36th BON ODORI FESTIVAL 2012
Heard of Bon Odori?
Bon means welcoming ancestors’ souls and holding a memorial service for the souls. There is a Bon week in August every year, and Bon continues for about a week. During Bon, sometimes all relatives of family gather and hold a memorial service for their ancestors, and enjoy being in a reminiscent mood. This traditional comes from Buddhism in China.
The Bon Festival is held during in Bon week, and people gathers at the near open-space or the parks, and dance with traditional Japanese music. The music should be happy music to welcome the ancestor’s souls, and people have a duty to make a happy, mysterious, and welcoming mood. Moreover, the Bon Dance should be held in the night because Japanese people believe that ancestors’ souls come back in the night.
The technology in Japan has developed in a hundred years, but Japanese people have never forgotten the traditional heart, and taking place Bon Festival and Bon Dance every
summer. Japanese people will continue to venerate this traditional, and to respect the soul of their.
Dancing around the Yagura
The way in which the dance is performed is also different in each region, though the typical Bon dance involves people lining up in a circle around a high wooden scaffold made especially for the festival called a Yagura. The yagura is usually also the bandstand for the musicians and singers of the Obon music. Some dances proceed clockwise, and some dances proceed counter-clockwise around the yagura. Some dances reverse during the dance, though most do not. At times, people face the yagura and move towards and away from it. Still some dances, such as the Kagoshima Ohara dance, and the Tokushima Awa Odori, simply proceed in a straight line through the streets of the town.
In Malaysia, Bon Odori Festivals are also celebrated every year in Penang and at the Matsushita Corp Stadium in Shah Alam, Selangor. This celebration, which is a major attraction for the state of Selangor, is the brain child of the Japanese Expatriate & Immigrant’s Society in Malaysia. In comparison to the celebrations in Japan, the festival is celebrated on a much smaller scale in Penang and Selangor, and is less associated with Buddhism and more with Japanese culture. Held mainly to expose locals to a part of Japanese culture, the festival provides the experience of a variety of Japanese food and drinks, art and dance, with the vast number of Japanese companies in Malaysia taking part to promote their products.
Sounds awesome? Well, here is your chance to attend this year!
Date: 14 July 2012
Venue: Shah Alam Matsushita Stadium
Selangor Organiser: Selangor State Office, Ministry of Tourism; The Japan Club of Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 03-5510 8816 | Fax: 03-5513 1199 / 1399
17:00 Gates Open
19:00 Opening – Drum Performance
19:15 Enjoy the Cultural Dance Part 1
19:45 Dance by Guest Performers
20:00 Enjoy the Cultural Dance Part 2
20:30 Guest Drum Performance
20:45 Enjoy the Cultural Dance Part 3
21:15 Closing Address
To get the latest information and agenda of Bon Odori 2012, do like their fanpage https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bon-Odori-Malaysia/256041621077246 for the update.