Awa Dance Festivals in Japan
Awa Odori is the largest dance festival originally started in Tokushima Prefecture, Shikoku Area, during Obon period when it is believed that deceased ancestors are believed to visit their living relatives for a few days in every Summer. Awa odori is not only one of those Bon odori which celebrates the spirits of ancestors, but has been famous since 16th century for its size and uniqueness, and their unique dance originally came from those drunk people who were celebrating Obon period.
Males and females perform different dances, males' is more aggressive while females' is more elegant and organised. Usually they perform in line following the road, but also in some show performance formation. Female dancers in Kimono, traditional wear, and thick white make up look pretty beautiful and their song is quite catchy as well.
"Odoru ahou ni" (The dancers are fools)
"Miru ahou" (So as watchers)
"Onaji ahou nara" (If being either is fool,)
"Odorana son, son" (Why not dance?)
Today, there are tens of Awa odori festival besides the original one held in Tokushima, and this Nakasendo-Matsuri is one of those held in Kanto Area.
In most of the festivals you will find Yatai (stalls/stands) alongside the road where you can enjoy variety of traditional Japanese fast foods and some attractions such as Shateki (target shooting) and pinball.
Major Awa Odori events in Japan
Tokushima, Tokushima prefecture, Shikoku district
Koenji, Tokyo, Kanto district
Minami-Koshigaya, Saitama, Kanto district
(In every weekends in August, there are many Awa Odori events happening around in Japan. If you're interested to see one, make sure you search for the information.)
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