A highlight of summer festivals in Japan is the bon-odori (盆踊り/ Bon dance). Each region in Japan has their own version of the dance, as well as different music. In Japanese Buddhist tradition, bon-odori is a way to entertain and send off the spirits of our ancestors and celebrate life. Dancers circle the yagura, a high wooden bandstand for the musicians and singers. Come to learn the dance, see people dressed in yukata, and to hear and feel the sound of taiko drums.
To plan your visit, please see the program below. Video instructions for the different dances follow the itinerary.
1:45 – 2:15 pm: Musical performance | Takohachi plus special musical guests from Japan.
2:15 – 2:45 pm: Second dance set | This set will feature Japanese dances from the 1980s and 1990s.
2:45 – 3:15 pm: Break
3:15 – 3:45 pm: Final dance set | This set will feature bon dances popular in the United States.
View example videos of the dances to be featured below. For each song, there is an instructional video led by Chris Dart as well as a video of the dance being performed at one of Oregon Buddhist Temple’s annual Bon Odori.