The dancing continued well past sunset, with visitors of all ages taking part.

The 2023 Nishi Hongwanji Obon Carnival was characterized by a collective sense of gratitude, as the community celebration returned after going dark during the pandemic.

Rev. Hibiki Junkyo Murakami joins the prayer chant after Rev. William Briones gave the invocation on Sunday.

Thousands turned out July 8 and 9 in Little Tokyo for two nights of the Japanese traditional summer festival, with remembrance of loved ones passed, group dancing, carnival games, music and taiko performances, and of course, plenty of tasty treats.

Clad in yukata and happy to indulge in some shave ice with azuki beans are (from left) Beryl Bachman, Elaine Courtney and Laura Wong.

Also featured during the event were aikido demonstrations and a traditional tea ceremony, a white elephant rummage sale, a farmers’ fruit and vegetable market and the ever-popular bingo.

Lillian Shido is in the spotlight for a solo with L.A. Taiko Ichiza.
Displays inside the gymnasium at Nishi Hongwanji included a history of the Buddhist experience inside concentration camps during World War II.
Harvey Negoro (left) and Rev. Ray Fukumoto work the vegetable stand.
Games provided fun for the whole family.

Photos by MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS / Rafu Shimpo

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