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Feel Brazil: Asakusa Samba Carnival
Twenty teams will compete for honors in a thrilling annual spectacle set for Aug. 30

By ERIKO ARITA
Staff Writer
Tokyo's Asakusa district, central to the capital's traditional ****amachi (downtown) area, will be filled with Brazilian rhythm on Aug. 30 for the 28th Asakusa Samba Carnival.


Spectators and amateur photographers get excited by the passionate performance of the dancers and musical troupes at the Asakusa Samba Carnival in August 2007. YOSHIAKI MIURA PHOTO
The event, held annually since 1981 on the last Saturday of August, was launched to revitalize the town by an association of local stores, modeling carnivals in Brazil. The festival drew some 500,000 spectators last year, according to the organizer.

The carnival, which runs from 1:30 to 6 p.m., is in contest style, and consists of two leagues. In the lower, or S2 league, nine teams will compete, while 11 teams will vie for honors in the higher S1 league. In total, some 4,700 participants will march while dancing, singing and playing musical instruments.