THE colours, rhythms and sounds of north east Japan have been celebrated outside Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum .

Oshu Kanatsu-Ryu Dance Troupe are in the country to take part in the Thames Festival in London this weekend. But yesterday they gave a 45-minute performance in Oxford after being invited to the city by the museum.

UK troupe manager David Hughes said: “The Thames Festival likes to bring at least one troupe from somewhere else in the world. They had decided on Korea but because of the tsunami in north east Japan they wanted to have representation from that area.”

He added: “I thought it was very well received and a lot of people came up afterwards to ask about it.”

Mr Hughes said the traditional dance, known as the deer dance, “sympathises with the souls of slain deers hunted for food”.

He added: “Traditionally it has also been danced to send people on their ways and in this case it was for those who were lost in the tsunami.”

The dancers, whose suits weigh about 20 kilos, also blessed the museum and the 300 people who gathered to watch.

Picture: OX54102 Ed Nix