The dance that drove Samurais nuts! Let’s dance! The 400-year-old Tokushima’s “Awa Dance Festival”
Fun to watch, great to dance! The “Awa Dance Festival” from Tokushima!
“Awa Dance Festival” is one of the three phenomenal bon dance festivals in Japan very well-known for its million tourists every year.
Dancing along with its unique rhythm so called “Muteki no Nibyo-shi (The double time like no other)”, the whole street is overflowed with men’s unique dance by lowering down their hips, and the ladies’ dance with elegant kimonos and umbrellas- it is a breath-taking scale.
“Which one of the fool are you, watching the dance or attracting those watching with your dance? If you are nothing but a fool, don’t miss dancing!”- as the saying goes, it’s fun to watch and dancing would be even more fun.
Source: Laura Tomàs Avellana
The “Awa Dance Festival” with over 400 years of its history has intrigued the “samurais” back in the old days. The dance dates back to the Edo era was dedicated to ordinary people. For “samurais” who were in the upper class were not preferred to join the festival. Nevertheless it was irresistible for some of them and they even hop in the crowd disguising as an ordinary people. This is one of the photos for proof. They wrapped a cloth over the head to hide their topknot, which was the symbol of the samurais. This style of the costume still exists to date and called “Hokkamuri”.
Some of our recent participants to the festival tend to appear in such outfit intentionally, and it is getting more and more popular.
It’s not just about watching, but anybody can hop in the “Awa Dance Festival”.
Its greatest feature of all is to welcome anybody to join the festival. Even a tourist showing up out of nowhere, can just join “Niwaka-ren” (a group for instant dancers) and march along in front of other tourists showing off his/her talent as an Awa dancer! For those of you who feel “Just watching is not enough, let me hop in!”, your door is open for “Niwaka-ren” and enjoy your best Japanese summer ever!
Tokushima’s Awa Dance Festival