We kicked off this summer’s obon season at Senshin Buddhist Temple on Saturday. Everyone packed Senshin’s parking lot, moving in synchronized fashion as they danced bon odori. The people who live across the street from (in this South Central neighborhood) were in their front yard, curiously watching the festivities from a distance.
This was my first time going to Senshin’s obon. We heard a great performance by Andagi—an Okinawan shamisen group based out of Gardena—ate chili rice, shaved ice, and danced to the beat of the taiko drum.
Afterwards we all made our way to the temple to offer incense and light a candle in memory of those who have passed. Somen and fruit punch were served and we stayed long enough to hear one taiko performance. It was past Sa’s bedtime and it was clear we needed to get her to bed. Even though we headed home early, we left satisfied with good food, good music, memories of the past, and happy we shared the evening with a community of friends.
Click here for more obon festivals happening in the U.S. this summer.