Tokyobling's Blog

Mitakaren – Kawasaki Awaodori Festival

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on November 19, 2012

I had a good place at this year’s Awaodori Festival in Kawasaki City, in Tokyo’s neighbor Kanagawa Prefecture. I was able to see the first team lining up for their first dance, the Mitakaren (みたか連). A great festival and a great performance from this gorgeous team based in western Tokyo’s Mitaka City (三鷹市). The city and dance team’s name is means three hawks in English, hence the birds and feather symbols on their wonderful uniforms. A lot of photos this time, I hope you don’t mind waiting for the load time!

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15 Responses

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  1. Emma Reese said, on November 19, 2012 at 5:25 am

    The change is almost shocking from the girls quietly waiting for the start of the dance in the 3rd photo to the sudden explosion of the movement in the 4th one! I love that grandpa with so much personality.

    • tokyobling said, on November 19, 2012 at 5:55 am

      Thank you! Yes, they were so tense, the first “pose” photo is actually just as the drummers start picking up the beat, the second before the dancing starts, after this photo she flicks her wrist as a signal to the dancers behind her to fall into the first step, and then it all starts! No matter how often I see Awaodori, I will never stop to love that moment!

  2. Coal said, on November 19, 2012 at 6:27 am

    I do love the hawk design on the ladies’ costumes. Adds a touch of depth. They have a subtle quilted look to them too making them seem much more luxurious.

    • tokyobling said, on November 19, 2012 at 6:32 am

      Yes, absolutely gorgeous! (^-^)

      • Coal said, on November 20, 2012 at 1:12 am

        On the other hand though, I question the wisdom of hanging their ornaments on the left sides of their belts. Conventionally they’re hung on the right. I don’t know the specific history behind this, but I do know that if you have a heavy wooden box hanging from your left hip and you do a quick clockwise turn (most turns are clockwise), the box will follow and smack you somewhere you really don’t want it smacking.

        Picture 3 is quite telling as well. You can see the whiteboard that has everybody’s positions outlined. I always have a whiteboard in my luggage for just that reason. :-)

        • tokyobling said, on November 20, 2012 at 5:00 am

          So maybe me tip off was correct? (^-^) You should write a book about this!

          • Coal said, on November 20, 2012 at 6:10 am

            Now, the old man in 11 and 12 seems to have forgotten his fan today. He’s performing with a Kawasaki Awa Odori promotional fan that they give out for free. :-) The free fans at Hatsudai are much higher quality: bamboo frames, washi paper and spot colours. I know a few people that rehearse with Hatsudai fans…

            A book you say? Not a bad idea actually. There’s very little information available in English.

          • tokyobling said, on November 20, 2012 at 6:55 am

            A book would be great. I have one of those Hatsudai fans right beside me… it must cost them a fortune!

  3. zoomingjapan said, on November 19, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Extremely beautiful photos yet again.
    How often do you get to go to festivals? You seem to have sooooo many festival photos! ^-^

    • tokyobling said, on November 19, 2012 at 7:13 am

      Thank you! I go to ALL the festivals I can find and that fit my crowded schedule. I missed quite a few though…! I wish I could post all my photos, but I try to limit myself to my favorites… (^-^;)

      • zoomingjapan said, on November 19, 2012 at 7:20 am

        Totally know what you mean! ^_^
        On top of that I can’t keep up with posting photos. As soon as I come back from somewhere with new photos, I’m already sitting and planning the next trip again.

        I have been to a few festivals this year that were nearby, but I’d love to see more!

  4. pk1154 said, on November 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    The old dude ROCKS it.

    I love photo #4.

    What a great looking group.

    • tokyobling said, on November 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      Thanks! Yes, they are one of the more varied groups. Love them! I did not post all the ones of the kids’ “special” dance moves… (^-^)

  5. Julie said, on November 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    The old man makes my day! >_<

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