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2006.08.28

高円寺阿波踊り

K1001

友人の夫徳柱くんに誘われ、10年ぶりに高円寺阿波踊りに行ってきた。

今年は、高円寺で阿波踊りが始まって50周年らしい。高校生の頃は、毎年見に行っていたが、なぜ高円寺で阿波踊りなのかはずっと知らなかった。

調べてみると、元は昭和32年、高円寺南口の商店街(今のパルアーケード)に青年部「ボンボン倶楽部」ができた際、「何かやってやろう」ということで始まったらしい。その「何か」が、どうして「阿波踊り」になったのかは、今もって謎とされている。昭和29年に始まった、隣町・阿佐ケ谷の「七夕祭り」(今もある)に対抗したらしいが、それならば「ねぶた祭り」とか「竿灯」あたりをやりそうなものである。

とは言っても、当時は阿波踊りに詳しい人は皆無。お囃子は地元のチンドン屋に頼み、「佐渡おけさ」に合わせて踊ったそうだ。

その踊りを、果たして阿波踊りと呼んで良いものか。さすがに彼らもまずいと思ったらしい。高円寺阿波踊りの公式サイトは、その時の彼らの決断を、簡潔に記している。

「名称は高円寺らしさをと「高円寺ばか踊り」に決まった」

高円寺人の気質は、まさにこの一言に凝縮されていると言って良いだろう。

以来50年。高円寺阿波踊りは幾多の危機を乗り越え、今では東京の新名物としてすっかり定着した。95年に阪神大震災が起きた時には、寒風吹きすさぶ中、いち早く「えらいやっちゃえらいやっちゃ……」と舞い踊って、110万円の義援金を集めたそうである。美談として語られているこのエピソードだが、見方を変えれば、高円寺阿波踊り最大の危機だったような気もする。

それにしても、本場徳島の阿波踊りが、4日間で220万人を動員するのに対し、高円寺阿波踊りは2日間で120万人。 1日当たりの規模では、ある意味本場を超えているとも言える。

高円寺が地元の夫くんたちは、毎年阿波踊りを見に来ているらしく、北口演舞場正面の特等地に陣取っていた。阿波踊り発祥の地とも言える、パルアーケードの前で待ち合わせたが、駅から交通規制が敷かれ、改札から20mほどの待ち合わせ場所に行くまでに、10分以上かかってしまった。

眠いので、後半に続く。

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