Sento Shogon ceremony, in which oil lamps are lit in honor of departed loved ones.

Senshin Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles held its 2023 Obon observance on July 1.

A Hatsubon service was conducted for loved ones who have passed away since the last Obon.

Performance of Nobuko Miyamoto’s “Kangie (Gathering of Joy)” with Johnny Mori on taiko, Sean Miura on shamisen, vocalists Chie Saito, Miyamoto and Nancy Sekizawa.

Hot dogs, chashu bao and shaved ice were sold. A raffle drawing was held during intermission.

Opening and closing remarks for Bon Odori were provided by Rev. Ryuta Furumoto.

Left: Emcee Chris Aihara. Right: Rev. Ryuta Furumoto.

On the yagura, Johnny Mori and other taiko drummers kept the beat during the dancing.

Nobuko Miyamoto and friends performed her latest Obon song, “Kangie (Gathering of Joy).”

Obon regulars Tamlyn Tomita and Daniel Blinkoff.

Many dancers from other temples and community centers turned out for the Southland’s only Obon festival that weekend.

Participating dance groups included Terminal Islanders (above) and San Fernando Valley’s Meiji Ondo group (*below).

Omairi (offering of incense) followed in Hondo (main hall). Attendees then took part in  Sento Shogon, a memorial ceremony in which 1,000 oil lamps are lit, and Otoki, a light meal.

The program concluded with Horaku (Buddhist music) performed by Kinnara Taiko. Drummers included Rev. Mas Kodani, co-founder of the group.

A performance by Senshin’s own Kinnara Taiko.

Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo

Above and below: Dancers of all ages took part in Bon Odori.

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