Obon Odori All Souls Day Overview (02:41)
See a description of the Buddhist-Confucian custom that has evolved into a family reunion holiday. See foods prepared for relatives who died during the year and placed on their altar. Hear a translation of the Heart Sutra helping to understand ku, or emptiness.
Obon Odori Final Day (05:51)
Monks assign new names written on toro lantern name plates. Families of recently deceased attend a temple ceremony and burn lanterns on a beach for spirits to ascend. Hear a description of cleaning homes and graves and offering foods.
Obon Odori Myth (01:07)
See a description of how the All Souls Day festival originated in India.
Obon Odori Kawaguchiko (04:35)
On a school grounds, families buy meals and balloons from vendors; children dress in kimonos. A song about a soldier leaving for war is broadcast.
Obon Odori Dances (14:07)
Every region has a dance based on local work movements. Dancers move in a circle around a central stage; children learn the moves at an early age. Songs reference soldiers, coal mining, the beauty of Buddha and Tokyo, and the Mt. Fuji area.
Obon Odori Second Day, Oishi Park (05:48)
Families gather at a playground next to a temple. Taiko drummers lead a circle dance around a central stage.
Obon Odori Third Day, Lakeside Service (06:49)
See a description of a lantern floating festival at Mt. Fuji and an explanation of the Lotus Sutra and shomyo chanting. People gather to witness lanterns and fireworks.
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