Bon-Odori, a Traditional Festival in Japan

Festivals have always been a great part in Japanese culture; most festivals have a specific meaning, and prompt people to pray for good harvests, wealth, and prosperity. Here is one of the most popular and traditional festival in Japan.

Among many festivals, “Bon-Odori” is one of the most common summer festival in Japan. This festival is held by Japanese citizens to honor the spirits of their ancestors. It usually lasts three days, but the periods of festivities vary depending on the region. In Tokyo, it is held around the 15th of July. The term “Odori” means dance in Japanese, so during the festivities, people perform the dance Bon Odori, a dance that serves to welcome the spirits of the dead. Each region has a local Bon Odori style, as well as a particular music played while dancing. The Bon Odori dance in Tokyo involves people lining up in a circle around a high wooden scaffold made for the festivals, also referred to as Yagure, which also serves as a bandstand for the musicians and singers. The music played by the band is composed of songs that aim to communicate with the spirits. However, nowadays, Bon Odori also includes modern music, such as jazz and rock.

by Yuma O.