Friday, August 12, 2005

Photos of Awa Odori in Tokushima, Japan

Here are a few pictures of the Awa Odori festival now going on in Tokushima, Japan. (The text is in Japanese, but the photos are self-explanatory.)

"Awa Odori" (阿波踊り) literally means "Awa Dance," "Awa" being the old name for the Tokushima region. This festival is held every year as part of the celebrations of Obon, one of the most important Japanese holidays of the year. The holiday began as a Buddhist ceremony to honor the spirits of deceased ancestors, but, being one of the few holidays in old Japan when most Japanese were excused from work and school, it gradually evolved into a long holiday weekend for family reunions.

Obon is celebrated at different times of the year in different parts of Japan. In Aso, where Mellow Monk gets its tea, the Obon celebration is going on this weekend.

—Mellow Monk

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