Japan Society of Fairfield County
The Japan Society of Fairfield County held
its 16th Annual
Bon Odori, Summer Festival, on July 11th 2009 in Westport. Held
annually all over Japan since 657 A.D., Bon Odori is Japan’s main
summer festival with Buddhist folk dances performed outdoors.
Over time this event has become a joyous memorial festival for one's
ancestors. It is a time to appreciate all that our ancestors have
done for us and to recognize the continuation of their influence on our
Bon Odori and Tanabata, July 11, 2009
Following an opening welcome and speech by Westport First Selectman,
Gordon F. Joseloff, the festival started with some traditional folk
dancing led by Junko Fisher. The first dance was Tanko-Bushi or
the coal miners’ dance. There were lots of people joining in the
dance while others just relaxed and admired the colorful kimonos.
This was followed by Chowa Ondo or harmony dance. Then,
especially for children, Pokomon Ondo, a dance that is easy to learn
whatever your age! For a finale Junko Fisher led Asadoya Yunta,
an Okinawa dance.
The U Conn Taiko drummers did a great job
their drumming. Taiko literally means “fat drum.” The rumbling
power of the taiko has been long been associated with the gods.
Following their performance, the U Conn Taiko Drummers invited all the
kids to a loud, crowded and enjoyable mini-workshop.
In-between, the children had a chance to fish for a water yo-yo
courtesy of Amnet Company or try their hand competing at Japanese grand
sumo wrestling with small toy robots courtesy of Dr. Robot.
Everyone stayed till the last moment to
Tanabata, the Star
Festival, writing a wish on a tanzak, a small piece of paper, and
hanging it on a long bamboo pole decorated with origami to take
home. Tanabata, meaning “seven evenings,” celebrates the meeting
of two stars; Orihime (Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair). The Milky Way
separates these lovers and they are allowed to meet only once a
The weather cooperated and it was a wonderful day. We all look
forward to the 17th festival in 2010.
Enjoy the press coverage of Bon Odori.
WestportNOW.com 's photo 1
WestportNOW.com 's photo 2
WestportNOW.com 's photo 3
WestportNOW.com 's photo 4
WestportNOW.com 's photo 5
WestportNOW.com 's photo 6
WestportNOW.com 's photo 7
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