Tokyo Diaries – Obon Odori

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Damn, it’s hot.

If it’s 35 degrees with 70% humidity, what else would anyone do but go outside and dance?  Here’s a few pic pics and videos from a couple of Obon Odori matsuri – the first in Ebisu (I did) and the second in my village of Kagurazaka (I didn’t), where I also took some festival footage last year.  The Obon dance is certainly a part of Japan’t rich cultural heritage, but there’s something perverse about going out and line dancing in this weather.  And there are nods to modernity – somehow I suspect they weren’t gettin’ jiggy to the strains of the Anpanman theme in the Edo Period, but it does get the kids involved

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  1. m

    So you did dance? Were the moves easy to follow along? XD

  2. e

    Eeeh :D. Sooo… am I missing something in your phrasing or did you dance (mental image:
    [once-upon-a-time mentioned] yukata, paper fan in one hand [I hope you had a fan to survive the temp] and camera in the other) in Ebisu braving the atsui in spite of our Western tendency to sweat miserably? If so then much respect.
    And thanks for the pics and video as usual of course. The kids' clothes in the first pictures feature a lovely borderline candy colours palette and the way that goes with the lanterns… put a smile on one's face. And the ojisan in the yellow yukata+dark violet bandana dancing in the third and last shot looks like one perky fellow.

  3. Yes – I did, then I didn't. No yukata though.

    Even the locals sweat when they're dancing like that. And anyone who rides the subway every day in Tokyo will tell you it's a myth Japanese don't sweat. Maybe not as much as gaijins from Euromerica, but they sweat.

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