Sunday, July 17, 2022

Bon Odori Festival

Obon also known as Bon Festival is an event that takes place over the course of several days (most often during the 7th month of the year) commemorating and honoring ancestors. Obon centers around a belief that the spirits and souls of loved ones and dead ancestors come back to visit. Obon has been celebrated in Japan for over 500 years. We dance to honor our ancestors.


We had so much fun  at the Pasadena Buddhist temple Obon. It was a relatively small group due to precautionary limited admission. There were still food concessions and the wonderful Taiko drummers and the Nisei week queens court and of course the Bon Odori traditional dancing. Thanks to our dear friends Mary and David who invited us and got us registered for admission. There was such a wonderful feeling of “Oneness” and community and tradition as old and young danced for loved ones now gone, danced for our ancestors and simply danced because we could. Truly special. 


Ended the night at Twohey’s like we were teenagers. Ordered poutains, fried onion rings and of course hot fudge sundaes. Not a bad Saturday!

Little Sunday

Big Sunday

 I think of our childhood and having church in Little Tokyo the hub of Nisei week. I think of the yearly obon along first street and the Koyosan drum and bugle Boy Scout troops marching in the parade. I think about all the old isseis and the young niseis lining up chairs early to get a good spot on the parade route. I remember the carnival days and game booths. I made corn dogs with my brothers Boy Scout troop and loved watching teenagers walk the carnival. So many childhood memories come flooding back when we dance Bon Odori.




Bon Odori

Bon Odori is a traditional dance used to celebrate the Obon festival. While performances vary widely from region to region, the dance is traditionally accompanied by Japanese taiko drums and is performed by participants wearing yukata. Anyone is welcome to join in the dance, which often takes place in parks, temples, shrines, and other public places.




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