Now, Bon, or O-bon, using the honorific, is when many communities sponsor a mostly fun festival, usually at a Buddhist temple, accompanied by fire ceremonies and the like. Sweets, drinks and an assortment of Japanese dishes are offered to ancestors, and also sold to participants and tourists. Graves are also visited and cleaned.
Hawaii is a whole different thing when it comes to bon odori. Kauai is the first to begin, at the Lihue Hongwanji Mission tonight at six. Tomorrow:
- Oahu: Hawaii Plantation Village in Waipahu, with food booths opening at 4:30 PM.
- Hawaii Island: Hawaii Japanese Center in Hilo, with an exhibit at 10 AM, followed by the bon dance from Noon.
- Maui: Lahaina Shingon Mission at 6:30 PM
But in Hawaii, the bon odori season then continues every weekend through mid-September. Virtually every Buddhist temple puts on something. I count 80 such bon dances this year. If it's food you want:
- jook (rice porridge)
- andagi (right, an Okinawa deep-fried greasy sphere, the middle of a large donut)
- tsukemono (preserved vegetables)
- spam musubi
- shave ice
Finally, if you see any typos of Japanese words, my computer sometimes, without my knowledge, overnight, changes words to conform to what it considers to be proper grammar.