As you know from previous blogs I’m a thoroughly captivated fan and participant of the annual (June to August) Obon festivals. This year I danced in 6 festivals. Here are a few clips from the various venues.
First at the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center. I’m wearing my flower Happi Jacket. My son was the video operator and when he closes in on the young lady that is his girl friend Amber. The pretty young lady in front of me is my friend Erin. We tend to meet at the Obons and dance together. She helps me get the steps correctly and hand movements in synchronization.
At the Higashi Honganji Obon. It was so crowded we had to dance in place. I think next year they will have to move the Obon into the street. The young lady in front of me is my friend Andreia who is one of the best Bon dancers around. She seems to know every dance… and there are dozens. Whenever possible I dance with her as she makes it easy for me to follow the steps and hand movements.
Then the Nisei Festival where I wear my favorite Matsuri Happi Jacket:
Finally the delayed Cherry Blossom Festival.
This year the Shiawase Samba was the favored dance at all the festivals and it is my current favorite:
And of course the One + One Ondo:
I also danced at the Zenshuji Soto Mission, Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temples but could not find a videographer. Just as well, my timing was off and I did not look my best. 🙂
The Nisei Week closing ceremony featured the world famous TaikoProject; take a look: