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Awa Odori

  • Sep 3, 2015
  • by Isato

Culture Shikoku

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The Awa Dance Festival is held from 12th to 15th of August every year in Tokushima Prefecture on Shikoku as part of Obon festival which is a Japanese Buddhism custom to honor the spirit of one’s ancestors.






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Over 1.3 million tourists visit this event every year from all over the nation and the world.
You can watch this dance show either on the street which is no-charge or on the special stand sheets which cost around 15 to 20 USD.

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Groups of dancers and musicians are called Ren which is like a team.
Each Ren has own original name and consists of average of 60 ~ 100 people from children to elderly people.
Each performer has a role and a position like a drum line and dances on the every streets and corners in Tokushima town, typically accompanied by the shamisen lute, taiko drums, flute and the kane bell.

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All performers wear Japanese traditional dance costumes, hats and shoes, and chant and sing traditional unique songs during their performance.
Any bystanders can join the Awa dance in a certain area, because this festival is originally meant to dance for everybody.

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There are so many food and drink wagons along the streets and you can even enjoy night boat cursing in the river.

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Please experience this wonderful Awa odori festival when you visit Tokushima prefecture in summer!

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