Monday, August 25, 2008

Bon-Odori 盆踊り

I have been looking forward to attend this Bon-odori for the entire summer simply because I really really wanted to wear a yukata! Afterall, who can resist the beautiful cotton kimono in such spectrum of wonderful colors and springy patterns? You will instantly feel cheerful and youthful once you put it on, no wonder it is referred to as 'happi coat'!

Hehe, this is my very first yukata in my favourite pink cherry blossoms :) Thanks to my Japanese relative who helped me to tie my obi to a bow. How did the obi look, cloudnine? Hubby also wore his 'manly' yukata and he just loved it! We had never wore any costumes in our boring Canadian lives, not even in Halloween. The good thing about Japan is you can pretty much wear anything (well, as long as you cover yourself), nobody really stares or cares.

Bon is a time to honour Japanese ancestors and Odori means dance. Bon-odori is a memorial festival to appreciate what the ancestors have brought upon them. This is the set-up of a Bon dance, pretty impressive, eh?

Some young Taiko drummers started off the event ....

Then all kinds of festival dancers and lion dances too in very elaborate costumes. A pretty big production, I'd say. My Japanese relative told me this event is more for show, 'tailored made for TV Asahi' :)

Even the musicians came in big groups with old Japanese instruments

After dark, performers began dancing to happy folk songs in concentric circle around the Yagura.

Only the children were invited to join in. I was hoping to dance too, guess they didn't want me to ruin the beautiful sight :(

It was a real spectacle to not only witness such wonderful quality production of a major festival event, but also to experience the spirit of Bon-Odori like Japanese people (hehe, that is if I don't open my mouth and start talking :)

I learn that there is a deeper meaning to Bon-Odori : Obon is also a time of self-reflection - the joy one feels is not from the happiness of getting what one desires, but the joy of being shown the truth - the joy of awareness.

Obon reminds people to love and care for their parents. It also encourages the practice of selfless giving (dana) not only to family and friends, but to all beings. Now, I can't help but think about HRH and our dear BYJ family, miss him so much!


Anonymous said...

WOW .. love your yukata, it looks almost the same like the one my daughter bought for me, same color, the flower patterns are a little different. But I don't look very good like you. My short, fat body doesn't go with any costume anyways. Your obi is very well done, beautiful.
The meaning of Bon-Odori sounds like kind of Buddhism, we believe to do dana whole heartedly as much as we could to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Thanks very much for this posting.


Anonymous said...

Absolubtly beautiful,
Love you cheerful Yukata.

I love the hole thing the drums the festival,
thank you so much
for letting us see trough your eyes.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jaime,

Oh, I should have told you that you should show your nape, which is supposed to be the sexiest part when you are in kimono.

Since you are tall and slender, you look great in that lovely yukata! You also found the matching uchiwa, didn't you? How about your geta (clogs)?

My only worry was whether your yukata was long enough to be tucked
into obi.

My daughter had no chance to wear yukata this summer and neither did I. (May be we were just lazy...)

cloud nine

jaime said...

Dear Yee,

Your daughter is so sweet, giving you a yukata. Have you worn it out yet? Well, I guess I have another year to practise tieing my obi sash :)

Thanks for reading, always!

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Hi Hi moontime,

Good to hear from you. Thanks for your kind words. The Bon-odori is really spectacular, it puts you in such a festive mood :)

Have a great day!

love ... jaime

jaime said...

hi cloudnine,

thanks for the tip, I'll remember the 'nape' thingy next time but would not be posting any pic for sure :) To be honest, I am just happy that I was able to assemble the whole outfit. I will try to improve it next time. Got to get some hair ornament, they all look so 'kawaii' :)

love ... jaime

anm said...

Hi Jaime,

You look fabulous in your Pink Cherry Blossom Yukata. I met your eldest sister today at a convention and she told me about this post. I told her that I will go home and put a comment on it.

We really miss you here you know!! I know that we haven't seen much of each other while you were here. TOTALLY my fault of course. But now I am much better....

Anyways I told your sister that I put some comments on this blog before. But she said that you may not know who I am.... hehehehe...
Thats OK, the important thing is that I am "following" you from a far.

'Nuff said.... take good care of yourself Jaime...


jaime said...

Dear ANM,

Thank you for writing to me. I think I know who you are but please allow me to confirm w/ my sister.

I feel like reading a friend's letter from home. I am so touched and grateful especially I was feeling a bit low this morning. I am fine now after I spent a great day with my BYJ sisters today. I really appreciate your message as being away from home can be trying sometimes.

Please take care!

love ... Jaime