Bon Odori


Hello, this is Koto Kyoto,
the Tokyo Olympic Games celebrated its closing ceremony yesterday.
It was controversial but we think we made a lot of dramas and we got a lot of power.
A dance called “Bon Odori” was performed at such a closing ceremony. Did you see it?

As the name suggests, “Bon Odori” is a dance that is performed during the “Obon” (like Halloween).
By the way, the Obon generally refers to 13th to 16th August. It is a religious event that started as a memorial dance to welcome the spirits of the ancestors who returned to Obon, and it is a dance that anyone can participate in and to give a memorial service to their ancestors.

There are three major Bon Odori dances in Japan; Awa Odori, Nishimonai Bon Odori, and Gujo Odori, especially Tokushima’s “Awa Odori” is famous as the largest Bon Odori dance in Japan with national recognition, and they dance in a slightly different way depending on the region.


The origin of Awa Odori is the Edo period 400 years ago.
It is a very lively dance where various teams compete for dance and teams suddenly start dancing all over the town.
You can experience it not only during the festival but also at the Awa Odori Hall in Tokushima.


GujoOdori is an event held in Gujo Hachiman Town, Gifu Prefecture, and it is a popular festival that continues to dance all night from 13th to 16th August and is visited by about 250,000 people in four days.

Nishimonai Odori is a Bon Odori dance with a history of more than 700 years, held in Ugo-Cho, Ogachi-gun, Akita Prefecture, and is designated as an important intangible folk cultural property of the country.

And all of them are very fun events.

If you will come to Japan in the summer, please let’s try to see them!


*I borrowed all the photo.