Saturday, August 15, 2009

Waimea O-Bon: Best yet!

The Waimea Higashi Hongwanji hosted their Obon a couple of weeks ago-- it was my favorite by far. The grounds are neatly kept, with lovely flowers and fountains and rock gardens. The hall is the only one I've seen that seems really lovingly used-- there are beautiful paintings on the wall, and bold modern Japanese art and calligraphy. It was a very peaceful and moving setting.

Rosie found all the statues of Buddha and carefully washed them down. The priest saw her and laughed at her irreverance-- or maybe at her reverence. There's something very right and Shinto about washing down the statues-- all those purification rites. Maybe Rosie Jo has an inner Shintoist the way I have an inner Catholic.

Here's the lovely set up, with the big rameumptom in the middle, and with the paper lanterns spoking out. But wait, what's that little blond blur, trespassing prematurely in the sacred dancing space, about to crash into those misbalanced Taiko drums???
Being retrieved.Unrepentant.


Katie and Sam said...

that looks sooooo great. Rosie is so awesome! So, can we come visit you?

Kaje said...

I love her HAIR!

How does she just keep getting cuter? HOW?!

I want to go to Obon. I thought it was more a family celebrate-by-yourself, idea. Burning the fire in front of your house to invite back the spirits of your ancestors? Cool! I like this community celebration! Tell me more about it!

Also--"Waimea" got me all confused. Kauai? Oahu?

M&B said...

Kauai west side, Waimea! We used to live in Waimea on the Big Island, otherwise known as Kamuela, just to add to the confusion.

Yep, Obon is these big celebrations, all summer long, at all the various buddhist temples around the island... at some of them the priest holds a little service before the dancing and chants and reads of the names of the year's deceased, and the family members light incense. After the last one, there's a private ceremony where the family members go down to the harbor and put lights in tiny paper boats and send them to the sea-- we missed it this year, but next year I want to go... *sniff, snuff*