Dance English children 2007 Awa Odori in Kagurazaka. 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. Awa is the old feudal administration name for Tokushima Prefecture, and odori means dance. Awa Odori’s independent existence as a huge, citywide dance party is popularly believed to have begun in 1586 when Lord Hachisuka Iemasa, the daimyō of Awa Province hosted a drunken celebration of the opening of Tokushima Castle. This version of events is supported by the lyrics of the first verse of “Awa Yoshikono Bushi”, a local version of a popular folk song which praises Hachisuka Iemasa for giving the people Awa Odori and is quoted in the majority of tourist brochures and websites. The bon-odori may be danced for only three days. Samurai are forbidden to attend the public celebration. They may dance on their own premises but must keep the gates shut.
No quarrels, arguments or other misbehaviour are allowed. The dancing of bon-odori is prohibited in all temple grounds. This suggests that by the 17th century, Awa’s bon-odori was a well established as a major event, lasting well over three days—long enough to be a major disruption to the normal functioning of the city. Tokushima’s indigo trade, which had financed the festival, collapsed due to imports of cheaper chemical dyes. The song associated with Awa Odori is called Awa Yoshikono and is a localised version of the Edo period popular song Yoshikono Bushi. Parts of it are sung, and others are chanted. The song is usually sung at a point in the parade where the dancers can stop and perform a stationary dance — for example a street intersection or in front of the ticketed, amplified stands which are set up at points around the city.
The dancers also chant hayashi kotoba call and response patterns such as “Yattosa, yattosa”, “Hayaccha yaccha”, “Erai yaccha, erai yaccha”, and “Yoi, yoi, yoi, yoi”. These calls have no semantic meaning but help to encourage the dancers. During the daytime a restrained dance called Nagashi is performed, but at night the dancers switch to a frenzied dance called Zomeki. As suggested by the lyrics of the chant, spectators are often encouraged to join the dance. Men and women dance in different styles.