O-Bon Comes to Paia

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The Mantokuji Mission in Paia is hosting an O-Bon Dance this weekend. O-Bon Dances are a Japanese Buddhist celebrations of the dead. Buddhists mark the occasion through dance, music and ritual. Festivals are held at different Buddhist temples and missions throughout the island starting in May. The festival is in Paia this weekend with a Bon dance scheduled for both nights. The Mantokuji temple erected a yaguro tower and has hung lanterns in preparation for the festivities. Music is played from the top of the yaguro tower with participants moving around the tower in a series of choreographed Japanese folk dances. Individual families also pay tribute by decorating and leaving gifts to family members who have passed at their grave sites. The O-Bon dances are open to people of all denominations. I have enjoyed attending O-Bon dances in the past in that they are a window to one of the diverse cultures that make up the fabric of our island.

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