Bon dance illuminates the night

With the island’s bon dance season one of the highlights of the weekend, residents and visitors continued this year’s festivities July 5 and 6 at the Koloa Jodo Mission.

In all, an estimated several hundred people danced to traditional Japanese and Okinawan songs over the two-night cultural event and enjoyed ono local foods, including chili rice bowls, shave ice, makizushi, malasadas and baked manju.

The event also included half-time performances on each night by Taiko Kauai on July 5 and Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Kauai on July 6.

Last week was also the last bon dance event, where bon dance participants and visitors could view the “Buddhist Temples in Hawaii” traveling exhibit sponsored by the Japanese Cultural Society and authored by University of Hawaii professors George and Willa Tanabe.

 Visitors to the Koloa Jodo Mission’s annual bon dance were also greeted by a rare sight Saturday night near the temple’s entrance: a night-blooming cereus in full bloom.

The next bon dance on Kauai is scheduled for today and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the West Kauai Hanapepe Hongwanji, located at 1-3860 Kamaulii Highway.

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