LAST DANCE OF SUMMER
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Awa Dance Festival
The earliest origins of the dance style are found in the Japanese Buddhist priestly dances of Nembutsu-odori and hiji-odori of the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), and also in kumi-odori, a lively harvest dance that was known to last for several days.
The Awa Odori festival grew out of the tradition of the Bon odori which is danced as part of the Obon "Festival of the Dead", a Japanese Buddhist celebration where the spirits of deceased ancestors are said to visit their living relatives for a few days of the year.
Some evidence of the festival's history
1. The bon-odori may be danced for only three days.
2. Samurai are forbidden to attend the public celebration. They may dance on their own premises but must keep the gates shut. No quarrels, arguments or other misbehaviour are allowed.
3. The dancing of bon-odori is prohibited in all temple grounds.
KOENJI AWA ODORI (Aug. 25 to Aug. 26)
Access: The JR Chuo Line to Koenji Sta.