Tokushima Prefecture’s famous Awa Odori dance festival kicked off in the streets of Tokushima City on Monday night. More than 1 million people are expected to visit during the four-day event which is one of Japan's most famous summer dance festivals.
Awa Odori, which originates from a Japanese Buddhist custom of honoring the spirits of ancestors, features groups of dancers and musicians, parading through the streets to the sound of traditional music instruments such as lutes, drums, flutes and bells. Sporting kimono-like costumes with hair bands or straw hats, they chant in chorus and dance in synchronized routines.
Last year, more than one million people, including participants and spectators, took part in the festival, according to organizers. The number this year is expected to be about the same, although an approaching tropical storm, which is expected to bring rain to the area on Thursday, may disrupt the last day’s events.© Japan Today/AFP