Awa Odori Festival

The purpose of our visit to Tokushima (徳島) was the Awa Odori Festival (阿波おどり).  Awa is the historical name of the province that is now Tokushima Prefecture and odori means dance.  The Awa Odori Festival got its start in the late 1500s, when the guests at a party held by the feudal lord to celebrate the completion of his Tokushima castle got so drunk they began to dance about all over the place and it became an annual event.

The festival held over obon, a major holiday (think Christmas) in Japan to honor the departed spirits of one’s ancestors. Awa Odori attracts 100,000 dancers and 1.4 million visitors over 4 days. At night, the city is filled with dancers and festival music.  The last day is supposed to be the best, unfortunately we were only able to attend the first 2 days.

Dance groups (ren) perform on the streets of central Tokushima and at a handful of paid grandstands.  Men and women dance in different styles.  A dance group usually consists of a female group, a male group – although the male group is co-ed, and musicans (drums, flutes, samisen, gongs).

Last year, we has a great time at the  Nebuta Festival in Aomori.  The Awaodori Festival is another festival we definitely want to enjoy again – it was a great time.


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2 Responses to Awa Odori Festival

  1. 妻ですが says:

    The purpose of our visit to Tokushima (徳島) was the Awa Odori Festival (阿波おどり). Awa is the historical name of the province that is now Tokushima Prefecture and odori means dance. The Awa Odori Festival got its start in the late 1500s, when the guests at a party held by the feudal lord to celebrate the completion of his Tokushima castle got so drunk they began to dance about all over the place and it became an annual event.

    徳島には阿波踊りを見に行きました。阿波とは今の徳島県の昔の呼び名で、踊りとはダンスと言う意味です。(ははは、そりゃそうだ。)阿波踊りは1500年の終わりごろ始まって、徳島城の完成を祝う領主が行った祝いの席で、客たちが酔っ払ってあちらこちらで踊りだしそれが年中行事になりました。(じゃあ、うちはいつも年中行事をしないといけない。あと阿波踊りの発祥は諸説あってこれはそのひとつだね。)

    The festival held over obon, a major holiday (think Christmas) in Japan to honor the departed spirits of one’s ancestors. Awa Odori attracts 100,000 dancers and 1.4 million visitors over 4 days. At night, the city is filled with dancers and festival music. The last day is supposed to be the best, unfortunately we were only able to attend the first 2 days.

    お祭りはお盆の頃にあって、お盆と言うのは(まあ、クリスマスみたいなもん。ってそれはちょっと違うよねー。)日本では祖先の霊を祭る祝日です。阿波踊りには4日間にわたって10万の踊り子と140万の観光客でにぎわいます。夜には街は踊り子と音楽で溢れます。最後の日が一番盛り上がるとのことですが、残念なことにわれわれは最初の2日を楽しみました。(って宿も取れなくて毎晩高松から電車で通ったのよ。)

    Dance groups (ren) perform on the streets of central Tokushima and at a handful of paid grandstands. Men and women dance in different styles. A dance group usually consists of a female group, a male group – although the male group is co-ed, and musicans (drums, flutes, samisen, gongs).

    踊り子のグループ(連)は徳島の中央の通りといくつかの有料観覧席で踊ります。男踊りと女踊りがあって、連はふつう、女連、男連、と鳴り物(太鼓、笛、三味線、鉦)で成り立ちます。

    Last year, we has a great time at the Nebuta Festival in Aomori. The Awaodori Festival is another festival we definitely want to enjoy again – it was a great time.

    去年は青森のねぶた祭りがとても楽しかった。阿波踊りはまた絶対に行きたいお祭りのひとつになりました。(うーん、次はどこのお祭りにいこうかなあ。あたしはなまはげに会いに男鹿半島にも行きたい。)

    (いやー、楽しかったです。阿波踊り。徳島の町の真ん中の橋の上に立って360度ぐるりと見渡すと、もうどこもかしこも踊ってます。すごいです。にわか連というのにはいって飛び入りで踊りましたがこれまた楽しかったー。すばらしい日本の一日でした。)

  2. Pingback: Tokushima Awa Odori Pt. 1 (徳島阿波踊り) « Pursuing Wabi

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