Bon Dance (盆踊り) in Itabashi!

Bon Odori (盆踊り, ぼんおどり) means Bon dance, and it is a style of dancing performed mainly during Obon. Obon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. Nowadays, Japanese people usually go to their parents’ homes to be reunited with their family, and visit and clean their ancestors’ graves. It is said that in this time the spirits of ancestors visit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years.

So originally, Bon dance is a dance to welcome the spirits of the dead. However, today it’s more associated with Summer and festivals, having lost a lot of its religious meaning. It is a dance which style and music varies from region to region, but that usually has people playing the drums in the center of the dance.

(Bon Dance Drummers – Picture from http://blogimg.goo.ne.jp)

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