Awa Odori – Japan’s Largest Dance Festival

When I learned that Japan Fair will feature Awa Odori this year, I had two reasons to be excited about.

First, of course, because Awa Odori Festival is claimed to be the largest dance festival in Japan.  Awa Odori is a traditional Japanese dance that started in 1586 in Tokushima Prefecture.  When Tokushima Prefecture hosts Awa Odori in August every year, more than 1.3 million people come to enjoy this fun dancing festival.

The second reason is more personal.

Both my father and mother were born and raised in Tokushima.  As a kid, I spent every summer with my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, and almost a dozen of my cousins in a farm in Tokushima.   And every summer, that rhythm, that playful phrase, and that energetic movement had poured upon us kids, like a magic moment.

I didn’t sign up for the dancing contest, because I didn’t find 7 other people to join me as a group.  But, hell, who knows how I would react once I hear that music.  The lyric of the song goes like this: The dancers are fools, so are watchers.  Both are fools, then why not dance?

Will I see you as a watching fool or a dancing fool?

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