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 […]

‘HIDDEN LEGACY’: Film showcases the preservation of Japanese arts in the wartime concentration camps

SAN JOSE — June 28 marked the premiere film screening of “Hidden Legacy: Japanese Traditional Performing Arts in the World War II Internment Camps” at San Jose’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. The film explores the practice and preservation of Japanese cultural arts in the American concentration camps, and is the result of more […]

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 […]

What Bon Odori is not

Bon Odori in America is Japanese American, not Japanese. Bon Odori is generally not observed at Jodoshinshu temples in Japan. Bon Odori is not “Ondo.” Ondo does not mean dance in the Japanese language, it means to “take the lead” in a cheer or toast, and is a form of music with a single singer […]

Southern California Obons and summer festivals

Valley Japanese Community Center’s Obon festival is on Saturday, June 22 (5-10 p.m.), and Sunday, June 23 (5-9 p.m.), at 8850 Lankershim Blvd., Sun Valley. Bon Odori begins at 7 p.m. Saturday and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. There will be food and entertainment (including the Matsutoyo Kai dance and musical group on Saturday, Los Angeles Matsuri […]

Sacramento Obon boasts large attendance

Obon festivals take place at various Japanese Buddhist temples every summer, bringing together Japanese Americas, as well as some intrigued locals, increasing attendance levels for Obon festivals each year. Not only does the Buddhist Church of Sacramento have the largest church membership within the Buddhist Churches of America, it also has up to almost 700 Japanese American […]

SoCal Japanese Americans anticipate joyful summer celebrations

LOS ANGELES — Japanese Americans in Southern California are gearing up for a summer of festivals — both the Buddhist Obon observances and secular summer celebrations — that include dancing and carnivals. Obon is a traditional Japanese Buddhist event to honor and thank one’s ancestors for the gift of life. The meaning of Obon, according […]

Summer festivals in the East Bay

The annual observance of Obon in the East Bay is both a time for the area’s Japanese Americans to remember their loved ones and an opportunity for the community to learn more about Buddhism. With a high concentration of Japanese Americans living in the area, the East Bay has multiple Obon and bazaar events. Set […]

Central Valley summer festivals

Marysville Buddhist Church The Marysville Buddhist Church’s summer highlight is its Obon festival. According to the Marysville Buddhist Church’s Website, the church was officially established on April 1, 1908. However, since then, its congregation, and attendance for the church’s summer events, have also decreased. According to part-time church Secretary Joyce Nakatsu, “One hundred-something” people participate […]

SoCal festivals make summertime joyful

Obon is a traditional Buddhist event to honor and express gratitude to one’s ancestors for the gift of life. As a celebration of the legacy passed down by one’s ancestors, most of the local Japanese Buddhist temples’ Obon festivals feature Bon Odori (dancing) and various types of entertainment, along with food, games, farmers markets, flower […]

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