Souls of Ancestors welcomed in Tokushima (August 12-15)

To welcome the souls of the ancestors, traditional dances and music are performed during the Awa Odori Festival In Tokushima (Japan).

The event takes place every year from August 12 to August 15 and is part of the Bon season running from July to August.

According to the Japan National Tourist Organization "the dance dates back to 1587 when the feudal lord Hachisuka Iemasa (1558-1638), in celebration of newly-built Tokushima Castle, offered sake to the people of the castle town; the citizens became so drunk they started to dance in an unsteady gait. Awa is the former name of Tokushima."

The following words are sung throughout the Festival: 'It's a fool who dances and a fool who watches! If both are fools, you might as well have fun dancing!`

Men and women dance in separate groups.

The dancer with a paper lantern (on the picture) is expressing power according to the Tokushima city site where I found it.

Tokushima calls itself a 'water living city' for the many rivers (main one being the Yoshino) that cross it and the proximity to the sea.

A popular outdoors activity in the area is Ayu Fishing where the bait is...another fish...

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