Aug 202010
 



 
The awa odori matsuri are very popular dance festivals in summertime Japan. These events are connected to the yearly obon festivities, so they a pretty much a family get-together with fun and games for the whole family. Large groups of costumed dancers march through the crowded streets dancing a deliberately silly dance, chanting songs and playing Japanese music instruments like shinobue or portable taiko drums.

The largest awa odori in Tokyo is in Kōenji in Suginami-ku, but many other neighborhoods have their own festival, because it is a popular summer pasttime and so much fun for everyone (and it’s good for business). So this weekend was a local awa odori in Shimo-Kitazawa of Setagaya-ku ward. Compared to the one in Kōenji it was a much smaller event with less dancers and less spectators. Then again, the area is also much smaller and has very narrow alleys so it was still pretty crowded. About one dozen different dance groups performed at various spots around the train station and gave me the opportunity for some low light photography.

A young girl in a traditional yukata dancing through the commercial neighborhood of Shimokita.
A young girl in a traditional yukata dancing through the commercial neighborhood of Shimokita.
Every dance and music group had their distinctively colored costume.
Every dance and music group had their distinctively colored costume.
The women dance in their summer kimonos.
The women dance in their summer kimonos.
A group of female dancers rests while the men perform a special dance.
A group of female dancers rests while the men perform a special dance.
Two girls of a dance group  sporting elaborate red costumes for the awa odori.
Two girls of a dance group sporting elaborate red costumes for the awa odori.
A young girl with her mother on her way home at the Shimokita crossing after the awa odori.
A young girl with her mother on her way home at the Shimokita crossing after the awa odori.
 Posted by at 23:28

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