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One of Japan's grandest festivals, the Tokushima Awa Odori is a summer dance performed in central Tokushima city. Numerous dance troupes called "ren" appear in a long parade along the city's main streets for four evenings in mid-Aug. About 2 million people see it during the four days it is held. It is like a bon dance to greet the souls of the deceased returning to visit. There are other Awa Odori festivals in Japan, but the one in Tokushima is the original and largest one. "Awa" is the former feudal name of Tokushima. Photo: Entrance to one of the spectator areas called "embujo" (admission charged). 藍場浜演舞場
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Spectator seats. Admission is 1,000 to 2,000 yen.
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Tokushima Airport
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Crowds already line Tokushima's main street soon to be closed to traffic.
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Tokushima Station
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These photos were taken in Aug. 1999.
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In front of Tokushima Station
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Pre-festival warm-up performance.
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This was in front of a dept. store near Tokushima Station.
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Shinmachi-bashi road in front of Tokushima Station 新町橋通りIt was Awa Odori time.
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Sculpture of Awa Odori dancers on mailbox
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They performed in the afternoon.
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Sculpture of Awa Odori dancers
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Tokushima's Awa Odori originated in 1587 to mark the completion of Izan Castle in Tokushima (formerly called Awa Province). The castle lord allowed the people to celebrate and they danced the night away.
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Rear view of a dancer
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Sculpture of Awa Odori dancer
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Tokushima Awa Odori dancer
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Sculpture of Awa Odori dancer
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Condensed mirror of Awa Odori dancerAibahama Park in the distance.
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Awa Odori Kaikan museumHappi coats worn by Awa Odori dance troupes.
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Free Awa odori lessons.
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Awa Odori Kaikan museumAwa Odori publicity posters.
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Lining up for the non-reserved spectator seats.
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Bizan Ropeway 眉山ロープウェイ
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The Awa Odori begins before dark.
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Bizan Ropeway眉山ロープウェイ
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View of Tokushima city from Bizan眉山
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All spectator seats were taken.
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View of Tokushima city from Bizan眉山
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Tokushima Castle museum 徳島城博物館徳島城博物館
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Actress Fujita Tomoko heads one dance troupe.
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The festival usually features a celebrity or two. This is actress Fujita Tomoko at the Tokushima Awa Odori.
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My compact camera lens had a flare/halation problem.
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Finally found a seat closer to the road.
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Really hard taking pictures with a small compact camera with no telephoto zoom.
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Tokushima Awa Odori dancer
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Tokushima Awa Odori is also called the "Fool's Dance"
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Tokushima Awa Odori
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Flute player
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Tokushima Awa Odori dancer
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End of the course
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In front of my hotel after the festival ended.This group continued dancing late into the night.
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