Senshin Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles held its annual Bon Odori and Obon observances on June 27. Special guests included PJ Hirabayashi (pictured), co-founder of San Jose Taiko, who introduced “Ei Ja Nai Ka,” which is performed and danced every year at San Jose Betsuin’s Obon Festival (July 11-12 this year). The title can be translated as “Who cares?” or “Why not?”
PJ Hirabayashi with Maceo Hernandez of East L.A. Taiko, who was one of the drummers for the Bon Odori.
Nobuko Miyamoto, “Atomic Nancy” Sekizawa, Carla Vega, Asiyah Ayubbi and June Kaewsith sang “Bambutsu no Tsunagari,” a cross-cultural song that combines the sounds of Little Tokyo and East L.A. and was first performed at Great Leap and Quetzal’s “FandangObon” event.
Johnny Mori of Kinnara Taiko (formerly of Hiroshima) on the yagura.
Rev. Ryuta Furumoto (center) opened and closed the program and also participated in the dancing.
Different generations participated in the Bon Odori.
Dancing continued past sunset. The event also included food and a raffle drawing.
Buddhist observances included Sento Shogon, a ritual in which a thousand oil lamps are lit in memory of loved ones, particularly those who have passed away since the last Obon, and omairi in the Hondo.
The event closed with a performance by Kinnara Taiko and a dance by children from a local Oaxacan group.
Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo