Tokyobling's Blog

Awaodori Rock Stars – Shinoburen

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on August 15, 2013

I don’t know about your country, but just sometimes even amateur folk dance troupes get the rock star treatment! It happened at the end of the Awaodori festival in Tokyo’s Shimokitzawa district last weekend, the Shinoburen from Koenji performed their set piece on barely enough ground to walk on, let alone dance. There were just so many people crowded around to catch the set. People cheered, clapped and shouted encouragement to the dancers as they braved near record levels of heat to entertain us. It must be great to be the center of all that love and energy! If you have ever seen an Awaodori street performance like this you will know what I mean when I say that I was enjoying the buzz from an Awodori high! Granted, Shinoburen is one of the bigger and more famous teams in Tokyo, but I dare say they have some of the most dedicated fans! I really can’t wait for the huge Koenji festival in Tokyo at the end of this month. Just a few more days to go…!

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Shimokitazawa Awaodori – Shinoburen

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on August 12, 2013

This weekend we saw some of the highest temperatures we have seen in Tokyo for many years. At least I can’t remember any weekend that has been hotter than this. Other parts of Japan were hotter! Walking outside in these temperatures is like walking into a wall of heat. The air inside your clothes is cooler than the air outside so you can actually feel the heat as you walk around. And then when the heat reaches your skin the sweat starts running…! All in all, not the best conditions for a two hour dance parade! Still, the annual and fantastic Awaodori festival in Tokyo’s Shimokitazawa town took place as usual, with several teams braving the heat to perform the traditional dance and music from the southern Tokushima prefecture. The heat had drained the energy levels of several participants but still they did fantastically, especially the famous Shinoburen (忍連), whom I have blogged about before here and here. These guys are really dedicated. If you visit the huge Awaodori festival in Koenji at the end of this month you might be lucky enough to see them perform!

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More Shinoburen – Shimokitazawa Awaodori

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on September 11, 2012

More pictures of the wonderful Shinoburen (しのぶ連 or 忍連) at last months Shimokitazawa Awaodori festival in Tokyo’s Setagaya ward. Can’t get enough of this group and their superbly timed dancing. They really work hard to make the most use of the long stretch of road in their dances with some more intricate maneuvers. Enjoy!












Shinoburen – Shimokitazawa

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on September 9, 2012

At the annual Awaodori festival in Shimokitazawa the Shinoburen (しのぶ連 or 忍連) did a great performance as usual. For some reason I always end up with pretty decent shots of this group’s performance. They have some excellent drummers and a wide range of talented dancers and I guess they are one of the most famous Awaodori groups out of Suginami ward in central Tokyo.I took these with my Nikon D700 and 50mm prime lens combination. More photos to come this week of this excellent group! Enjoy!












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