Most viewed - Koenji Awa Odori Dance 高円寺阿波おどり
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These days, they have 10,000 dancers from 70 dance groups and over 1 million spectators. Also see the video at YouTube.244 viewsいろは連
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Koenji Awa Odori, Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連161 views
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Koenji Awa Odori, Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連157 views
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Crowd at JR Koenji Station on Awa Odori night.156 viewsThe Koenji Awa Odori is basically a parade of dancers. Many groups of dancers from various parts of Japan participate in the parade that follows the main shopping streets near Koenji Station on the Japan Railways Chuo Line in Tokyo.
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The troupe can consist of children (as young as age 2 or 3), women, and men.140 viewsThe Awa Odori originated 400 years ago in Tokushima Prefecture (in Shikoku) where it is one of Japan's most famous festivals. Although it is not as large as the one in Tokushima, the Koenji Awa Odori in Tokyo has become a major summer festival in Tokyo.
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Tokyo Aoi-ren 東京葵連126 views
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Koenji has many shopping arcades and side streets teeming with eateries.126 views
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Tokyo Aoi-ren 東京葵連125 views
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The dancers hop on one leg.123 viewsSo what is Tokushima's Awa Odori doing in Koenji, Tokyo? It was first organized by a youth group of Koenji's retail merchants in 1957. They wanted to hold an event to attract more shoppers to the area. Neighboring town Asagaya had already started the Tanabata Festival in 1954. The Tanabata Matsuri, of course, is from up north in Sendai, Miyagi Pref. So the Koenji folks decided to transplant a southern festival to Koenji. That was the Awa Odori.
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After it's over...117 views
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Tokyo Aoi-ren 東京葵連116 views
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JR Koenji Station and Awa Odori sign.116 views
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The Koenji Awa Odori has become a major summer festival in Tokyo. It had a humble beginning in 1957 when it was originally called the Koenji Baka Odori. "Baka" means fool.114 views
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The dancers wear a light kimono and half-moon straw hats.111 views
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天翔連111 views
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The parade route centers on JR Koenji Station. There are wide and narrow portions of the route.109 viewsIf it rains, they may stop the festival early.
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美遊ひよこ連109 views
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天翔連109 views
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Tokyo Aoi-ren 東京葵連109 views
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天翔連107 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連106 views
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Tokyo Aoi-ren 東京葵連102 views
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The dance troupe typically has subgroups of children, women, men, and musicians. Suiko-ren 吹鼓連101 views吹鼓連
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101 views美遊ひよこ連
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Budo-ren 富道連100 views富道連
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Tengu-ren 天狗連100 views
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The dance troupes come from in and out of town. A few from Tokushima as well as Kanagawa, Chiba, Shizuoka, and other prefectures. Edokko-ren 江戸っ子連98 views
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Silver-ren 志留波阿連98 views
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美遊ひよこ連97 views
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天翔連97 views
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Tengu-ren 天狗連97 views
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Other dancers might also wear a simpler outfit of short pants and happi coat. Swinging around a fan is also common.96 views花の木連
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96 views美遊ひよこ連
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Bikkuri-ren びっくり連94 views
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Silver-ren 志留波阿連94 views
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Hyottoko-ren ひょっとこ連94 views
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These pictures show over 40 dance troupes which I photographed in 2004 and 2005. Budo-ren 富道連93 views富道連
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Tatsuno Otoshiko-ren たつのおとし子連93 views
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F.I.A.-ren えふあいえい連92 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連92 views
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One trademark of the dancers is the crescent-shaped straw hats.90 views
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Musicians always bring up the rear of the dance troupe. Taiko drums, flutes, and shamisen. The Awa Odori has a distinct rhythm and beat. It really makes you want to get up and dance.90 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連90 views
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Maicho-ren 舞蝶連90 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連90 views
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Shamisen player who knows how to smile for my camera. Koganei Sakura-ren 小金井さくら連89 views
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Tokushima and Tokyo have the most number of Awa Odori troupes with 40 to 50 each.88 viewsEdokko-ren 江戸っ子連
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Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連88 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連88 views
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The men look more like the "fools."87 views
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The first Koenji Awa Odori in 1957 had only 57 dancers and about 2,000 spectators. Iroha-ren いろは連87 viewsThere are now about 30 to 40 Awa Odori parades held in Tokyo alone, usually in shopping areas. The one in Koenji is the largest in Tokyo.
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Each dance troupe is called a "ren." This is the Suiko-ren. 吹鼓連87 views
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Kokesaku-ren 苔作連86 views
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天翔連86 views
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Each dance troupe starts with a lantern bearer showing the name of the troupe.85 viewsThe dance is quite simple. While bobbing up and down, the dancer holds her hands above the head and shakes the fingers. This hand gesture indicates that the person has gone crazy. It is therefore nicknamed the "fool's dance." The dance is held on the last weekend in August.
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Kokesaku-ren 苔作連85 views
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85 viewsEdokko-ren 江戸っ子連
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Maicho-ren 舞蝶連85 views
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Maicho-ren 舞蝶連85 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連85 views
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天翔連85 views
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It is most crowded along the large avenues. The crowd is several rows deep. Those in the front are expected to sit down.84 views
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Midori-ren 美踊連84 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連84 views
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The Aoi Shin-ren is from Koenji and one of the largest Awa Odori troupes. They are great performers and one of my favorites.84 views
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Musashi Minami-ren むさし南連83 views
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The dancers also let out a yell as they dance. Hana-no-ki-ren 花の木連82 views
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Maicho-ren 舞蝶連82 views
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Silver-ren 志留波阿連82 views
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80 viewsMidori-ren 美踊連
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きたまちじゃじゃ馬連80 views
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Many of the troupe names have pretty meanings such as Maicho-ren which means "Dancing Butterfly." 舞蝶連80 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.80 views
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Kimagu-ren きまぐ連79 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連79 views
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Taiko drummers jamming. Tensui-ren 天水連79 views
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Asuka-ren 飛鳥連78 views
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Kimagu-ren きまぐ連77 views
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F.I.A.-ren えふあいえい連77 views
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Goraku-ren 伍楽連77 views
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Tatsuno Otoshiko-ren たつのおとし子連76 views
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Suzaku-ren 朱雀連76 views
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Hyottoko-ren ひょっとこ連76 views
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Tengu-ren 天狗連76 views
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Sometimes you see a gaijin participant. F.I.A.-ren えふあいえい連75 views
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Mitaka-ren みたか連75 views
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Midori-ren 美踊連74 views
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Goraku-ren 伍楽連74 views
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Damudan-ren だむだん連74 views
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Sazanka-ren 杉並区役所さざんか連74 views
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Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連73 views
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Damudan-ren だむだん連73 views
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Hyottoko-ren ひょっとこ連73 views
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きたまちじゃじゃ馬連72 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連72 views
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Mitaka-ren みたか連71 views
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Musashi Minami-ren むさし南連71 views
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Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連70 views
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Sazanka-ren 杉並区役所さざんか連69 views
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A few troupes are company-sponsored and take on the company's name like this one, a construction company.68 viewsThere is even the Microsoft-ren. (Not pictured here.)
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68 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連68 views
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騒連中68 views
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Suzaku-ren 朱雀連68 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連68 views
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Sharaku-ren 写楽連67 views
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Sharaku-ren 写楽連67 views
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Yurikamome-ren ゆりかもめ連67 views
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Damudan-ren だむだん連67 views
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Tensui-ren 天水連67 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連67 views
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Edo Kabuki-ren 江戸歌舞伎連67 views
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Musashi Minami-ren むさし南連66 views
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Damudan-ren だむだん連66 views
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Koganei Sakura-ren 小金井さくら連66 views
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From the Suginami Ward Office, Sazanka-ren 杉並区役所さざんか連66 views
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Edo Kabuki-ren 江戸歌舞伎連66 views
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Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連65 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連65 views
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Ageo Koiki-ren (from Saitama) あげお小粋連65 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連65 views
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Asuka-ren 飛鳥連65 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連65 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連65 views
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Musashi Minami-ren むさし南連64 views
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騒連中64 views
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Sharaku-ren 写楽連63 views
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成増チルド連63 views
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Mitaka-ren みたか連62 views
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Koganei is a city in Tokyo with a park famous for sakura cherry blossoms. Koganei Sakura-ren 小金井さくら連62 views
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Asuka-ren 飛鳥連62 views
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Edo Kabuki-ren 江戸歌舞伎連62 views
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61 viewsSharaku-ren 写楽連
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Koganei Sakura-ren 小金井さくら連61 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連61 views
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粋輦連60 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連60 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連60 views
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58 views
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Sazanka-ren 杉並区役所さざんか連58 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連57 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連55 views
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成増チルド連54 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連51 views
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粋輦連50 views
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My video of Koenji Awa Odori 2009 Part 2/3 - Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連13 views
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