Nearly 400 visitors, public attend Awaodori Festival

Despite the constant downpour, Japanese cultural performances were in full throttle last Saturday with the staging of the 7th Saipan Awaodori Festival.

With nearly 400 visitors, community members, and family members of the Saipan Awaodori dancers, everyone was intent on experiencing traditional dances from Japan.

The festival kicked off with the Saipan Awaodori team and the Tokyo Tensuiren performing at the Fiesta Resort and Spa hallway at 5pm. The dancers then made their way to the road fronting Fiesta and did a street performance in front of the Kinpachi Restaurant.

The Shugen Daiko group then took their turn on the spotlight with with huge drums and gongs that literally made the entire Pase reverberate. It was the group’s first time to visit and perform on Saipan. Despite the loud drums, one community member told Saipan Tribune he found the performance peaceful and that he was enthralled by their performance.

Hiroyoshi Adachi, the Agon Shu Buddhist Association senior staff and person-in-charge of the religious group performers, said they also visited Saipan to conduct a ceremony at a Japanese peace memorial.

Adachi said it was their first time ever here on Saipan. He said the rest of the group couldn’t join them because of the weather and their busy schedules.

“We enjoy Saipan and we like the hospitality here. It is a little different experience to have your people cheer for our team of performers. I am grateful to the sponsors that made us join the performances,” Adachi said.

The Shugen performance ended after 30 minutes. The festival then featured CNMI Domatsuri, Tokyo Tensuiren, and Saipan Awaodori team dances until 9pm.

A small party was later held in front of Kinpachi and awards were presented to Awaodori members and Tensuiren members.

According to Pacific Development Inc. director Gordon Marciano, all vendors at the Paseo de Marianas were told beforehand of the festival and they already gave permission. A restaurant situated near the stage did complain about the loud music but that did not put a damper on the festival’s energy level.

Jayson Camacho | Reporter
Jayson Camacho covers community events, tourism, and general news coverages. Contact him at

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