Experience Tokushima City

Experience Tokushima City


Awa Odori (Awa Dance)

The city of Tokushima attracts more than a million visitors from August 12 to 15 for its annual Awa Odori, one of the largest festivals in Japan. Awa is the former name for Tokushima Prefecture and Odori means “dance.” The term Awa Odori can refer both to the festival and the dancing itself. The festival’s roots date back more than 400 years, but the name “Awa Odori” was coined when Tokushima started promoting the event to attract tourists during the prewar Showa era (1926–1945). Dance events take place in various locations throughout the prefecture every summer but the city of Tokushima is the main base. During the festival, the city takes on a carnival-like atmosphere. Troupes of dancers called renparade through the streets, accompanied by musicians playing traditional instruments. The spirit of Awa Odori is perhaps best captured in these words from the popular festival song Awa Yoshikono: “Dancing fools and watching fools! Everyone’s a fool, so why not dance?” Teamwork at Its Finest  While the basic steps of Awa Odori are the same for men and women, they are executed in two distinct styles. The men adopt a low posture with their knees and feet pointing outward when they dance. The women usually perform in tight formation, balancing on the front of their wooden getasandals with their hands held high in the air. Men usually wear happi, a short festival coat, while women dress in colorful kimono and amigasa,a braided straw hat with a distinctive half-moon shape. Children have been participating in Awa Odori since the 1970s, performing at the festival alongside adults. In recent years, some women have taken up the traditional men’s style and costume. Sometroupes feature a dynamic freestyle form known as yakko-odori  (kite dancing),  in which a single male dancer performs acrobatics. Musicians play an important role in Awa Odori. An ensemble of traditional Japanese instruments, collectively called narimono, provides lively music in double-time for the dancing. Narimonomay include bass and rhythm drums, a flute, a shamisen, and a handheld gong that sets the tempo. Around 800 renof varying skill levels perform at the Awa Odori each year. These teams may represent family members, colleagues, or groups of university students. They parade through the streets with one or more members in the lead carrying a bamboo pole with takahari chochin(paper lanterns), which bear the troupe’s name. While professional troupes practice year-round, Awa Odori is a folk dance and open to all. There is even an allocated time when the niwaka-ren(drop-in team) appears and everyone is invited to join in the dancing. Origins of Awa Odori Some researchers suggest that Awa Odori has roots in the nationwide tradition of Bon Odori dancing, which is performed across the country each summer. One story about its origin connects it to celebrations surrounding the completion of Tokushima Castle in 1586. The first lord of Tokushima, Hachisuka Iemasa (1558–1638), is said to have distributed free sake to residents, encouraging them to dance. The custom must have caught on, as later records show that in 1671, the following rules were issued to control the festivities:
  1. Dancing to last three days only.
  2. Samurai not allowed to participate.
  3. Strictly no dancing on temple grounds.
 Modern-Day Awa Odori  Tokushima’s flourishing indigo industry supported the festivities during the Edo period (1603–1868), and throngs of happy dancers depicted in nineteenth-century artwork suggest that Awa Odori was a lively spectacle. However, indigo cultivation began to decline in the early twentieth century with imports of cheaper, synthetic dyes from abroad. Tokushima then turned to tourism as a means of driving interest in the event and the name “Awa Odori” was born. In 1931, the geisha and singer Tada Koyurugi (1907–2008) helped promote Awa Odori with her hit rendition of Awa Yoshikono. No festival was held during the years just before and during World War II, but it resumed in 1946. The Osaka Expo in 1970 enabled the dance to be seen widely by international audiences for the first time. As a result, some troupes even traveled abroad to perform. The Osaka Expo was also the catalyst for changes to the dance itself. Performers at the Expo sought to actively draw their audience into the fun of dancing. In subsequent years, a more sophisticated style of Awa Odori developed, evolving it into the phenomenon that it is today. Visitors to the city of Tokushima can watch performances year-round at the Awa Odori Kaikan (Awa Dance Festival Hall). Four to five shows are staged daily by the resident renand various guest teams. The audience has a chance to join in the dancing at the end, and to view costumes and instruments. After your visit, ride the ropeway from the building’s fifth floor up to the summit of Mt. Bizan, a well-known symbol of the city.

<簡体字> 阿波舞 “阿波舞祭”是日本最大的节庆之一,每年812日至15日在德岛市举行的“阿波舞祭”最有名,规模也最大,每年吸引约130万游客,参与表演的舞者约有10万之众。阿波舞的日文写作“阿波おどり”,“阿波”是德岛县的旧称,“おどり”即“舞蹈”。“阿波おどり”一词既可以指阿波舞祭这个节日,也可以指阿波舞本身。 阿波舞已有400多年历史,但这个名字直到战前的昭和时代(1926-1945)才问世。每年夏天,德岛县各地都会举办舞蹈活动,但最热闹的始终是德岛市。 阿波舞祭期间,整个德岛市中心化身舞蹈的海洋,沉浸在嘉年华般的热闹气氛中。舞蹈表演者以“连”(方阵)为单位,沿着街道边行进边舞蹈,演奏传统乐器的乐师们紧随其后。流行的节日歌曲《阿波よしこの》的歌词道出了阿波舞的精神:“踊る阿呆に見る阿呆同じ阿呆なら踊らにゃ損々”——“跳的也傻,看的也傻,既然都傻,不跳最傻。”

最佳团队合作 虽然阿波舞的男女舞步基本相同,但表现方式却截然不同。男人们身着“法被”(一种在祭祀节日中穿的短褂),放低身体,膝盖和双脚朝外走舞步。女人则通常排列成紧密的方阵,穿着色彩缤纷的浴衣(夏季穿的一种轻便和服),头戴高高的半月形草编斗笠,踩着高跟木屐,双手高举,用脚尖保持平衡。 从20世纪70年代开始,小孩子也加入了阿波舞的行列。近年来,一些女性也会穿着男性传统服装跳男人的舞步。某些舞团会跳一种形式自由而活泼的“奴踊り(Yakko-odori),其中有一名男子负责表演杂技。 乐师在阿波舞中至关重要。他们演奏时用的传统乐器统称为“鳴り物(Narimono),通常由大太鼓(控制低音的大鼓)、缔太鼓(控制节奏的中鼓)、横笛、三味线(日本传统弦乐器,类似三弦)和控制节奏的钲(金属鼓面的打击乐器)组成。乐师合着舞步,奏响双拍子节奏的欢快音乐。 每年大约有800个不同水平的“连”参与阿波舞表演,他们可能是家庭、同事或是大学生团体。舞团在街道上行进时,由一名或多名成员领头,他们举着竹竿,上面挂着印有舞团名字的高悬提灯(纸灯笼)。专业舞团全年都在练习,但阿波舞依然属于民间活动,人人皆可参与。阿波舞祭上甚至特别拨出时间,供观众即兴参与にわか连Niwaka-ren,即兴连),只要身着方便运动的服装,每个人都可以自由参与。如想追求更投入的气氛,也可向主办方租赁印有“にわか连”字样的法被。

阿波舞的由来 有研究人员认为,阿波舞起源于每年夏天在日本全国举行的传统盆舞。而另一种起源说则认为,阿波舞与1586年德岛城建成时的庆典活动相关。据传,当时德岛的第一任藩主蜂须贺家政(1558-1638)向城民免费派发清酒,鼓励人们歌舞欢庆。有记载表明,这种跳舞的习俗在当时已经流行,当地甚至在1671年颁布过控制管理庆祝活动的规范,具体条款包括: 1. 跳舞只能持续三天。 2. 武士不可参加舞蹈。 3. 严禁在寺庙内跳舞。

现代阿波舞 江户时代(1603-1868)在德岛蓬勃发展的蓝染产业支撑着庆典活动,在19世纪的艺术作品中就能发现成群结队的快乐舞者,领略到阿波舞表演的热闹精彩。然而,随着更便宜的合成染料从海外而来,蓼蓝(含靛蓝较多的一种植物)种植在20世纪早期开始减少。德岛转而求诸于旅游业,为提高人们对舞蹈活动的兴趣,“阿波舞”这个名字由此诞生。 1931年,艺伎兼歌手多田小馀绫(1907-2008)通过她的热门歌曲《阿波よしこの》帮助推广了阿波舞。二战前夕及期间,德岛都没有举行过节庆活动,但在1946年就恢复了阿波舞祭。1970年,大阪世博会首次让世界观众认识了这种舞蹈,从那以后,一些团体甚至远赴国外演出。 大阪世博会也是推进阿波舞改良的催化剂。世博会上的表演者们积极地吸引观众一起参加,让他们充分感受舞蹈的乐趣。于是在随后几年,一种更为精致的阿波舞发展起来,逐渐演化为今天的模样。 来访者全年都可以在德岛的阿波舞会馆观看表演。当地“连”和各种嘉宾团队每天轮流上演四五场阿波舞。观众可以在每次表演的最后加入舞蹈,了解相关服饰和乐器。参观结束后,还可以从5楼乘坐索道直达德岛市地标眉山的山顶。

<繁体字> 阿波舞 「阿波舞祭」是日本最大的節慶之一,每年812日至15日在德島市舉行的「阿波舞祭」最有名規模也最大,每年可吸引約130萬遊客,參與表演的舞者約有10萬人之多。阿波舞的日文寫作「阿波おどり」,「阿波」是德島縣的舊稱,「おどり」即「舞蹈」。「阿波おどり」一詞既可以指阿波舞祭這個節日,也可以指阿波舞本身。 阿波舞已有400多年歷史,但這個名字直到戰前的昭和時代(1926-1945)才問世。每年夏天德島縣各地都會舉辦舞蹈活動,但最熱鬧的始終是德島市。 阿波舞祭期間,整個德島市中心化身舞蹈的海洋,沉浸在嘉年華般的熱鬧氣氛中。舞蹈表演以「連」(方陣)為單位,沿著街道邊行進邊舞蹈,演奏傳統樂器的樂師們緊隨其後。流行的祭典歌曲《阿波よしこの》的歌詞道出了阿波舞的精神:「踊る阿呆に見る阿呆同じ阿呆なら踊らにゃ損々」——「跳的也傻,看的也傻,既然都傻,不跳最傻。」

最佳團隊合作 雖然阿波舞的男女舞步基本相同,但表現方式卻截然不同。男人們身著「法被」(一種在祭祀節日中穿的短褂),放低身體、膝蓋和雙腳朝外走舞步。女人則通常排列成緊密的方陣,穿著色彩繽紛的浴衣(夏日裡穿的一種輕便和服),頭戴高高的半月形草編斗笠,踩著高跟木屐,雙手高舉,用腳尖保持平衡。 1970年代開始,小孩子也加入了阿波舞的行列。近年來,一些女性也會穿著男性傳統服裝跳男人的舞步。某些舞團會跳一種形式自由而活潑的「奴踊り」(Yakko-odori),其中有一名男子負責表演雜技。 樂師在阿波舞中有著重要的作用,演奏時用的傳統樂器統稱為「鳴り物」(Narimono),通常由大太鼓(控制低音的大鼓)、締太鼓(控制節奏的中鼓)、橫笛、三味線(日本傳統弦樂器)和控制節奏的鉦(金属鼓面的打擊樂器)組成。樂師合著舞步奏響雙拍子節奏的歡快音樂。 每年大約有800個不同舞蹈程度的「連」參與阿波舞表演,他們可能是家庭、同事或是大學生團體。舞團在街道上行進時,由一名或多名成員領頭,他們舉著竹竿上面掛著印有舞團名字的高懸提燈(紙燈籠)。專業舞團全年都在練習,但阿波舞依然屬於民間活動,人人皆可參與。阿波舞祭上甚至特別撥出時間,供觀眾即興參與にわか連Niwaka-ren,即興連),只要身著方便運動的服裝,每個人都可以自由參與。如想追求更投入的氣氛,也可向主辦方租賃印有「にわか連」字樣的法被。

阿波舞的由來 有研究人員認為阿波舞起源於每年夏天在日本全國舉行的傳統盆舞。而另一種起源說則認為,阿波舞與1586年德島城建成時的慶典活動相關。據傳當時德島的第一任藩主蜂須賀家政(1558-1638)向城民免費送酒,鼓勵人們歌舞歡慶。有文獻記載這種盆舞習俗在當時非常流行,當地甚至在1671年頒佈過祭典的相關規範,具體條款包括: 1. 跳舞只能持續三天。 2. 武士不可參加舞蹈。 3. 嚴禁在寺廟內跳舞。

現代阿波舞 江戶時代(1603-1868)在德島蓬勃發展的藍染產業支撐著慶典活動,在19世紀的藝術作品中就能發現成群結隊的快樂舞者,領略到阿波舞表演的熱鬧精彩。然而,隨著更便宜的合成染料從海外而來,蓼藍(含靛藍較多的一種植物)栽種在20世紀早期開始減少。德島轉而發展旅遊業來提高人們對舞蹈活動的興趣,「阿波舞」這個名字由此誕生。 1931年,藝妓兼歌手多田小餘綾(1907-2008)透過她的熱門歌曲《阿波よしこの》來推廣阿波舞。二戰前夕及期間德島都沒有舉行過節慶活動,但在1946年就恢復了阿波舞祭。1970年,大阪世博會首次讓世界觀眾欣賞到了這種舞蹈,從那以後,一些劇團甚至遠赴國外演出。 大阪世博會也是推進阿波舞改良的催化劑,世博會上的表演者們想積極地吸引觀眾一同參加,讓他們充分感受阿波舞的樂趣。於是在隨後幾年,一種更為精緻的阿波舞發展起來,逐漸演化為今天的模樣。 遊客全年都可以在德島的阿波舞會館觀看表演,當地「連」和各種嘉賓團隊每天輪流上演四五場阿波舞,觀眾可以在每場表演的最後加入舞蹈,瞭解相關服飾和樂器。參觀結束後,還可以從5樓乘坐纜車直達德島市地標眉山的山頂。

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Awa Jurobe Yashiki Puppet Theater and Museum

This theater and museum complex offers visitors a chance to experience and learn about the unique puppet theater of Tokushima: Awa Ningyo Joruri. A combination of storytelling, music, and puppetry, the art form is a designated Important Cultural Property. Awa is the former name of Tokushima Prefecture, and Ningyo Joruri means puppet theater. Local puppeteer troupes perform once or twice daily at the Awa Jurobe Yashiki Puppet Theater. Visitors can learn more about the puppets, the costumes, and the history of this performing art in the adjoining exhibition room, where they can even try their hand at operating the puppets. The complex stands on the former estate of a village headman named Bando Jurobe (1646–1698), and includes his traditional garden. Roots in Farming Communities Tokushima’s puppetry shares roots with Japan’s mainstream puppet theater, Bunraku. However, as Awa Ningyo Joruri was often performed on outdoor stages, its puppets tend to be larger so that they may be viewed more easily from a distance. Depending on the age and gender of the character, the puppets can be half to two-thirds life-size. Tokushimapuppets usually have a glossy painted finish, unlike the matte surface of those used in Bunraku. Awa Ningyo Joruri came to the region from Awaji Island, to the north of Tokushima Prefecture. Hachisuka Iemasa (1558–1638), the first lord of Tokushima, enjoyed puppet theater and promoted it widely. However, it was the farming families who truly embraced this art form and made it their own. Inspired by visiting troupes from the island, amateur Tokushima groups were performing on outdoor stages by the second half of the Edo period (1603–1868). These stages were usually located on the grounds of shrines, where puppet theater was performed as an offering to the gods. Today, around 80 outdoor stages are still maintained in Tokushima Prefecture. Over time, puppet theater spread throughout the entire prefecture, benefitting from Tokushima’s flourishing indigo industry and its wealthy merchants, who became the art’s patrons. Tokushima also developed a reputation for its skilled puppet makers, who supplied both the professional troupes of Awaji Island as well as the local amateurs. Puppet theater remained very popular locally, even after other forms of entertainment, such as movies and modern theater, took over in big cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Eventually, though, the spread of those forms of entertainment from the 1930s, coupled with the escalation of World War II in the 1940s, led to a decline in audiences. Most of the troupes in Tokushima disbanded around this time. Puppet theater made a comeback in the second half of the twentieth century when it was introduced into school curriculums and the younger generation started taking an interest in it. Today, in addition to the daily showings at the Awa Jurobe Yashiki Puppet Theater, outdoor performances are staged regularly. Around 40 puppet makers remain active in Tokushima, crafting puppet heads for troupes all over Japan. Performances Are a Team Effort  A team of three people operates each lead character in Awa Ningyo Joruri. The chief puppeteer is responsible for the head and the right hand and arm, while the other two control the puppet’s legs and left hand and arm. The mechanisms are designed to allow  for natural expressions and realistic movements. Puppets can open and close their mouths, raise and lower their eyebrows, and move their hands to make a wide range of gestures. Currently, there are 70 different heads, representing both male and female characters with a diverse range of ages, personalities, and roles in society. In size, a head may measure as much as 18 centimeters in length. Wigs are typically fashioned of human or yak hair. Puppeteers typically dress entirely in black for the performances, so that they are less noticeable on stage. The chief operator needs to stand higher than the other two, so he or she wears raised wooden clogs, the soles of which are made of straw to absorb sound. Awa Ningyo Joruri performances also feature a narrator and a musician who plays the three-stringed shamisen. Facing the audience from the right side of the stage, the narrator conveys the emotions of each character, and may even dramatically laugh or cry as the story demands. A copy of the script sits on top of a heavy wooden stand in front of the narrator. The shamisen player commits the entire performance to memory and sets the appropriate mood as the play progresses. An Enduring Family Drama One of the most famous Awa Ningyo Joruri plays is Keisei Awa no Naruto (The Tragedy of Naruto), which the playwright Chikamatsu Hanji (1725–1783) adapted from Yugiri Awa no Naruto (Yugiri and the Awa Whirlpool) by the dramatist Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653–1725).  First performed in Osaka in 1768, the work originally consisted of ten acts, but it is mainly the eighth that is performed today. This is divided into two parts, “The Scene of the Pilgrim Song” and “The Scene at Jurobe’s House.” Both follow the subplot of a family of three—Jurobe, his wife Oyumi, and their young daughter, Otsuru. It is the first scene, known for its touching interaction between mother and daughter, that audiences will usually see at the Awa Jurobe Yashiki Puppet Theater. English versions of the script are provided.



































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Tokushima Castle Museum and the Omotegoten Garden

  Tokushima’s rich history and culture are showcased at this museum located in Tokushima Central Park on the former castle site. Visitors can learn about the lives and influence of the prefecture’s onetime lords, the Hachisuka family. The museum also provides insight into how such features of local culture as the Awa Odori (Awa dance) and the indigo industry fit into the overall history of the Shikoku region. Although Tokushima Castle no longer stands, the extensive Omotegoten Garden remains. It is located next to the museum and can easily be viewed in the same visit. Hachisuka Iemasa (1558–1638) completed the castle’s construction in 1586, following his appointment as the first lord of Tokushima. It was torn down in 1875, like many other castles during the early years of the Meiji era (1868–1912), when such structures were viewed as relics of Japan’s feudal past. Today, the stone walls are all that remain. The Tokushima Castle Museum opened in 1992 on the same site. Its design reflects the traditional style of residential architecture, as it would have looked during the Edo period (1603–1868) when it was home to the Hachisuka family. Exhibits show their cultured and multifaceted lives, with artifacts such as armor, swords, and kimono. The family also appreciated art, and the collection includes some fine examples of paintings and decorated screens. The museum displays historic maps and diagrams, giving a detailed look at life in Tokushima when it was a thriving castle town. Life-sized models of homes and shops depict the lives of the common people. A section on naval history includes the Senzan Maru, a whaling ship for the exclusive use of the Hachisuka lord in the late Edo period. Historians believe it is the only vessel of its kind in existence. Senzan Maruis designated a National Important Cultural Property. Outside the museum, visitors can explore the Omotegoten Garden, formerly the front garden of the castle. It features such traditional elements as a landscaped pond and a karesansuirock garden. The warlord Ueda Soko (1563–1650), who studied under the legendary tea master Sen no Rikyu (1522–1591), oversaw construction of these grounds around 1600. Today the garden is a designated Place of Scenic Beauty. A number of bridges crisscross the garden, including one that is 10.5 meters in length and made from a single unfinished piece of green chlorite schist stone. Visitors can stroll the garden freely. Children will enjoy exploring the garden’s hidden charms and spotting the fish, turtles, and birds that make their home in and around the pond.















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This landmark mountain is a major symbol of Tokushima. Its name translates as “Eyebrow Mountain,” which describes its outline when seen from a distance. On a clear day, the summit commands an almost 360-degree view encompassing the Sanuki Mountains, Awaji Island, and the Kii Channel. You will also see Shikoku’s second longest river, the 194-kilometer Yoshino. The slopes and summit are covered in cherry trees, making Mt. Bizan one of the city’s most popular spots for blossom-viewing each spring. After dark, the mountain offers a panorama touted as one of Japan’s top 100 night views. The Bizan Ropeway offers easy access to the 277-meter observatory from the fifth floor of the Awa Odori Kaikan (Awa Dance Festival Hall). The journey to the observatory takes six minutes.

<簡体字> 眉山 这座山峰是德岛的一个重要标志。“眉山”的名字来源于它的轮廓——无论站在哪个方向看去,山形都宛如弯曲的眉毛。天气晴朗时,眉山顶上拥有近乎360度的全景视野,赞岐山脉、淡路岛和纪伊水道尽在眼前,长达194公里的四国第二长河吉野川的全貌也一览无余。夜幕降临之后,从山顶俯瞰的全景还被选入日本夜景100强。 眉山的山坡和山顶遍布樱花树,因此也成为了每年春天德岛市最受欢迎的赏樱胜地之一。在阿波舞会馆5楼乘坐眉山索道,全程只需6分钟,就能到达277米高处的观景台。此外,千万别错过眉山最有名的点心“瀑布烧饼”,甜味清淡的豆沙包裹在印着菊花纹样的烧饼里,香气十足,满是怀旧的味道,很适合登高望远时品尝。

<繁体字> 眉山 這座標誌性山峰是德島最主要的象徵,「眉山」的名字源於外形——無論站在哪個方向看去,山形都宛如同彎曲的眉毛。天氣晴朗時,眉山頂上擁有幾乎360度的全景視野,讚岐山脈、淡路島和紀伊水道盡在眼前,長達194公里的四國第二長河吉野川的全貌也一覽無餘。夜幕降臨後,從山頂俯瞰的全景還被選入日本百大夜景。 眉山的山坡和山頂遍佈櫻花樹,成為每年春天德島市最受歡迎的賞櫻勝地之一,在阿波舞會館5樓乘坐眉山纜車,全程只需6分鐘,就能到達海拔277公尺的觀景台。此外,別錯過眉山最有名的點心「瀧之烤麻糬」,甜味清淡的豆沙包裹在印著菊花紋樣的烤麻糬裡,香氣十足,滿是懷舊的味道,很適合登高望遠時品嘗。

This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency.
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