Japanese bon dance festival filled with inspiration

It’s that time of the year again. Bon dances will take place in different areas of Kaua‘i each weekend throughout the summer.

It doesn’t matter if you’re full Japanese, half, part or none; the music gets you involved in dancing, eating, socializing or playing in the games booth. Everyone is smiling and full of kindness.

It’s like a mini-carnival, but at the same time you are there to celebrate the ancestors in honor of their lives. Families dressed in authentic kimonos and little girls had their hair made with special clips, while the little boys wrapped their small towels around their heads this past weekend in Hanapepe Town.

If you don’t know the traditional moves to the songs they play, just get inspired by a veteran dancer and follow their steps. In a matter of minutes, you will get the hang of things and begin to feel the strong Japanese spirits around you.

Sometimes you are given the marked towels to wrap around your head or to use as a prop while dancing to the songs.

The drums are enchanting, and if you would like to learn how to drum, all you have to do is ask. They will provide you the place and times of the drum lessons.

Inspiration is all around the bon dance, and people are taking in the moment by dancing, singing, drumming, eating Okinawan Andagi donuts, or just by spending some time with their families.

Get inspired and check out the next bon dance on Kaua‘i; you never know what you may learn or do. I got into the dance circle in my past days, and felt like I could feel my spirit feeling stronger, and that all worries were gone. Plus, being with people of your culture helps you understand who you are and the history behind every song danced.

The next bon dance festival will be held at Lihu‘e Hongwanji Buddhist Temple starting at 7:30 p.m. on July 8 and July 9, so wear your kimonos and prepare to dance.


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