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.241 viewsいろは連
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Koenji Awa Odori, Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連158 views
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Crowd at JR Koenji Station on Awa Odori night.154 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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Koenji Awa Odori, Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連154 views
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The troupe can consist of children (as young as age 2 or 3), women, and men.138 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124 views
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Koenji has many shopping arcades and side streets teeming with eateries.124 views
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Tokyo Aoi-ren 東京葵連123 views
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The dancers hop on one leg.121 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...115 views
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Tokyo Aoi-ren 東京葵連114 views
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JR Koenji Station and Awa Odori sign.114 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.112 views
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The dancers wear a light kimono and half-moon straw hats.109 views
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天翔連109 views
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The parade route centers on JR Koenji Station. There are wide and narrow portions of the route.107 viewsIf it rains, they may stop the festival early.
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美遊ひよこ連107 views
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天翔連107 views
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Tokyo Aoi-ren 東京葵連107 views
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天翔連105 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連104 views
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Tokyo Aoi-ren 東京葵連100 views
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The dance troupe typically has subgroups of children, women, men, and musicians. Suiko-ren 吹鼓連99 views吹鼓連
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99 views美遊ひよこ連
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Budo-ren 富道連98 views富道連
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Tengu-ren 天狗連97 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96 views
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Silver-ren 志留波阿連96 views
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美遊ひよこ連95 views
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天翔連95 views
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Tengu-ren 天狗連95 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.94 views花の木連
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94 views美遊ひよこ連
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Bikkuri-ren びっくり連92 views
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Silver-ren 志留波阿連92 views
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Hyottoko-ren ひょっとこ連92 views
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These pictures show over 40 dance troupes which I photographed in 2004 and 2005. Budo-ren 富道連91 views富道連
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Tatsuno Otoshiko-ren たつのおとし子連91 views
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F.I.A.-ren えふあいえい連90 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連90 views
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One trademark of the dancers is the crescent-shaped straw hats.88 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.88 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連88 views
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Maicho-ren 舞蝶連88 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連88 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87 views
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Tokushima and Tokyo have the most number of Awa Odori troupes with 40 to 50 each.86 viewsEdokko-ren 江戸っ子連
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Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連86 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連86 views
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The men look more like the "fools."85 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85 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85 views
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Kokesaku-ren 苔作連84 views
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天翔連84 views
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Each dance troupe starts with a lantern bearer showing the name of the troupe.83 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83 views
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83 viewsEdokko-ren 江戸っ子連
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Maicho-ren 舞蝶連83 views
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Maicho-ren 舞蝶連83 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連83 views
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天翔連83 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.82 views
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Midori-ren 美踊連82 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連82 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.82 views
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Musashi Minami-ren むさし南連81 views
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The dancers also let out a yell as they dance. Hana-no-ki-ren 花の木連80 views
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Maicho-ren 舞蝶連80 views
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Silver-ren 志留波阿連80 views
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78 viewsMidori-ren 美踊連
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きたまちじゃじゃ馬連78 views
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Many of the troupe names have pretty meanings such as Maicho-ren which means "Dancing Butterfly." 舞蝶連78 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.78 views
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Kimagu-ren きまぐ連77 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連77 views
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Taiko drummers jamming. Tensui-ren 天水連77 views
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Asuka-ren 飛鳥連76 views
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Kimagu-ren きまぐ連75 views
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F.I.A.-ren えふあいえい連75 views
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Goraku-ren 伍楽連75 views
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Tatsuno Otoshiko-ren たつのおとし子連74 views
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Suzaku-ren 朱雀連74 views
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Hyottoko-ren ひょっとこ連74 views
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Tengu-ren 天狗連74 views
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Sometimes you see a gaijin participant. F.I.A.-ren えふあいえい連73 views
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Mitaka-ren みたか連73 views
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Midori-ren 美踊連72 views
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Goraku-ren 伍楽連72 views
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Damudan-ren だむだん連72 views
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Sazanka-ren 杉並区役所さざんか連72 views
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Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連71 views
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Damudan-ren だむだん連71 views
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Hyottoko-ren ひょっとこ連71 views
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きたまちじゃじゃ馬連70 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連70 views
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Mitaka-ren みたか連69 views
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Musashi Minami-ren むさし南連69 views
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Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連68 views
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Sazanka-ren 杉並区役所さざんか連67 views
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A few troupes are company-sponsored and take on the company's name like this one, a construction company.66 viewsThere is even the Microsoft-ren. (Not pictured here.)
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66 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連66 views
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騒連中66 views
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Suzaku-ren 朱雀連66 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連66 views
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Sharaku-ren 写楽連65 views
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Sharaku-ren 写楽連65 views
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Yurikamome-ren ゆりかもめ連65 views
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Damudan-ren だむだん連65 views
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Tensui-ren 天水連65 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連65 views
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Edo Kabuki-ren 江戸歌舞伎連65 views
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Musashi Minami-ren むさし南連64 views
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Damudan-ren だむだん連64 views
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Koganei Sakura-ren 小金井さくら連64 views
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From the Suginami Ward Office, Sazanka-ren 杉並区役所さざんか連64 views
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Edo Kabuki-ren 江戸歌舞伎連64 views
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Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連63 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連63 views
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Ageo Koiki-ren (from Saitama) あげお小粋連63 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連63 views
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Asuka-ren 飛鳥連63 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連63 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連63 views
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Musashi Minami-ren むさし南連62 views
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騒連中62 views
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Sharaku-ren 写楽連61 views
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成増チルド連61 views
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Mitaka-ren みたか連60 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60 views
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Asuka-ren 飛鳥連60 views
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Edo Kabuki-ren 江戸歌舞伎連60 views
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59 viewsSharaku-ren 写楽連
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Koganei Sakura-ren 小金井さくら連59 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連59 views
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粋輦連58 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連58 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連58 views
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56 views
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Sazanka-ren 杉並区役所さざんか連56 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連55 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連53 views
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成増チルド連52 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連49 views
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粋輦連48 views
000s-koenjiawaodori.youtube
My video of Koenji Awa Odori 2009 Part 2/3 - Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連11 views
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