Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Scenes from the Humboldt Obon Festival (Slideshow)

Posted By on Tue, Aug 15, 2023 at 11:50 AM

The second annual Humboldt Obon Festival got underway under warm sunshine on Sunday outside the Arcata Playhouse. The festival again drew a large crowd to celebrate traditional Japanese foods, Bon Odori dancing and culture. Obon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors.

In a ceremonial opening after shakuhachi (Japanese flute) music by Rick Kruse, Rinban Gerald Sakamoto, minister for the San Jose Betsuin Buddhist Church, blessed the festival and shared the stories and traditions of Obon. The family-friendly event featured two energetic Totoro, a spirit altar to honor ancestors, food vendors with Asian and Pacific Islander cuisine, children’s activities, music, traditional Japanese Bon Odori folk dancing (in a circle, rather than a line) and Humboldt Taiko drumming with Gary Ronne and special guests from San Jose Taiko.

For more information about the tradition of Obon and the organizer (Humboldt Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity (HAPI)), see hapihumboldt.org.
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