It’s bon dance season and there is one person conspicuously absent from our outings and that is my mom (pictured above in the blue happi coat in 2010). Obon is a time when Buddhists honor the spirits of their ancestors and welcome them home. Although I am a Christian and do not observe the religious aspect of obon, I do view my participation in bon dances as a way to honor and remember my mother and my issei grandparents who passed before I had a chance to know them. My mother was instrumental in developing in me an appreciation and love for the music and dances of Okinawa — and I know that she is looking down at me from heaven and smiling, knowing that I am a part of the effort to keep our culture alive in Hawaii. I am trying to do the same for my own daughter.
This past weekend, we attended the Jikoen Hongwanji bon dance. Our Eisa / Bon Dance group gave it our all and it was such a fun time! Lil’ K and I entered the kachaashii contest where we both were selected as finalists in our divisions – but neither of us came home with a trophy. No matter, because we both enjoyed the experience!
I have video footage that begs to be edited and uploaded, but just have not had the time nor energy to work on it. When I finally get around to it, I will post a link here. In the meantime, please enjoy this video of the Chondara Dance performed by the Young Okinawans of Hawaii, followed by Nembutsu and Kudaka. (Thank you, Joni, for filming this!)
Who is Champuru?Aloha, I'm Donna, known everywhere on the Internet as "Champuru." I was born and raised in Hawaii. I'm a Christian. I'm married to my best friend of 18 years, we struggled with infertility and successfully conceived via IVF (and by the grace of God!) in 2008. I resigned from my coveted "secure" government job to be a work-at-home mom to my 3-year-old daughter. Using my degree in Information Technology and the skills obtained in the marketplace, I started my own business. Now, I work from home, taking clients on a part-time basis, working in my PJ's while the little one sleeps. Life isn't always easy, but it's all good.