Awa Odori

Various places in Tokushima


Various places in Tokushima prefecture
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From 9th to late August


Tokushima city Tourism Association

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Tokushima city Tourism Association


"Awa Odori (Awa dance)" is a kind of "Bon Odori" originated in Tokushima prefecture, and has a history of 400 years. "Bon" is an annual Buddhist event in summer and it is believed that souls of ancestors return to their home during this period. Awa Odori festivals are held at various places in the prefecture, and among them the one in Tokushima city is the biggest. A hundred of thousands of the dancers parade the streets, and entire city is involved in the Awa Odori dance.

Awa Odori dancers are divided into groups called "Ren". There is no fixed style in Awa Odori, and every group has their own dances, performed to a two-beat light rhythm of a music called "Zomeki Bayashi" accompanied with drum, "Kane" (a kind of gong), "Shamisen"(a three-stringed instrument), bamboo flute and so on.
The variety of the dances is also an attractive point. For example, "Yakko Odori" has an intense move which imitate a kite dancing in a violent wind.

If you would like to join the dance, you can get into "Niwaka Ren" which is prepared for unofficial participants. You can participate in the festival after taking short dance lessons by the masters of famous "Ren" groups.