Every year, Japan is filled with summer festivals which consists of wearing traditional yukatas, food, fireworks, and celebrations. Around this time of the year is the Awa Odori Dance Festival, one of the largest and famous annual dance festivals.
Awa Odori Dance Festival is held between August 12th-15th in Tokushima, Japan, part of the Obon season. The festival is held all day and night but the main attraction is the ‘Fool Dance’, or ‘Dance of the Fools’, which takes place between 8:00 p.m and 11:00 p.m. The dance is followed by a common phrase that translates to “Fools dance and fools watch/ if both are fools/ you might as well dance” and is said to welcome back the spirit of the dead for returning home.
The dance is performed by performers called ‘ren’, consisting of male and female dancers, and includes live traditonal Japanese musical instruments. The male dancer perform with Tabi socks whereas female dancers perform with Geta sandals to show elegance. Children and adolescents also participate in the performance, performing the male dance.
If you are in Japan around this time of the year, be sure to check out this current hot attraction and join in the festival. But get there early, there will be millions of people there who are also trying to be there too!
Written by: Jamie Yang