Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Iwaki Odori

Come August and most of Iwaki is excited about the Odori . It appears that this is the only thing on the mind of everyone around you. The Odori is the highlight of the Summer festivals of Iwaki .

The Iwaki Odori is an annual dancing event that takes place in Taira’s main street just outside the Iwaki Station. Usually this is held on the first Sunday of August. This year it was on the third and last day of the Taira Tanabata festival. It is a colourful event with the participating teams dressed in team costumes and representing various things in the city. There is a high stage from where singers and musicians perform live. It is held from around 6 pm to 9 pm and the pattern is dancing for 20 minutes followed by a 10 minute break. This year over 100 teams participated . In all ,about 15000 to 20000 people danced this year. The groups represented companies, bars and restaurants, senior citizen groups, kids groups, hair salons etc. The theme is clear – everyone wants to have fun. It is no competition. Not everyone who participates knows their steps but the music and the spirit is infectious. Even the spectators cant resist shaking their hips or tapping their feet. A few of our friends were dancing and my husband and daughter joined in the dancing.

Few groups were dressed as Hawaiian Hula dancers, few in kimonos and yukatas, few in trousers and shirts, few with masks and so on.

One of the groups had an interesting theme, the men dressed as women with wigs and accessories too whereas the women dressed as men.

I cant wait to see the Odori again next year. The Odori is not the only one with several other Odoris happening in town in August. Most towns in Japan have such Odori’s with each town having their own speciality. These Odoris are held in August and if you happen to be in Japan in Summer then it would be a good opportunity to enjoy or better even to participate in one.  

Venue: Taira –  Just outside the Iwaki Station.
Time: First Sunday of August  from 6 pm to 9 pm

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