Awa Odori is one of the largest dance festivals in Japan. It is held from August 12th to 15th and is part of the Japanese Buddhist Obon Festival, a custom to honour the spirits of one’s ancestors.
Awa is the old name for Tokushima, Shikoku, and Odori means dance. Endearingly, Awa Odori is also known as the “Fool’s Dance”! This because of the lyrics to the accompanying song, called Awa Yoshikono, which refer to both the dancers and the spectators as fools.
In August a couple of years ago, we learnt about Awa Odori and the Fool’s Dance.
[Video audio: The Fool’s Dance song with laughter and key Japanese calls from the participants.]