Obon Festival July 2009

One of the joys in my life is attending the Obon festivals in Los Angeles every  July.     These are traditional Japanese Buddhist events to honor deceased ancestors.    For me the highlight of the festival is the Bon Odori dancing.   All the temples in the Los Angeles area offer free dance lessons open to the general public prior to the Obon.   After a few years of being a dumb bystander, this year I availed myself of the free lessons at the Higashi  Honganji  Buddhist  Temple in Little Tokyo.  What a wonderful place this is.    The teacher and the members are so gentle and friendly.   After the Obon I will post a video from the coming festival.  For now take a look at the 2009 festival clip to give you a little feel for the festivities:

Now on to 2010.   Take a look at a couple of my dance lessons.  Sure laugh if you must. 🙂  I’m wearing a blue Hawaiian shirt: 😉

I did go to the Obon festival July 24, 2010.   It was better than ever most likely because I knew enough dances to participate for 2 hours in the dancing.   I could not get any of my  friends to stop dancing to video myself.  But you will see a very brief glimpse of me near the end showing off the Happi Jacket I bought at the Obon.

 

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2 thoughts on “Obon Festival July 2009

  1. Ralph! The Obon festival does look lovely! Glad there’s something like it where you live. (The awesome Wadaiko Yamato: Drummers of Japan were recently in Manila for a series of gigs, and I went on the third day but couldn’t get in because the venue was standing room only. Rats! The last time they were here was in 2006 so Imma have to wait 4 more years, ohnoes!)

    Wow, those dance steps look pretty tricky! Lol. Watching dance #1 I was like, oh I can do that… but then dance #2 made me go, uh-oh uh-oh! Lol. But I did think you carried yourself pretty darn well there. 🙂 Liked the blue shirt and funky sneakers, too.

    ***
    Re your PM at JDorama, that was really nice of you to have made a full-length DVD to give to the temple. You seem to be enjoying your visits a lot! 😄 I also found the links that you sent (esp. on the dynamic work of rituals) very interesting. I love it when religious ceremonies cease to be empty form, and actually become meaningful and life-affirming for the people who partake of them.

    Anyway, I hope you have a marvelous time at the Obon 2010. Looking forward to your pictures/vid clips already! Keep us posted, will you? 😀

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