Bon Odori Taikai in Shinagawa

Jul 29th, 2009 | By | Category: Events, History & Culture

“Bon Odori is a Japanese Buddhist Folk Dance performed outdoors and danced in concentric circle around a raised platform called a Yagura“*

bon odori bon dance japan

Late July and early August is Obon season in Japan, a time when Buddhists honor their ancestors with Obon Festivals and Bon Odori (Bon dances) that stems from the tale on a monk named Mokuren.  One day while meditating Mokuren saw his mother suffering, whenever she touched food it burst into flames, and he appealed to Buddha to save his mother from a fate of starvation in the Hell of Hungry Ghosts.  Buddha instructed Mokuren to offer food to his fellow monks and he did so, freeing his mother and seven generations of his family from their suffering.  Obon festivals have taken place in Japan since 657AD.

“Obon is a time to remember and honor all those who have passed on before us. It is a time to appreciate all that they have done for us and to recognize the continuation of the influence of their deeds upon our lives. Obon is also a time of self-reflection; the joy one feels is not from the happiness of getting what you desire, but the joy of being shown the truth — the joy of awareness.”*

You can witness a Bon Odori at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel this weekend (Friday, July 31st through Monday, August 3rd) in Tokyo this weekend.  The event takes place from 6-9PM weather permitting.

The Shinagawa Prince Hotel is a two minute walk from Shinagawa Station (Takanawa Exit). Shinagawa Prince Access Map

* Brief History and Meaning of Bon Odori
Image Credit:  Flickr, Bon Festival Dance

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