Nikkei celebrate at ‘Queer O-bon’

 LOS ANGELES — On June 19, Okaeri, an advocacy group for LGBTQ+ Nikkei, held their first “Queer O-bon” at the Terasaki Budokan in the city’s Little Tokyo. Colorful origami chains hung from the tall concrete walls as attendants munched on fresh inari and sipped cold milk tea and chewy boba. “‘Queer O-bon’ came out […]

Fifty+ years in the dance circle: Fumiye Nancy Shibata

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by BCA Wheel of Dharma. Fumiye Nancy Shibata studied with Mitsusa Bando, established the tradition of coordinating dances in the Buddhist Churches of America’s Southern District, and taught Bon Odori in Los Angeles and Orange County for approximately sixty years. Nisei couple Kango and Yoshiye Naito ran a […]

Summer is fun time for Southern California Bon Odori junkies

LOS ANGELES — Summer is a joyful season for many thousands of Southern California Nikkei as they participate in numerous traditional Buddhist Obon observances — as well as non-Buddhist summer festivities — and most include some Japanese dancing. Obon is a traditional event to honor and thank one’s ancestors for the gift of life. Most […]

Bon Odori is a tradition even far from the West Coast

Japanese Americans who don’t live on the West Coast joke that you can go to a different Bon Odori every weekend in California, and dance away your summer. Not so in the geographically isolated Rocky Mountain region, where a few cities such as Denver, Salt Lake City and some other smaller towns host Obon festivals […]

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, […]