These photos are of the Oshu Kanatsu-Ryu Shishi-Odori Rengokai (Oshu Kanatsu style deer dance joint association) performing in Maidstone on the 7th September 2012. Shishi-Odori, or deer dance, is a popular folk performing art in the Tohuku region of Japan.
The performance expresses respect towards nature, but is also a way of praying for ancestors' souls. The dancers here were performing in Maidstone, before heading to the Thames Festival in London later in the week.
They were presented by the Japan Foundation London (www.jpf.org.uk/). The Japan Foundation London works to deepen knowledge about Japan and encourage mutual understanding between the UK and Japan through their programmes in Arts and Culture, Japanese Language Education and Japanese Studies & Intellectual Exchange.
Maidstone has cultural links with Japan through its Japanese art collection, which is one of the UK's best collections from the Japanese Edo period (1600-1868)