Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa (京都学生祭典)

Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa is an annual festival which is held every year in early October (though not always in the past) in Kyoto, Japan. The idea for the event is based on Kyoto City's "Daigaku no Machi (City of Universties), Kyoto 21 Plan." From 2000 through 2002, the Student Festival in Kyoto was held under the auspices of The Consortium of Universities in Kyoto, later developing into the Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa.

The fifth and most recent Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa was held on October 6 and 7, 2007 and marked a record high of 215,500 visitors for the two days (according to the organizer's).

Brief History

Commencing with the third Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa, an original dance, 'Kyoen Sodefure! (literally, waving sleeves in hot Kyoto),' was introduced. Since the fourth Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa, it has been held over two days. For the fifth Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa, an original mikoshi (portable shrine) was constructed.

Organization

Executive Committee of the Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa (organizer)
The committee is composed of student volunteers.
(Members of the Executive Committee do not have to be formal students in a member university of the Consortium of Universities in Kyoto Foundation, but there is a provision that 'students who are 18 or older and belong to a university, graduate school, two-year college and special course school are eligible to apply for Executive Committee membership', while students under 18 are not allowed to join the committee. There was an exception in the past.)

The following departments and functions are established under the Executive Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.
(As of October 2007)

The Planning and Management Department is in charge of the planning and management of programs to be implemented during the Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa. The Marketing Department is in charge of financing the Festa through the collection of funds from sponsors, etc. The Public Relations Department is in charge of advertising and publicity for the Festa. The Odori Fukyu (dance popularizing) Department is in charge of popularizing the 'Kyoen Sodefure!' original dance. The Security Department is in charge of planning and implementing security on the day of the Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa. The General Affairs Department is in charge of any other activities associated with the Executive Committee's activities, including financing and office work. In addition to the above departments, there are also special project teams (e.g. Mikoshi Project).

Since the Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa is held in collaboration with businesses, academia, the public sector and local communities, the following cooperative bodies are organized.

Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa Organizing Committee (co-host)
The Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa Organizing Committee consists of 12 individuals who are the heads of universities, business and government sectors (as stated below) and works to make a final resolution or approval for the Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa related matters.

Governor of Kyoto
Mayor of Kyoto City
Chairman of the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Chairman of the Kyoto Association of Corporate Executives
Chairman of the Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa Planning & Research Committee
Director of the Consortium of Universities in Kyoto
Vice-directors (three) of the Consortium of Universities in Kyoto
Executive Chairman of the Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa Executive Committee
Vice-Executive Chairmen (two) of the Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa Executive Committee

Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa Planning & Research Committee
The organizing committee consists of dean-level personnel of member universities of the Consortium of Universities in Kyoto Foundation and personnel of sponsor companies and public and local community sectors.

Major programs
"Kyoen Sodefure!" National Dancing Competition
The competition has been annually held since the third Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa. It is an uncategorized dance competition with four sections (elementary school & younger children, middle & high school students, university students, and general). Winners are basically decided for each section, but there are also special prizes, such as the 'Kyoen Sodefure! Award', which are given to winners selected across the four sections.

One of the reasons for holding this contest is to make the Kyoen Sodefure! well-known, and there is a rule that, in principle, groups which have participated in the competition have to join the So Odori (a dance festival) for the Grand Finale, which will be explained below (high school and younger students are not forced to join the So Odori due to the late time.)
To qualify for the 'Kyoen Sodefure! Award', at least half the members of the group need to be playing the Yotsutake (a set of clappers made of bamboo).

It has been held annually since the first Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa. Winners of the Student Music Contest can get prize money and also backup support from GIZA studio in making a major debut. Due to the nature of the contest, if a participant does a solo, he or she has to be a student, and for groups of musicians, at least half the members have to be students.

In the first round of judging, 20 participants are chosen based on the provided demo tapes, and in the second round, 10 participants are chosen for the final on the basis of a live public performance. On the day of Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa, the 10 finalists perform live and the winners of the Grand Prix and other awards are determined on the same day.

Fair
There has been a fair (or 'ennichi') held annually since the third Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa (under the program name "Ennichi @ Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa").
However a very similar event was held during the first Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa under a different name, so it could be said that it has in fact been held every year (except for the second Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa.)
Unlike projects performed on a special stage, the stalls of the 'ennichi' are run by individual university clubs, university festival executive committees and local authorities.

Following a case of food poisoning during the socond Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa - Winter Battle -, there has been more focus on preventing food poisoning during the 'ennichi'. Since the fifth Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa, reusable plates and utensils have been introduced as part of an ecological project.

Business collaboration series
Collaborating with businesses was first introduced in the fourth Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa, and again in the fifth Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa. Based on the concept that students and businesses should cooperate in performing programs, a program titled "Business Collaboration Series: Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa and Wakasa Seikatsu Gen-kids Stadium" was launched in cooperation with Wakasa Seikatsu Corporation at the fourth Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa. For the fifth Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa, a program titled "Business Collaboration Series: Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa and Sagawa Express Sports Live! - Anata ni Todoke Kandobin (Delivering the Excitement to You) -" was launched in cooperation with Sagawa Express Co., Ltd. and Wakasa Seikatsu Corporation.

This is the climax of the Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa and has been held every year since the first Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa. Since the third Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa, it has been performed on a special stage in Heian-Jingu Shrine, with highlights including performances by the winners of the "Kyoen Sodefure!" National Dancing Competition and the Grand Prix winners of the Kyoto Student Music Award, and closes with the whole audience participating in the "Kyoen Sodefure! So Odori".

About Kyoen Sodefure!

Since the concept of the third Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa was 'From Event To Festival', the idea of introducing a dance to symbolize the festival was discussed and a project team was formed with people from the Executive Committee of Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa and Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa Administration Office, and other key figures. Choreography was assigned to Tomoko IMANAKA, head of Tomoko Dance Planet, with music and costumes being produced mainly by Taiko Center Co., Ltd., and the completed dance was tentatively named 'Kyoen (feast in Kyoto)', after the title of an event included in the second Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa.

On March 21, 2005, 'Kyoen' was first performed at Chion-in Temple's Sanmon Gate during the Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatoro lantern festival. At the same time, a team was formed to popularize the dance, performing the dance at universities and events mainly in Kyoto, teaching students and citizens who were interested in the dance, and visiting elementary and middle schools and local authorities to demonstrate the dance and give lessons.

In May 2005, the Executive Committee of Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa, Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa Administration Office and key figures held several meetings to talk about the name of the original dance, finally deciding on 'Kyoen Sodefure!' as the official name.

Other

For the first Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa, the singer Mai KURAKI, who was a student of the Industrial Sociology Department at Ritsumeikan University, worked as an executive member of the Executive Committee. Her live concert, held in Heian Jingu Shrine, was the Grand Finale of the first Kyoto Intercollegiate Festa. The concert was later broadcast in the Kinki region by NHK.