Friday, June 30, 2023

Summer of Bon

Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez!

Summer will be here in a minute ushering in Obon season around the world. Yes; around the world!

bon dancers

Even though Obon (or Bon Odori) is a dance event honoring Japanese ancestors, it’s now found in some places where no Japanese expats even live.

Further, some of the music played these days includes modern tunes like the Electric Slide!

You probably know that Obon is held annually at Buddhist temples in commemoration of those who have departed. It’s believed that their spirits return every summer, and family members celebrate by dancing.

Generally, participants dance to old Japanese folk tunes played over a loudspeaker. Sometimes, local taiko (drumming) groups even perform live.

Anyone can join in the dancing, but there are usually groups of dancers who have practiced at their temple throughout the year. They’re the leaders inside the dance circle performing steps that others can follow.

The theme of Obon appears in our War Brides of Japan, a docu*memory films titled The Culture. In Tamales 4 Bon Odori, the interviewee laments that she was not welcomed at her neighborhood Obon as a child because she was not accepted by Japanese Americans due to her father being Mexican.

Well, times are changing. Today, a lot of people at Obon festivals celebrated in the U.S. have no Japanese ancestry at all.

You can watch Tamales 4 Bon Odori here on Gumroad along with our other 4 war brides’ films:


Meanwhile, we’re still working on our Tokyo Lily film and Lily Wisteria graphic novel. And, of course, our feature Watermelon Sushi. Come back  here for updates.

You can also subscribe to our two Youtube channels:

Watermelon Sushi

War Brides of Japan, a docu*memory

And, remember to visit our websites:


Watermelon Sushi

War Brides of Japan, a docu*memory

Happy Bon! Happy Summer!