An energetic midsummer dance festival called Awa Odori has begun in Tokushima City, western Japan.
The festival, traditionally held at the hottest time of the year, is known for its participants' dynamic dancing and enthusiastic playing of the shamisen and Japanese flutes.
After an opening ribbon-cutting by a governor and the city's mayor, many dancing groups went to 8 dancing sites.
Citizens and tourists applauded as male dancers moved wildly and female dancers elegantly to a rhythm called zomeki.
The four-day festival is expected to attract more than 1.4 million people, 5 times the city's population, through Sunday.