ANAHEIM — Orange County Buddhist Church in Anaheim opened its 2023 Hanamatsuri Festival and Bazaar to the public on April 15 and 16.
The festival was scaled down last year due to the pandemic and was limited to OCBC members.
Hanamatsuri commemorates the birth of the historical Buddha and is observed on April 8. In the Hondo, the Hanamido (flower pavilion) sheltered a statue of the baby Buddha. Visitors poured sweet tea over the statue, symbolizing the gentle rain, perfumed by flower petals, that is said to have fallen in Lumbini Garden when Siddhartha was born.
Docent-led tours of the Hondo and altar were offered.
Food booths offered a variety of dishes, including OCBC’s famous Dango Dogs. (Another OCBC staple, grilled squid, was unavailable this year.) Other booths sold baked goods, plants, vegetables and crafts. There were also games for the kids.
Cultural exhibits included swords (Nanka Token Kai), bonsai (Dan Murphy), tea ceremony (Madame Soumitsu Korin), ikebana (Janet Arima), Japanese artifacts (Gary Yoshino), kimekomi dolls (Kanesaka Yukari Kai), and calligraphy (Kumiko Iwakura Von Miller). Artwork by students of OCBC Dharma School and OCBC Japanese School was displayed and the Buddhist Education Center sold books and other items
Visitors who collected eight stamps at the exhibits were able to redeem their stamp books for prizes.
Performances and demonstrations on the stage in the Multi-Purpose Building were provided by Fujima Seiyumi Kai (classical dance), OC Aikikai (aikido), OCBC Collegiate Taiko, students of Fumio Demura (karate), Sasaki Mitsuru Sangen Kai (Tsugaru shamisen and minyo), OCB Kendo, Daion Taiko, and koto players Brianne Hanamoto, Kaitlyn Hara and Stacey Suzuki.
Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo