The San Francisco Japantown community gathered to commemorate the Tokyo 2020 Closing Ceremony with two Odori dance programs during the Nihonmachi Street Fair on Sunday, Aug. 8. These participatory community folk dances, widely performed during Obon festivals, are traditionally held in the summer months throughout the Bay Area’s Japanese Buddhist communities. The past two year’s events, totaling ten different locations, have all been postponed.
NBC Bay Area and the Buddhist Churches of America together hosted the Odori dance programs at the Japantown Peace Plaza during the Nihonmachi Street Fair on Sunday, Aug. 8. The event also featured live music throughout the day, vendor booths with Asian artisans and community resources, and kids activities. Ten participatory folk dances were led by dance instructors and accompanied by Jiten Daiko and Ensohza Band.
Click here to read coverage of the event in the San Francisco
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The Obon season is an occasion to celebrate Japanese heritage by providing a cultural festival centered around food, music, and the arts. It is also an occasion to dance and dress in traditional attire. Men and women dressed in summer yukata (cotton kimono) and hapi coats and accompanied their dances with various props including uchiwa, a round fan, tenugui (cloth) and sensu (folding fans).