Awa Dance: Obon Festival with 100,000 Dancers *RERUN
The Awa Odori dance is the highlight of the 4-day Obon Festival of the Dead in Tokushima Prefecture, Shikoku, in August each year. About 100,000 people join in the dancing and 1.3 million come to watch this most popular of all Bon dances in Japan. The dance's original purpose, of course, is to honor the souls of the dead, but it has also developed as a thrilling affirmation of the joys of life, and both the costumes and music are highly distinctive. We remember back to the people who started dancing again in the post-war ruins in the cotton kimonos of summer that had somehow survived the flames, meet a woman who has elevated the dance into the realm of art, and also youngsters dancing for the first time this year. The video images capture the full festive passion.