August 27, 2014

Want to Honor Your Ancestors with a Paper Lantern?

If you regularly read this blog, you have seen my posts about Tucson's annual All Souls' Procession and the role that my taiko group, Odaiko Sonora, has in it each year. The All Soul's Procession is a unique festival of remembrance of people, pets, and memories that in many ways, similar to Obon festivals celebrated in Japan and other places with a large Japanese population.

However, Tucson does not have an Obon Festival! Instead, our taiko group has a large role in the Procession, with a large group of "obon dancers" in yukata and happi doing our own folk dance, "Tucson Ondo", behind a taiko on a cart. 

This year will be the 25th anniversary of this unique event and Odaiko Sonora has an opportunity to attract three world-class musical artists to create a soundscape for the finale of the burning of the urn! 

We put the FUN into FUNdRAISEr! 

We are doing a Kickstarter fundraiser to raise some money to bring three taiko musicians, and Asano drums to Tucson just for this event! 
If you contribute just $30 at Kazoku Level, you will be able to honor the names of your loved ones on one of our toro nagashi paper lanterns that will be part of the finale ceremony! It's a beautiful way to honor a special memory.

Go to THIS LINK and contribute to help us make the 25th Anniversary of the All Soul's Procession a spectacular community event in 2014. 
Do it today since we only have a couple weeks left!

And if you are really genki, contact me if you want to come to Tucson and participate! It's a great event for being creative with costumes or wearing kimono or yukata if you wish to dance with us. 
I hope you can help us out,
Arigato gozaimasu.

May 26, 2014

Obon Season is almost here!

Get your yukata and geta on- it's Obon season! 

Here are a few of my favorite Japanese festivals and Obon festivals, courtesy of 

All of the Obon festivals have obon dance practices during the weeks before the festival. Check each individual temple online to find out about dance practices. 

Saturday, June 7th, The Arizona Buddhist Temple Obon Festival
Saturday, June 7th, The Japanese Cultural Fair, Santa Cruz, CA
Saturday, July 12-13th, San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Obon Festival
Sunday, July 13th, Monterey Peninsula Buddhist Temple Obon Festival
Sunday, July 20th, Watsonville Buddhist Temple Obon (link to their website)
Sunday, July 27th, Salinas Obon Festival- Buddhist Temple of Salinas

More exciting Japanese Cultural events coming this summer: 

Sunday, July 13th, Bridge USA Natsu Matsuri, Torrance, CA
Saturday, August 9th, Tanabata Matsuri, Little Tokyo
Sunday, August 17th, Nisei Week Ondo and Closing Ceremony, Little Tokyo, LA

April 28, 2014

You need one of these Obi if...

you are a regular-sized woman!

I was just perusing Ichiroya's website and found several "Brand new long size hanhaba obi"! These are the simple obi you wear with yukata, the causal, cotton summer dress that is a perfect entry into the world of kimono! I rarely see longer obi, so this is unusual.
All are 4 meters long and seem to be going fast as yukata weather is just around the corner!

I mean seriously, how cool are these? These are just a few of the cute designs they have right now, so get them while they're hot!

All images courtesy of Ichiroya.