Photo of the day: Koenji Awa-Odori

Photos by Kunihiro Miki

Photo of the day: Koenji Awa-Odori

More than 30 dance groups (ren) piled out on to the streets of Koenji over the two days of the annual Awa-Odori last weekend. Always one of Tokyo's most energetic festivals, this one is a local adaptation of the awa-odori ('awa dance') tradition, which can be traced back to Tokushima in Shikoku, where the story goes that the local daimyo plied his citizens with booze to celebrate the completion of the local castle in 1586, leading to a citywide outbreak of dancing in the streets. Whatever the accuracy of that tale, the enthusiasm was contagious, and Koenji has been holding a dance of its own since 1957. Although the weather wasn't the best this time, that did nothing to douse the spirits of the dancers – as our snapshots testify below.

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