Gojyahei at KITTE – Tokushima Awaodori
Although as a dance form, Awaodori has a 400 year long history it was not properly formalized until the first half of the last century and one of the first teams to form that still exists today is the legendary Gojyahei, which formed in 1946. This team is active in the main Awaodori festival down in the southern Tokushima prefecture and when it performs there it can field about 300 dancers and musicians in one go. Here in Tokyo we very rarely get to see teams that are that large or with that kind of fame so naturally I made sure to visit one of their very few guest appearances in Tokyo, at the KITTE in front of Tokyo Station in the Marunouchi district. The performance was absolutely flawless, as can be expected, and much too short for my liking. Even the Tokushima prefecture maskot (Sudachikun すだちくん, after the Tokushima citrus fruit the sudachi) made an appearance and showed remarkable dancing skills for such a plump figure!
The event was part of a promotional campaign for Tokushima prefecture, with performances at the massive Furusato Matsuri in Tokyo Dome as well as several performances by Tokushima teams and local Tokyo teams at Haneda Airpot. I have still never visited Tokushima prefecture, but one day I hope to gather enough courage to do so. In my mind Tokushima prefecture is the most attractive and fantastic of all Japanese prefectures, maybe I am afraid to be disappointed!