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The International Shakuhachi Society

Awa Odori


This is a piece of genre Min'yo from the Min'yo School.

Awa Odori appears on the following albums

Journey of the Wind

Koto Melodies of Japan - Hogaku Yonin no Kai (The Four Players Group)

    In the city of Tokushima on the island of Shikoku, the people have a customary dance that goes on for many days and nights in the summer season. It is called Awa-Odori, and this music based on that dance is not unlike the rhythmical music of a carnival.

Musical Atlas - Japan

    The Bon dances, which are found in all parts of Japan, are also called Urabon. These terms seem to be derived from Sanskrit terms used in ancient India, Ullambana and Avalambana, which refer to a kind of religious festival to welcome the spirits of the dead. In Japan this type of festival is held as a rule around the 15th of June according to the lunar calendar. The style of the festival varies greatly, but it usually provides an occasion for group dances called Bon-odori, i.e. Bon dance. Bon-odori has become gradually enriched with elements of entertainment. The present record shows a typical example of a Bon dance meant for entertainment on a large scale. In Tokushima City on Shikoku Island, an important Bon dance festival takes place for a few days every summer. Groups of dancers from various sectors of the city go through the main streets dancing Awa-odori, accompanied by a Hayashi and singing. The text of the songs always refers to the lord of the country, formerly named Awa, who was the founder of the dance festival. In 1585, when the castle of the lord was completed, the workers danced in joy in his honor. Today this festival has become quite famous and hundreds of thousands of people from other parts of Japan visit the city to see it.

The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018