Tokyobling's Blog

Asakusa Kaminariren – Sakurabashi Hanamatsuri Part 1

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on April 4, 2012

On the first of April I went to see the Sakurabashi Hanamatsuri (桜橋花祭り) in Asakusa’s Sumida Park, right next to Sumida river. I had heard that there would be a couple of Awaodori teams performing so naturally I had to go! I was lucky enough to catch the newly named Asakusa Kaminariren (浅草雷連) with their handsome new uniforms in white, red and purple. It was a wonderfully clear day with a burning sun that made it really difficult to balance the bright light and the shadows of the photographs. Still, I got a few good snaps of this wonderful Awaodori team! The first real, live Awaodori parade of the year for me!


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  1. Coal said, on April 4, 2012 at 4:50 am

    Knew you wouldn’t be able to resist!! Those new outfits are gorgeous aren’t they. I don’t know what the word for it is, but the onna odori are wearing them the same way that Hachisukeren do—draping down below the obi at the front like an apron. It’s an interesting style with a bit of class. Pity one has her obi too low—the ends of the black collar are supposed to be hidden underneath… 😉 Some great pictures and you’ve captured the faces well!


    • tokyobling said, on April 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      Haha… I really had to celebrate the end of that last blasted fiscal year! Yes, I couldn’t put my finger on what was special about their costumes but now that you mention it, there is the apron look there. Whatever it is called, it is amazing. They must be so proud of their new uniforms! Thank you for the kind comment about my photos too!


  2. lilichan06 said, on April 4, 2012 at 7:45 am

    First awadori of the year for you … and for us :yess
    I was impatiently hoping for this!
    New white black and red outfits are really beautiful!
    Everybody seems happy too .. 😀
    Pretty ladies.. I like this sort of straw hats. Do they have a special name??
    Nice pictures as always!


    • tokyobling said, on April 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      Thank you Lilichan! I was smiling even more than them I think…! The hats are the best, they are called Amigasa (編み笠),not to be confused with the very similar torioigasa (鳥追笠),but worn differently, and the amigasa are sharper in the fold as well. These little details are very important to us awaodori fanatics! haha… (^-^;)


  3. Carrie said, on April 4, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Amazing photos. Especially photo five…just perfect!


    • tokyobling said, on April 4, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Thank you Carrie! I was lucky on that one! This area is the most famous tourist area in the whole of Japan and there were a lot of tourists so eager to take photos that it was very difficult to get decent shots of this performance. (^-^;)


  4. Emma Reese said, on April 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Congratulations! The team looks so fresh and happy in the bright sun. How I wish I could have stayed another week and have seen this!


    • tokyobling said, on April 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      Thank you Emma! Yes, you should have stayed a couple of months longer, the festivals start picking up in pace from now on! (^-^)


  5. kes said, on April 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Yay… Pretty awaodori.
    Love those color…. actually I always love the color of the festivals. Its so refreshing and always make you smile.

    Isn’t this the first time we get to see awaodori photos in daylight?


    • tokyobling said, on April 5, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Thank you Kes! You are right, this might be the first time I shoot Awaodori in full on daylight! It felt strange, as for me Awaodori = hot and night, not cold and day! (^-^;)


  6. Timi said, on April 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I can’t find a favourite, the kids are lovely, and the adults has all those looks in their eyes and smiles!


    • tokyobling said, on April 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm

      I think they were also proud to show of the their new uniforms! I would have been! (^-^)


  7. Coal said, on April 19, 2012 at 5:20 am

    Hmmm. Apparently they used to be called “Asakusa Sharakuren”. “Sharakuren” is a different team, a Koenji Association member. How confusing…


  8. ras4 said, on May 17, 2012 at 12:12 am

    I am sooooooooooo glad to find this page showing many beautiful pictures of us “Asakusa Kaminari Ren” awaodori.We have been deeply impressed to look these beautihul pic!! Thank you!
    I am in the 4th pic from the bottom, belonging to” otoko-odori”,and also my husband too, my sons(two little boys) are kodomoodori.
    Yes,we were “Asakusa Sharaku ren” untill last year,and we were a branch of Koenji “Sharaku ren”for ten years. Then, respects to the identity of each ren,we became to be “Asakusa Kaminari ren”.


    • Coal said, on May 17, 2012 at 1:20 am

      Thank you for explaining about the connection to Koenji “Sharakuren”. It’s hard to find information.


    • tokyobling said, on June 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind comment and sorry to reply so late! Your teams is fantastic to watch and I was really good to be able to take these photos. Your boys are great dancers too! I hope to get to see you soon again and please feel free to use these photos in any way you want for yourself or your team! (^-^)/


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