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CSRAwa Dance and Otsuka Ren

The Otsuka Ren, featuring over 100 employees from Otsuka Pharmaceutical, is continuing the 400-year tradition of the Awa Odori (Awa Dance), part of our connection with the Tokushima area that is home to our company.

The traditional Awa folk dance features teams of dancers (ren) who perform for crowds. Every year, Otsuka Pharmaceutical enters the corporate Otsuka Ren in the Awa Dance Festival that takes place in Tokushima City on August 12. Led by a lantern bearer, the 100-strong Otsuka Ren draws on Otsuka Pharmaceutical employees of all stripes, from new hires to officers, performing in sub-groups wearing traditional Japanese happi coats or groups of men or women, accompanied by the sound of the Japanese bell, flute, shamisen, and taiko drums.

To prepare for the main event, employees from offices in Tokushima, Osaka, and Tokyo practice for long hours under experienced direction, honing their dance routines and playing their instruments. The performers are screened before being given the go-ahead to perform at the festival. On the morning of the festival, the performers—who until then have been practicing separately in different parts of the country—gather in Tokushima for their first and only joint practice before the main event.

Coordinating their formations, the Ren finally comes together as one through the contributions of dancers, musical accompaniment, and support staff. The performers— drawn from different parts of Otsuka Pharmaceutical—gain a great sense of accomplishment from coming together as one to perform to the applause of crowds. As a corporation that has its roots in Tokushima, Otsuka Pharmaceutical is proud to carry on the tradition of the Awa Dance.

The Otsuka Ren is also seeking new challenges and growth, performing at other venues in and outside of Japan and by incorporating new dance formations. We are dedicated to doing our part to perpetuating the Japanese and Tokushima tradition of the Awa Dance.