WLA Obon

by jenjenk on July 27, 2009

Normally, I avoid the Obon season like the black plague. I hate running into people I haven’t seen in years…mostly because I can place a face, but not always a name to a face. Oh and the small talk. I hate the small talk. It’s always the same: “So, how are you?” [Fine]; followed by, “What have you been up to??” [ummm…not much…work…travel…enjoying life…]; followed by “so do you have kids? married?” [someday I will say, yes, 7 kids, all with different fathers but not married to any of them, just to see their expressions]

Obon in Japan, is the celebration/honoring the departed spirits of my ancestors [not just mine…]. It’s typically celebrated around August 15th and I will inevitably get a call from my family in Japan as they gather to participate in Ohakamaeri to clean the graves and honor the deceased. What follows after usually consists of food, sake, and if the timing is just perfect, a trip to the Obon. In the US, it’s about gathering around and seeing people you haven’t seen in years, eating, dancing, and playing games.


Here’s the thing, two of the most adorable kids came over to attend the WLA Obon and I just couldn’t say no. Look at them…could YOU?

Another reason I do like to go is to eat [shocker, I know]. I slurped up my udon so fast I didn’t have time to take a photo of it, otherwise, I’m sure I would’ve added that to the photos below. The teriyaki chicken leg was surprisingly moist unlike the dried out chicken I get from other carnivals.

Ok, let me be super honest…the real reason I like going is for the item below. Shave Ice. I love this simple, cheap summertime treat. It’s super easy to do but it’s such a treat for me since I refuse to buy a snow cone maker.

I thought about breaking out my alter ego, Fujima Yumie, to dance bon odori [I can teach anyone who’s interested!] but it was way too crowded for me to have enough patience to deal with it. Plus, they took out all my stand by dances that I used to know!! What on earth? Granted, it was super easy, just not as much fun as I remembered.

Incidentally, I did go back for another Snow Cone on Sunday. It was just too tempting to pass up.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

KonkoKid August 3, 2009 at 8:30 am

Jenn, you need to come to Obon here. There's been this new resurgence of young people who have begun to take this so seriously. They attend the Obon-service, and participate in the dancing as well. There are so many who take odori classes and are dressed in yukata. The Okinawans though… oh my gosh… ok, they are just way too serious about this as well. But I have to admit, although spiritual in nature, it is also so much fun and get choke ono kine food! Hele mai!

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Jen August 4, 2009 at 3:46 am

RIGHT???!!! FOOD!!!

hawaii's totally different. It's like lil' japan already! :) besides…tooooo hot in August!

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