At the Yoshiwara Gionsai in Shizuoka Prefecture’s Fuji City last month I saw the local firefighters perform their traditional ladder acrobatics. I am sucker for these performances and never miss one if I am in the general area. This ladder team was very talented and it was a pleasure seeing some new faces (for me). They also performed one of the very rare three person acrobatics!
I have blogged a lot about this kind of traditional Japanese culture before, so if you want to read more about this, just use the tags at the end of the post!
At the end of August every year Tokyo prepares for the massive Koenji Awaodori parade and performance. Over 10 000 dancers from all over Japan join in to make this two day event one of the biggest traditional dance festivals in the country. Koenji is not big and the place get absolutely packed as hundreds of thousands of people cram into every available alley and sidewalk to watch the hundreds of teams performing.
Last year I visited on one of the days, and saw dozens of teams, three of which I share here. The Wakakomaren (若駒連) from Tokyo, the Hamamatsuren (浜松連) from Shizuoka Prefecture’s Hamamatsu City, and the Yamagata ‘ndazuren (山形んだず連) obviously from Yamagata prefecture. Although the official homeland of Awaodori is in Shikoku’s Tokushima Prefecture the attraction of this kind of dance is so powerful that it has spread all over the country.
If you are in Tokyo during August 23rd and 24th, don’t miss this big event!