Awa Dance originates in Tokushima Prefecture in Shikoku, but is now performed in many locations throughout the country. Some local businessmen, who were from Tokushima Prefecture and lived in Minami-koshigaya Town, proposed to hold Awa Dance Festival in their town in the late Showa period. The 1st Minami-koshigaya Awa Dance Festival was then held in 1985 with 1,000 dancers and 3,000 spectators.
It is held for three days in August every year. Now 5,000 dancers including the dancing troupes from Tokushima Prefectures join the parade. And the town receives as many as 500,000 spectators. It became the biggest summer event of the town and is now counted as one of Japan’s three largest Awa Dance festivals, together with the one in Tokushima and another in Koenji in Tokyo.
There are many types of dances including Nagashi (dance parade) to the music of up-tempo Ohayashi, Kumi-odori (pair dance) and Butai-odori (stage dance). You can fully enjoy yourself by only spectating the parade of dancers dancing with cheerful calls of “Ya-to-se!” However, you may find yourself swinging your body to the rhythms as the song goes “You're a fool to dance and a fool to watch, so you may as well dance, ha ha!”