This week has brought lots of guests, visitors, and distant family members to Tono, to celebrate Obon. Last night a fireworks show was held at the shores of the Hayase river. We live only two blocks from the river, so just walking down the street from our home, we were able to see it, and enjoy the display.
Our friend Shaun Foster took this spectacular photo, down by the river.
Here’s Shaun and Patrick during a recent visit to the cafe enjoying quesadillas.
Shaun and Patrick, from the UK, are in Tono for several weeks working on the turbines, and from their advantageous perspective, get some wonderful photos.
For the fellow non-Japanese among us here’s more about Obon, in English.
Obon (お盆) or just Bon (盆) is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. This Buddhist-Confucian custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors’ graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori.
The festival of Obon lasts for three days; however its starting date varies within different regions of Japan. When the lunar calendar was changed to the Gregorian calendar at the beginning of the Meiji era, the localities in Japan reacted differently and this resulted in three different times of Obon …. (read more)