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.276 viewsいろは連
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Koenji Awa Odori, Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連205 views
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Koenji Awa Odori, Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連204 views
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Crowd at JR Koenji Station on Awa Odori night.176 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.160 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145 views
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Koenji has many shopping arcades and side streets teeming with eateries.145 views
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The dancers hop on one leg.143 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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Tokyo Aoi-ren 東京葵連143 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.135 views
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JR Koenji Station and Awa Odori sign.135 views
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After it's over...135 views
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Tokyo Aoi-ren 東京葵連134 views
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The dancers wear a light kimono and half-moon straw hats.130 views
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天翔連130 views
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The parade route centers on JR Koenji Station. There are wide and narrow portions of the route.128 viewsIf it rains, they may stop the festival early.
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天翔連128 views
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Tokyo Aoi-ren 東京葵連127 views
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美遊ひよこ連126 views
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天翔連126 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連125 views
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Tokyo Aoi-ren 東京葵連120 views
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The dance troupe typically has subgroups of children, women, men, and musicians. Suiko-ren 吹鼓連119 views吹鼓連
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119 views美遊ひよこ連
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Tengu-ren 天狗連119 views
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Budo-ren 富道連118 views富道連
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Tengu-ren 天狗連118 views
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美遊ひよこ連116 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116 views
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Silver-ren 志留波阿連116 views
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天翔連116 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.115 views花の木連
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115 views美遊ひよこ連
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Hyottoko-ren ひょっとこ連113 views
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Bikkuri-ren びっくり連112 views
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Silver-ren 志留波阿連112 views
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These pictures show over 40 dance troupes which I photographed in 2004 and 2005. Budo-ren 富道連111 views富道連
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F.I.A.-ren えふあいえい連111 views
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Tatsuno Otoshiko-ren たつのおとし子連111 views
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Maicho-ren 舞蝶連110 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連110 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連110 views
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One trademark of the dancers is the crescent-shaped straw hats.109 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.109 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連109 views
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Tokushima and Tokyo have the most number of Awa Odori troupes with 40 to 50 each.108 viewsEdokko-ren 江戸っ子連
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連108 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108 views
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Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連107 views
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The men look more like the "fools."106 views
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Each dance troupe is called a "ren." This is the Suiko-ren. 吹鼓連106 views
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Kokesaku-ren 苔作連106 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105 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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Maicho-ren 舞蝶連105 views
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Maicho-ren 舞蝶連105 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連105 views
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天翔連105 views
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Each dance troupe starts with a lantern bearer showing the name of the troupe.104 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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Midori-ren 美踊連104 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.104 views
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天翔連104 views
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Kokesaku-ren 苔作連103 views
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103 viewsEdokko-ren 江戸っ子連
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連103 views
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Silver-ren 志留波阿連103 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.102 views
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Many of the troupe names have pretty meanings such as Maicho-ren which means "Dancing Butterfly." 舞蝶連101 views
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Maicho-ren 舞蝶連101 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連101 views
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Musashi Minami-ren むさし南連101 views
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The dancers also let out a yell as they dance. Hana-no-ki-ren 花の木連100 views
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Kimagu-ren きまぐ連99 views
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99 viewsMidori-ren 美踊連
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きたまちじゃじゃ馬連99 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.99 views
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Midori-ren 美踊連98 views
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F.I.A.-ren えふあいえい連98 views
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Taiko drummers jamming. Tensui-ren 天水連98 views
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Kimagu-ren きまぐ連97 views
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Goraku-ren 伍楽連96 views
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Tengu-ren 天狗連96 views
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Asuka-ren 飛鳥連95 views
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Sometimes you see a gaijin participant. F.I.A.-ren えふあいえい連94 views
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Mitaka-ren みたか連94 views
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Goraku-ren 伍楽連94 views
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Tatsuno Otoshiko-ren たつのおとし子連94 views
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Suzaku-ren 朱雀連94 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連94 views
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Hyottoko-ren ひょっとこ連94 views
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Damudan-ren だむだん連93 views
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Hyottoko-ren ひょっとこ連93 views
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Sazanka-ren 杉並区役所さざんか連93 views
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Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連92 views
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Mitaka-ren みたか連91 views
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Damudan-ren だむだん連91 views
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きたまちじゃじゃ馬連90 views
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Musashi Minami-ren むさし南連90 views
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Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連89 views
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騒連中88 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連88 views
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Edo Kabuki-ren 江戸歌舞伎連88 views
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Sazanka-ren 杉並区役所さざんか連88 views
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87 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連87 views
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Suzaku-ren 朱雀連87 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連87 views
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A few troupes are company-sponsored and take on the company's name like this one, a construction company.86 viewsThere is even the Microsoft-ren. (Not pictured here.)
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Sharaku-ren 写楽連86 views
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Yurikamome-ren ゆりかもめ連86 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連86 views
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Edo Kabuki-ren 江戸歌舞伎連86 views
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Sharaku-ren 写楽連85 views
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Musashi Minami-ren むさし南連85 views
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Damudan-ren だむだん連85 views
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Damudan-ren だむだん連85 views
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From the Suginami Ward Office, Sazanka-ren 杉並区役所さざんか連85 views
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Tensui-ren 天水連85 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連85 views
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Aoi Shin-ren 葵新連84 views
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Musashi Minami-ren むさし南連84 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連84 views
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Koganei Sakura-ren 小金井さくら連84 views
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Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連83 views
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Mitaka-ren みたか連83 views
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Ageo Koiki-ren (from Saitama) あげお小粋連83 views
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Asuka-ren 飛鳥連83 views
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成増チルド連83 views
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Sharaku-ren 写楽連82 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連82 views
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騒連中82 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連82 views
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Asuka-ren 飛鳥連81 views
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Edo Kabuki-ren 江戸歌舞伎連81 views
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80 viewsSharaku-ren 写楽連
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粋輦連80 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80 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連80 views
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Koganei Sakura-ren 小金井さくら連79 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連78 views
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Sazanka-ren 杉並区役所さざんか連77 views
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76 views
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Hanamichi-ren 花道連75 views
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成増チルド連74 views
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粋輦連71 views
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Shinobu-ren しのぶ連70 views
000l-koenjiawaodori.youtube
My video of Koenji Awa Odori 2015 第59回高円寺阿波おどり 40連の総集編33 views
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My video of Koenji Awa Odori 2011 Part 2/2 高円寺阿波おどり32 views
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My video of Koenji Awa Odori 2013 Part 3/3 第57回 東京高円寺阿波おどり 総集編31 views
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My video of Koenji Awa Odori 2009 Part 1/3 - Kokesaku 苔作31 views
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My video of Koenji Awa Odori 2009 Part 2/3 - Kikusui-ren 菊水会菊水連31 views
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My video of Koenji Awa Odori 2009 Part 3/3 - Asuka-ren 飛鳥連31 views
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