. Nebbiu is the name of their most recent recording project, and also that of the Corsican region that gave rise to much of their musical repertoire - a region of mists between the Balagna and Bastia. Gathered in a circle, Tempvs Fvgit... intone processional songs, hymns sung during Holy Week, and parts of Masses in the ancient-Roman ritual, as well as traditional melodies with strong Genoese, Sardinian and even Byzantine influences, which remain among the most haunting in the world. Their songs evoke the birth of time, the borders of the universe, and the childhood of art: time itself and its substance.



Created in 1975, the group takes its name from a Lower Silesian dance from Jedlina Zdroj. The members of the ensemble are students of the Agricultural University of Wroclaw and other university centers in Wroclaw. The ensemble performs Silesian folklore as well as folklore from many other Polish regions, and also showcases national Polish dances such as the polonaise, masur and cracoviac.

The group has performed in many countries and in different continents, representing Poland in numerous and famous international folk festivals. For its artistic achievements and its contribution to spreading the national Polish culture in and out of the country, the group was awarded the Diploma of the Minister of Culture and Art and also the Golden Badge of Merit from Wroclaw Province and the City of Wroclaw. It has also been awarded national and international prizes, distinctions, diplomas and medals. Jedliniok members work actively in education, and since its foundation around 3000 students have attended its activities. Former members of the ensemble have on numerous occasions created and taken up the management of their own folk groups and become promoters of cultural life in the region.

Lamine Traore


Lamine Traore was brought up in a big family, as is typical in Mali. He was initiated into the balafon (a wooden-keyed percussion instrument) when he was 7 years old.  After that he put an end to his school studies as soon as he could, and survived financially by throwing himself into work as a street-seller of clothing and earrings. Now, he is completely immersed in music and especially in his favorite instrument, the balafon.

In addition to the balafon, he plays other traditional Malian instruments such as the Djembe, the Kamale, the N'Goni, and the Bara. All of these he makes himself with natural materials like wood,bamboo, calabash and goat leather. He sings both traditional and original songs in the Bambara language, which serves as a lingua franca in Mali.

He has collaborated in the studio and on stage with a large number of artists. On his only previous visit to Japan in 2010, he was in Hakodate and heard about WMDF 003, and so was born his desire to use his music to show that the "Big Here" of the distance between Mali and Japan could be bridged. We are most glad to be able to help this vision come true.

Korean Traditional Performing Arts Foundation


The group was formed in the year 2,000. They focus on traditional South Korean dance using folk music and percussion instruments such as gayageum, Chang, Park and a stringed instrument similar to the Japanese koto.

One of their dances is a story from the era of the Unified Silla dynasty. They dance with masks based on the legendary fighter Choyon who drove off the demons that were plaguing the country. The dance was adopted by various dynasties and gradually became codified as a royal court dance. Originally, it required people to wear only black, but the evolved versions resulted in dancers, who show off their dance in a square, wearing the five colours of blue, red, white, black, and yellow. These five represent the five elemental constituents of gold, water, wood, fire, and soil, which together can combine to form everything in the universe. When these elements are harmonized, all things in the universe become ordered, and demons are impelled to flee.

Another dance the group perform is the "Taiheimai", which prays for the peace and national prosperity of the royal family. It is a creative dance between a queen and a king that was popularised in the 20th century and has distinctive, complex rhythms especially involving fast and artful turning operations of the foot while drawing a circle.

Odorou Matilda


"Odorou Matilda" is a solo project of Nobuhiro Tsurube, who hails from Tohoku. The name is from the famous Australian bush ballad, which itself is Australian slang for traveling on foot with one's goods slung over one's back in a bag ("Matilda"). Odorou Matilda carries his acoustic guitar to hundreds of venues around Japan each year, and his growing army of fans carry themselves to make each one a sellout. His distinctive gravelly vocals have led to him being described as "the Japanese Tom Waits" by the Fuji Rock Festival. Recently, he reached new audiences when his song "Crossing the Houkigawa" was used by NHK for the drama "Tonbi".

WMDF heard Matilda's CD playing at a cafe and straight away wanted to bring his eclectic brand of often Irish-inspired balladry and gypsy feel to our event. We hope you'll also become a fan, and maybe be inspired to do your own spot of waltzing, at the stage, or further afield.

Ema & Esoh

Awaji Island

Esoh plays the piano, ethnic percussion, spiritual tribe instruments and natural instruments made from stone and wood, and includes overtone singing techniques in his music. In 1987, his personal group "Silent Pulse" participated at the Montreux New Jazz Festival in Switzerland. His band has toured in Japan, Rome, Paris and Greece, and he works as an album producer.

Ema uses harmonic overtones and is known as a unique female vocal artist. She plays the erhu (a 2-stringed Chinese instrument played with a bow) and also other traditional instruments from Vietnam and Thailand. She co-starred in the legendary Okinawan band "Kaze no Gakudan" (Wind Orchestra). She produces visual arts and events, designs sound, and collaborates with many artists on concerts and recordings.



You will see a quite ordinary-looking box in Motomachi Park this year. But don't be fooled into thinking that this is any ordinary act. Takapartch is a "Human Jukebox". The kind of jukebox that plays whatever song you pick. So, insert a coin and make your choice from the huge list of possibilities such as soundtracks, folk songs, classical pieces, jazz and even his self-composed numbers. Takapartch will then appear and begin the show, amusingly playing the trumpet and other instruments.

Takapartch is unique and charismatic and has performed around the world, including France and Thailand. He can also play piano and guitar, and in 2007 performed as a musician at a festival in Korea.



This acoustic trio was formed in 2002 in Kyoto by Toharu Tomaru (accordion), Uekko (guitar) and Yosuke (cello). They perform a monthly live in Kyoto as well as live tours in Japan and abroad. The band has participated in the "Le Grand Soufflet" accordion festival in France 2004, the rock festival "SUMMER SONIC" in 2008, and "apbank fes" in 2009, which was produced by the famous Japanese band Mr. Children. Besides their live tours, they have made CM songs, and songs for NHK TV programs. Their more than 100 live yearly performances incorporate visual tricks and much humour, and have something for all genres of music lover and all ages. They have released 6 CDs, with "Acoustic Live & Dinner at TOOTH TOOTH" just released in January, 2011. Last spring, they made a one-month Japanese tour of 13 different locations following the plum and cherry blossom fronts, and in the summer they came to Hakodate for WMDF. Since so many were disappointed that their finale on the main stage was canceled because of the washout, we have invited them back this year.



"They joke, roll and whirl around. Feel this groove in your heart". This is how this Japanese band in love with Scandinavian traditional music announce themselves on their web site. Formed in 2006 in Kyoto, Japan, they perform both traditional and original tunes inspired by Scandinavia.

Yuki Noma is the founder and leader of the band. He can play virtually any kind of music including the traditional music of both western and eastern Europe, and is the composer and arranger for most of Drakskip's tunes. Shouta Enomoto plays the fiddle and the nyckelharpa (very rare in Japan), and lived in Scotland from the age of eight to fourteen, so his experience includes performance in ceilidh bands as well as orchestras, chamber music ensembles, and jazz bands. Yusuke Urakawa plays the 12-string guitar, which he started in junior high school playing street gigs with his friends. He is frequently a guest artist for other music professionals. The group is completed by percussionist Yosuke Watanabe, who was inspired to his profession by seeing the Japanese drum troupe "Kodo" when he was seven years old. This quartet have performed with various famous artists, including LAU, Valkyrien Allstars, FRIGG and Goran Mansson, and have just returned from a tour of Sweden and Finland, where they played the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival and Eileen's Folkfest.

Urso da Floresta


Formed in 2001 to use Hokkaido as a stage for Brazilian samba, encompassing dance, song, and percussion. They are a mixed gender group and range in age from elementary school students to adults in their 50s. The name "Urso da Floresta" means "the bear in the forest". They are already WMDF alumni, and we have enjoyed experiencing their parade snaking around the entire Motomachi Park area. For 2012, WMDF is starting a "Kanpa samba" sponsor time that encourages audience to purchase a one-day sponsor pass that gives reductions at all the booths in the Mogu Mogu Festival, so if you feel moved by the beat, please get your sticker.



Bonbangoo has grown through contact with many kind of arts from the time he was a child, and has appeared in movies and in films in Japan and overseas. In 2005, he won the gold medal in the junior section of the world juggling championships for his original performances and his expressive power. At the same time as graduating from high school, he became an official member of Japan's long-running "Muscle Musical", in which a boy traveler led by a mysterious "magic man" encounters a number of acrobats and dancers during his trip. The actors (who include ex-Olympians) don't have lines, relying instead on mime, expressive movements, and a dazzling collection of unique acrobatic techniques. Bonbangoo traveled from Hokkaido to Okinawa with the Muscle Man troupe, and now puts all his experience to good use as he takes his exciting show across the country as a solo performer.



Chopiiin formed in 2006 with the founding members coming from different bands: Nonoho from Co-rchestra, Pechka Takahashi from Hinemos, and Kei Tanaka from SAKEROCK. They play acoustic instruments, but also incorporate children's toys and even rubbish into their performances. Chopiiin have an original style that slowly draws you into to their gently eccentric world. Their first album came in June of 2008, and in the next month they played the Fuji Rock Festival. In the autumn of 2009, they released their second album "Hashorareta Monogatari". In 2011, Takeru Uchida joined from GoodDogHappyMen, and the group released their third album, "Sonata of Spring", on P-Vine records. This year they released their first DVD, "The People Under the Flowers", and NHK used one of their songs for the ending theme of the "Ojaru Maru" anime series. As well as live performances, the group also do collaborations with Japanese rakugo performers, workshops aimed at children, and have performed at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa. They particularly support events close to the community, for instance performing at charity live concerts.



This trio is formed from two percussionists and one vocalist. Their story goes back to 1999, and their free-style improvisations and attunement to nature with both rhythm and voice have led people to call their music "Jomon trance": a mixture of the ancient and the future. These "sound gypsies" annually do over 100 live performances and field recordings in East Asia.

RaBiRaBi were with WMDF last year and were extremely popular, so as their main stage performance was washed out, we invited them back: success sometimes needs a Long Now perspective.

Toya Toya


Western African drums "djembe" and "dundun" are used by this group to create lively and danceable music. Any age, gender or ethnic group can enjoy their music and feel the African beats with their live performance. They are based in Toya, Kimarubetu, and Yoteizan. Toya Toya are the final group that we recalled this year because of the last-day washout in 2011. Let us all hope for better luck and for better weather this year.

Banda Castana


From Hakodate! This Latin entertainment unit formed in 2004 and now has 16 members. Based on a salsa repertoire, they also play mambo, cha-cha, rumba and son. They try to gather together the best and most active local musicians into a kind of "all star" band. Banda Castana played the Kutchan Jazz Festival in 2007, and from 2008 played in Sapporo City Jazz for three years, where they performed at the main "White Rock" stage. Their motto is "Enjoy Latin to the max!" so turn up and give them the largest and most enthusiastic crowds possible.



Hinoki-ya, formed in Hakodate 1998, specialize in Japanese music with a world influence. Their repertoire ranges from traditional folk songs to pieces expressing nature. The group's performances feature Shinobue flute, Taiko, guitar, and percussion. Hinoki-ya have participated at world festivals in Croatia (2002), Brazil (2004), France (2005), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2007), energizing audiences with their rhythm and energy. Hinoki-ya's original compositions and arrangements blend research into traditional Japanese with a modern sensibility and global outlook. Worldwide, they have been well received for their universal and danceable music, connecting directly with the emotions of audiences.

Hakaru Mizuguchi


As we know too well, Japan is a nation prone to earthquakes. This helps to explain why historically the Japanese have avoided the use of easily broken materials in architecture and the arts. For example, there is no stained-glass tradition, and sliding wooden shoji are made with paper.

In the 1970s, skyscrapers started emerging in Shinjuku and working in glass caught the interest of a modernising nation. Hakaru Mizuguchi was one of the artists selected in 1981 for one of Japan's first glasswork exhibi1tions, called "Contemporary Glass - Australia, Canada, U.S.A. & Japan".

In 1983, he went on to found "The Glass Studio in Hakodate", which has become an integral part of the tourist experience among the red-brick warehouses by the bay in Motomachi. He specialises in free-blown glassworks that express a personal warmth not achievable with machines. As part of WMDF's expansion to include visual arts, areas of Motomachi Park will be decorated with Mizuguchi's glass sculptures that can glow in the dark. More worlds that meet, and more new experiences.

Artist Archives

WMDF has hosted artists from all around the world, including Ireland, Italy, Indonesia, Ukraine, Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Niue (New Zealand), France, Russia, and Lithuania. We thank all those who have been part of making our new traditions.

Interested in Performing?