“Based on a folk-dance tradition going back some 400 years in the Awa region of Tokushima Prefecture on the island of Shikoku, Tokyo’s Koenji Awa-Odori celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2016.
The dance groups, or ‘rens’, comprise a ‘hayashi’ band and dancers divided into women’s, men’s, and children’s sections, although women often join in the ‘men’s’ dance as well. There are basically five hayashi instruments: the small ‘kane’ gong that sets the rhythm, flute, shamisen, and large ‘odaiko’ and smaller ‘shimedaiko’ drums.
The Koenji Awa-Odori takes place on the last weekend in August. Most of the groups come from around the Koenji area of west Tokyo, but they also come from all over the Kanto Plain, and there are even participants from Tokyo’s foreign community.
Here at the Furusato Matsuri Tokyo you will see members from different groups in the Koenji Awa-Odori Promotion Association performing together. Enjoy the energy of the Awa-Odori.”