Concept

Awa Dance Festival

Summary
The Awa Dance Festival is held from 12 to 15 August as part of the Obon festival in Tokushima Prefecture on Shikoku in Japan. Awa Odori is the largest dance festival in Japan, attracting over 1.3 million tourists every year. Groups of choreographed dancers and musicians known as ren (連) dance through the streets, typically accompanied by the shamisen lute, taiko drums, shinobue flute and the kane bell. Performers wear traditional obon dance costumes, and chant and sing as they parade through the streets. Awa is the old feudal administration name for Tokushima Prefecture, and odori means "dance". History The earliest origins of the dance style are found in the Japanese Buddhist priestly dances of Nembutsu-odori and hiji-odori of the Kamakura period (1185–1333), and also in kumi-odori, a lively harvest dance that was known to last for several days. The Awa Odori festival grew out of the tradition of the Bon Odori which is danced as part of the Bon "Festival of the Dead",
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