San Jose Obon delivers comforting familiarity to community

This year’s Obon festival in San Jose’s Japantown, which took place July 9 and July 10, was the same as it is every year: parking was nearly impossible to find, a line extended all the way from Jackson Street around the corner to North Fifth Street for the shave ice sold at Shuei-do Manju Shop, […]

Help us grow with our Membership Drive!

There is much news about Japanese American newspapers facing difficult challenges, threatening our collective existence, given the general downturn in advertising in today’s print media and a shift to more online sources. Here at the Nichi Bei Foundation and Nichi Bei Weekly, we have been at the forefront at how community media faces these challenges, […]

FANTASTIC VOYAGE: Obon in Japan, compared to America

I’d been trying to think of how to compare Obon festivals in Japan and America, but for reasons I couldn’t quite put my finger on, it was very difficult. On the surface there are many similarities; however, the role of the temple in America is very different than that of Japan, so to properly understand […]

Ei Ja Nai Ka: A ‘good’ taiko collaboration

SAN JOSE — Those planning to attend an Obon festival this year might experience “Ei Ja Nai Ka,” a unique and high energy taiko performance that combines song, dance, chanting, and of course, taiko drumming. The title, “Ei Ja Nai Ka,” literally translates to, “Isn’t it good?” or more directly, “It’s good!” The performance was created […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Dining in the past

The annual Obon season has started, when we dance, honor and remember those that have passed before us. The steady beat of the taiko (drum) perched on the yagura (tower) always takes me back to the past. Sometimes it’s back to Waimanalo, having a special roast beef dinner at Ojiichan and Obaachan’s house; that smell […]

Nobuko Miyamoto’s creations add to SoCal Bon Odori

LOS ANGELES — Nobuko Miyamoto, singer, dancer and songwriter, has left a significant imprint on the local Obon celebration scene: Several of her songs will be performed by dancers this summer at Bon Odori throughout Southern California. Miyamoto, who danced and acted in the Oscar-winning film “West Side Story” and such Broadway hits as “The […]

Contemporary Bon Odori standardized in SoCal

LOS ANGELES – Summertime is the season for tens of thousands of Nikkei in Southern California to celebrate Obon, a traditional Buddhist event to honor and express gratitude to one’s ancestors for the gift of life. “Obon is the most important festival in the year cycle, it’s remembering the dead,” said the Rev. Masao Kodani […]

Where to buy all-things Bon Odori

Soko Hardware Happi coats (Short work coat): Children’s: $37.50; Adults: Mostly around $46 Hachimaki (Headband): $4.10 Zori (Sandals) (Tatami): $10.20 Zori (Rubber): $22.50; $36 Tabi (Traditional Japanese socks): white; black: Sizes 7-12, including half sizes; $15 and $10.65; $25.50 Kachi kachi (Wooden castanets): (Red) $4.25; (Clam shape) $15.30, $16.15 Uchiwa (Round fans): $2.55, $3, $3.85 […]

Mountain View Buddhist Temple’s reverend reflects on Obon from Japan to São Paulo

The Rev. Yushi Mukojima arrived in Mountain View, Calif. in August of 2013 to replace Rev. Dean Koyama — who became resident minister of Palo Alto Buddhist Temple —and celebrated his first Obon as the Mountain View Buddhist Temple’s resident minister last year. To the Japan-born minister, Obon is an opportunity to see friends during […]

SAN JOSE CHIDORI BAND: Playing the classics and dancing for the ancestors

SAN JOSE — In 1953, community leaders in San Jose’s Japantown came together to discuss the ethnic enclave’s needs. During a period when Japanese-language performance arts was scarce, the community realized there was a need for entertainment for its Issei. The San Jose Chidori Band was formed in response and has since performed a mix […]

Kyplex Cloud Security Seal - Click for Verification