Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Awa Odori Festival

Awa Odori is a summer festival dance that is held in Tokushima. It is very popular throughout Japan, and in fact we saw cars with license plates from as far away as Tokyo, here to observe the dance festival.

 The Owa Dori dates back 400 years, and is part of the Obon, "festival of the dead". This is part of Japan's Buddhist heritage, and the belief that during this time of the year their ancestors can come back to visit.  
 The four day festival consists of 100,000 dancers and is the largest dance festival in Japan, drawing over one million spectators.
 The groups of performers, called ren, consist of dancers and musicians, typically playing the lute, drums, flute and bell.
People of all ages join in the dancing...
 ...from children... seniors...
At certain intervals, the spectators are encouraged to join the dancing and travel the dance route with the performers.

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