portrait of a dancer
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... the Dance of the Fools or Awa Odori
takes place during the Buddhist observance of O-bon, when the spirits of the dead are thought to return to their ancestral homes.
Way back 1587 when feudal overlord decided to give a party to celebrate the completion of his new castle. The drunken guests began to dance way to the castle. Once they had recovered from their hangovers it was decided to make it an annual event.
It is also said that AWA ODORI may have been the so called elegant dances performed by Geisha from Kyoto to entertain the upper class samurais'
It is clear that the dance has been around for more than 400 years. With both arms in the air, steps follow the rhythm of the music. The ensemble consists of shamisen (a musical instrument similar to a guitar), drums, wooden flutes and gongs.