Credits to Research Team SyaSya
Prefecture this week: Tokoshima – Shikoku
Tokoshima prefecture – Shikoku (Awa Dance festival)
Hi everyone, Today I would like to talk about a dance festival that I saw in an anime. The anime I am mentioning is called Golden Time. At first, I thought it was all fictitious because most of the time, anime is fiction. This is one of the scenes I saw in the show.
After further research, it turns out that this festival is called Awa dance festival(Awa Odori). Awa Odori is the largest dance festival , attracting over 1.3 million tourists every year. It is held from 12 to 15 August as part of the Obon festival.
Groups of choreographed dancers and musicians known as Ren (連) dance through the streets, typically accompanied by the shamisen lute, taiko drums, shinobue flute and the kane bell. Performers wear traditional obon dance costumes, and chant and sing as they parade through the streets: Example of a Ren below.
An amigasa is a straw hat shaped like a folded circular disc or a half-moon, worn so that the crease runs from front to back, dipping forward to partially cover the dancer’s face. It is typically worn, along with a yukata and geta wooden clogs, for onna odori, which is the female dancing style of Awa Odori dance.
During the daytime a restrained dance called Nagashi is performed, but at night the dancers switch to a frenzied dance called Zomeki. As suggested by the lyrics of the chant, spectators are often encouraged to join the dance.
Men and women dance in different styles. For the men’s dance: right foot and right arm forward, touch the ground with toes, then step with right foot crossing over left leg. This is then repeated with the left leg and arm. Whilst doing this, the hands draw triangles in the air with a flick of the wrists, starting at different points. Men dance in a low crouch with knees pointing outwards and arms held above the shoulders.
The women’s dance uses the same basic steps, although the posture is quite different. The restrictive kimono allows only the smallest of steps forward but a crisp kick behind, and the hand gestures are more restrained and graceful, reaching up towards the sky. Women usually dance in tight formation, poised on the ends of their geta sandals.
Children and adolescents of both sexes usually dance the men’s dance. In recent years, it has become more common to see adult women, especially those in their 20’s, dancing the men’s style of dance.
Before I end, if you go to Japan, shikoku in tokoshima prefecture and see this festival. Even if you have two left feet, don’t hesitate to join. Just remember this chant:
|踊る阿呆に||Odoru ahou ni||The dancers are fools|
|見る阿呆||Miru ahou||The watchers are fools|
|同じ阿呆なら||Onaji ahou nara||Both are fools alike so|
|踊らな損、損||Odorana son, son||Why not dance?|
video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pimugZ_TthY