Akira Yonezawa
Head of the Creative Dance Company Takarabune Akira Yonezawa was born in Tokushima city, Tokushima Prefecture in 1949. He grew up surrounded by authentic Awa Odori. His great-grandfather Jusaburo Ichikawa was a leading figure in Kansai Kabuki and played an important role in development and promotion of Awa Odori: Ichikawa trained Hayashi Koroo, who coined the name "Awa Odori", and also promoted Awa Odori among the Japanese geisha world. Guided by his great-grandfather's path, he has been studying the history of Awa Odori to attain deep understanding of this important cultural heritage. In 1995, he founded the Creative Dance Company Takarabune.