Tokyobling's Blog

More Kusunokiren – Public Officials Dancing

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on October 14, 2011

There’s something very endearing in the idea that public officials would don costumes, rehears for months and months and then join festival, even outside their own communities, to entertain the public, on their free time! Here’s more photos of the Awaodori team Kusunokiren that I blogged about yesterday. This is taken from the mid-to-end section of their performance in which the male dancers are doing a particularly stupid looking routine, failing completely at imitating the beautiful dance moments earlier by the ladies. This is done on purpose of course, it’s comedy in the form of dance, and in typical Japanese fashion is done earnestly and orderly. There’s a few teams out there that does this particular routine and I love it every time I see it. The whole idea of Awaodori is that it’s supposed to be funny. It’s basically an image of how serious court dancing would look if performed by drunken town people having a laugh. In the whole world I have never seen anything like it, which is why I can’t stop blogging about it!


11 Responses

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  1. Coal said, on October 14, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Interesting take on how it’s supposed to be funny. I would simplify that by chopping off the last too letters. It’s supposed to be fun. Fun to do, fun to watch, and if it ain’t fun, it ain’t no good. Fun of course can be taken in many ways; funny, elegant, cool, aggressive etc. My personal take on it though is that given its history, the dance is really about the good people of Tokushima taking a stand year after year and proclaiming “we will not be oppressed!” It’s very closely woven into the area’s history and culture. Even as recently as this year, when lots of angry armchair generals were demanding that all the festivals be cancelled nationwide out of respect for those in the North, Tokushima (while, I like to imagine, adjusting their respective neckties) were like “I think we’re fine as we are thank you.”


  2. Emma Reese said, on October 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    How very Japanese-like to act super silly with the at most precision and vigorous practice! I agree with you; the combination of government workers and Awaodori is so unique.


    • tokyobling said, on October 16, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      Haha… yes, very Japanese indeed! (^-^)


  3. D... said, on October 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I love that these officials don’t have to take themselves too seriously. I think if everyone took time to relax and be silly we’d all be better off.


    • tokyobling said, on October 17, 2011 at 12:23 am

      Yes, more dancing and less unnecessary pride! (^-^)


  4. Jim Kyle said, on October 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    At least they are dancing and not rioting. Well done for them. Good costumes also. Jim


    • tokyobling said, on October 17, 2011 at 12:26 am

      Thanks Jim! Yes, I agree! (^-^)


  5. Irina Kolak said, on October 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Love the passion of it.


    • tokyobling said, on October 17, 2011 at 12:30 am

      Me too! I wish all officials the world over were like these!


  6. Timi said, on October 16, 2011 at 8:19 am

    They are pretty lively and funny 😀 Aren’t they cold, or the weather is still good there?


    • tokyobling said, on October 17, 2011 at 12:33 am

      Japanese are very tough to cold…! And it’s still summer here, almost. Like a European summer perhaps. In a couple of weeks it will be autumn here in Tokyo though. I heard that the first snow fell last week in Hokkaido, but I have never been there…


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