Last updateWed, 20 Sep 2017 9am


Annual Obon Festival scheduled this weekend

Courtesy of Margaret Abe
More than 400 dancers participate in the Mountain View Buddhist Temple’s annual Obon Festival and Bazaar. This year’s event is scheduled Saturday and Sunday at the Mountain View Buddhist Temple on Shoreline Boulevard. Haley Sawamura of Los Altos, left, and her friends Alison Takahashi and Deanna Okuno dance in the Bon Odori at last year’s festival.

The ancient Buddhist tradition of honoring ancestors’ spirits reappears annually through Obon festivals throughout the world. The Mountain View Buddhist Temple is scheduled to celebrate the traditional mid-summer holiday with the Obon Festival and Bazaar 4-10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday on the temple grounds, 575 N. Shoreline Blvd.

The Mountain View Temple invites local residents – Buddhist and nonBuddhist alike – to mark the two-day holiday festival and experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Japanese culture.

Obon is a time to honor and remember those who have passed away and for families and friends to unite and appreciate them with respect, gratitude and love. Buddhists celebrate Obon with an uplifting spirit and encourage those who attend the festival to find an increased connection with their heritage and with those who have passed away.

The event will feature bonsai; suiseki rocks; Ikebana; Mataro dolls; exhibits by the Dharma School, Nakayoshi Gakko and Girl Scouts; adult and children’s games and hands-on cultural activities; a flower shop; a cultural bookstore; home crafts; and three temple cookbooks.

Festival guests will have opportunities to taste Japanese food such as grilled teriyaki beef and chicken skewers, tempura, a variety of sushi, udon noodles, sweet corn, sake and more.

NBC Bay Area TV traffic anchor Mike Inouye will serve as master of ceremonies for the entertainment, which will include performances by Temple Taiko, Jun Daiko, soloist Janice Terakawa and the Obon Jazz Quartet.

The highlight of the festival is the Bon Odori dance, scheduled 7:30 p.m. Sunday. More than 400 dancers clad in colorful kimonos and happi coats participate. The dance is coordinated by Richard Fujikawa and John Arima, with Bill Nishimoto serving as master of ceremonies. Professional instructor Marilyn Ozawa (Sanjo Kanyoshi) will lead the dance, and the Chidori Band, organized by Duane Takahashi, will provide the music.

Admission and parking are free.

For more information, visit mvbuddhisttemple.org.

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