Asakusa is the first thing that comes to mind when Japanese are asked about “the downtown area of Tokyo”. However, do you know that the festival of Samba is held in Asakusa where the image of “Edo Shitamachi Jocho” (Traditional working-class neighborhood Emotion) is strong? Introducing Asakusa Samba Carnival, a hot festival that will end the summer of Asakusa.
Asakusa Samba Carnival is a gorgeous event where you can perform a carnival by dancing samba, a Brazilian dance. Wear a gorgeous samba costume and dance with the original festival float.
Asakusa Samba Carnival is the largest festival in Asakusa where 500,000 people visit. At the Asakusa Sanja Matsuri Festival and at the Tokyo Marathon, so many spectators will not visit. It is only Sumida River fireworks display that Asakusa is crowded so far.
Since it began in 1981, it has been supported by Asakusa who loves the bustle and has become famous as one of the biggest events in Asakusa. The “Asakusa Samba Carnival” is held on the last Saturday of August every year.
This “Asakusa Samba Carnival” is actually a contest. Each team is striving to model the carnival of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and divide into leagues to play seriously.
One of the highlights of Asakusa Samba Carnival is its luxurious costumes. Each team decides their own parade theme. Parade costumes are an important way to express themes, so it’s no surprise that they have large feather decorations and hats. In the “S1 League”, the top league of the contest, it seems that the costumes (Fantasia) to be worn may be ordered from Brazil.
In addition, the highly exposed female costumes are impressive, but only a few dancers wear such costumes. In addition to costumes, dance also expresses themes, so check out the costumes of the majority of dancers. The color balance and design sense of costumes are also evaluated in the contest, so let’s enjoy watching the whole team.
The Asakusa Samba Carnival contest is divided into multiple leagues to compete for performance. Judgment standards are set for each league, and higher rankings require higher performance.
There are 6 items to be judged: theme expression, dynamic feeling, costume, performance, dance, and overall evaluation. Since the parade is expressed according to the theme, it can be said that the good or bad is the key to the success or failure of the parade.
For example, the feeling of dynamism is evaluated as “the excitement of the entire team”. In addition, “whether the audience is excited” is also evaluated. So if you cheer from the roadside or wave your hand, the dancer may come closer. The chance of dancing up close is high. The dance is evaluated for its energy and whether it is in tune with the samba. Let the audience enjoy the excitement of the samba.
Introducing access to the nearest station “Asakusa Station”. Aim for Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Line, Tobu Skytree Line, and Tsukuba Express Line.
The parade is worth seeing on the “South side of the Azumabashi intersection” and “Kaminarimon street” just before the finish. At the “South side of the Azumabashi intersection”, you can watch the parade coming from the front. “Kaminarimon-dori” is wide and you can fully enjoy the atmosphere of the parade. In addition, it is important to take a planned place because it is a popular viewing spot.
“Asakusa Samba Carnival” known as the largest samba event in Japan. Dance and performance that is incomparable to Rio’s samba in Brazil will fascinate many people. It is now at a high level that is called “the largest Samba carnival in the Northern Hemisphere.” It is held on the last Saturday in August and is a major event representing Asakusa, where about 5,000 people from about 20 organizations will participate. 500,000 people visit every year, and it is crowded with many people.
“Asakusa Samba Carnival” began in 1981. Asakusa once flourished as a major center of entertainment such as movie theaters and entertainment. However, at that time the boom had left, the city was not lively and it was considered the beginning of the carnival that was carried out in order to regain liveliness to Asakusa.
At the “Asakusa Samba Carnival” held at the time, full-fledged Samba team did not participate as much as now, and many teams different from Samba style participated. Celebrities also served as judge chairman, and the intention of the review chairperson was strongly reflected in the result of the contest. After that, the number of teams gradually adapted to Brazilian home country increased. In 1999, AESA (Asakusa Escola the Samba Association) by escola was launched. Based on the recommendations of AESA, now the judges are chosen by those who are interested in Brazil and samba.
At the beginning the parade was mainly held at night, but for the safety reasons of participants and spectators, it is now held from noon to evening. Therefore, now it is an event that can be enjoyed by elderly people and children.
The Asakusa samba carnival which started in 1981 is the greatest samba carnival contest in Japan. It is held on last Saturday of August and is the event that approximately 500,000 people come every year. The contest of the earnest which is not a mere parade is done in the Asakusa samba carnival. Therefore, highlights are dancers’ full-scale performance and gorgeous clothes.
The quality seems to be the level that is praised highly from home Brazil.
This carnival consists of four, “S1 league”, “S2 league”, “theme samba league”, and “communication league.” So, in “S1 league” and “S2 league”, since ranking is decided by strict examination, a high-level battle is especially under way.
Not only grading by a judge but a spectator along the route can vote for a favorite team by mobile phone.
A musical band which beat out a rhythm bears the important role that can be said also as the center of a samba team.
A musical band is called “Bateria”, uses the sound of a variety of drums, and a musical instrument peculiar to samba, and produces a peculiar rhythm.
Various specialists exist in a samba team. The two-person group consists of Porta-Bandeira (male) and Mestre-Sala (woman) with the flag “Bandeira” is a symbol of a team.
Let’s take notice of splendid performance of “Passista” who is a specialist of a dance, “Malabarista” who shows acrobatics, etc. by all means!
On the day of the parade, Alegría (festival car) of the gorgeous decoration is also the highlight. Let’s enjoy ourselves like the performance of the samba dancer of gay dress!
|Name:||Asakusa Samba Carnival|
|Address:||Asakusa 1-1 Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032 Japan|
|Access:||Tokyo Metro Ginza-sen Line “Asakusa-eki Station” (1 minute walk)|
|Tel:||(+81)3-3847-0038 (Executive Committee of Asakusa Samba Carnival)|