Obon: Palo Alto

music: shakuhachi flutes

We’re listening to music from the Obon Festival, held in Palo Alto, California. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. From its origins in Japan over 1300 years ago, Obon has been a time for Buddhists all over the world to honor their ancestors, and celebrate their lives. Utaka Kawazoyu has been a member of the Palo Alto Buddhist temple for more than forty years.

“It’s called the Festival of Joy and it’s a time when we remember those who’ve passed before us, those who’ve left us legacies, those who’ve left us who we are today, basically. So we honor them as part of a joy for giving us what we have today.”

Obon is celebrated with music, food, games, and traditional dancing. The temple members in Palo Alto use the events of the festival to present bits of Japanese culture to the public. Margaret Blair has been attending services at the Palo Alto temple since 1958.

“Come and enjoy the celebration, enjoy the Obon dances and enjoy the beautiful flower arranging and the taste of Japanese culture. It’s a different world and I think in the midst of our hurry, and hustle and bustle, and everybody frantically running here and there — I think to stop, and just stand and enjoy the beauty of it. And you’ll find a wonderful note of hospitality here. There’s a wonderful warmth and welcome so I just urge people to come.”

The dates of Obon vary from location to location, but in Palo Alto it’s always held on the first weekend of August.

.Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I’m Jim Metzner.

Obon: Palo Alto

A venerable Japanese Buddhist tradition thrives in California.
Air Date:08/01/2002
Scientist:
Transcript:


music: shakuhachi flutes

We're listening to music from the Obon Festival, held in Palo Alto, California. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. From its origins in Japan over 1300 years ago, Obon has been a time for Buddhists all over the world to honor their ancestors, and celebrate their lives. Utaka Kawazoyu has been a member of the Palo Alto Buddhist temple for more than forty years.

"It's called the Festival of Joy and it’s a time when we remember those who’ve passed before us, those who’ve left us legacies, those who’ve left us who we are today, basically. So we honor them as part of a joy for giving us what we have today."

Obon is celebrated with music, food, games, and traditional dancing. The temple members in Palo Alto use the events of the festival to present bits of Japanese culture to the public. Margaret Blair has been attending services at the Palo Alto temple since 1958.

"Come and enjoy the celebration, enjoy the Obon dances and enjoy the beautiful flower arranging and the taste of Japanese culture. It’s a different world and I think in the midst of our hurry, and hustle and bustle, and everybody frantically running here and there -- I think to stop, and just stand and enjoy the beauty of it. And you’ll find a wonderful note of hospitality here. There’s a wonderful warmth and welcome so I just urge people to come."

The dates of Obon vary from location to location, but in Palo Alto it's always held on the first weekend of August.

.Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I'm Jim Metzner.