8-18-2018 Olympia Bon Odori video clips

The summer Bon Odori festival has been celebrated in Japan for at least 13 centuries. Originally a Buddhist celebration, Bon is also celebrated in more or less secular form in many American communities, chiefly on the west coast and in Hawaii.

Our Bon Odori celebration is in its 33rd and, perhaps, last year.  Originally, BON refers to the Buddhist observance of O-BON, a time when the souls of our ancestors visit their living descendants. They are greeted with song and dance — ODORI is the dance celebration, traditional folk dances joined in by the living and their departed ancestors in joy and celebration.

The dance steps depict human activities, like mining, or fishing, and the beauty of beloved landscapes.  The dances are composed of simple, repetitive motions, easily learned — all are invited to participate in the celebration.

A generation in Olympia has grown up with this tradition helping them track the passage of time and connecting with those who came before.

This year we honor those who came before us in the community, including the Sato family, the Uminos, Liddells, Owadas, Matsumotos, and many more.  Gassho.




5:30 – 5:50 pm Aikido of Olympia

6:00 – 6:15 pm Karate: Pacific NW Ryuhou Kan Dojo

6:15 – 6:55 pm Okinawa Kenjin Kai Taiko

7:00 pm  FORMAL GREETINGS Reiko Callner, Olympia JACL


Mikokoro Ondo — prayer dance

Tanko Bushi — coal miner’s dance

Hanano Bon Odori — flower dance with fans

Oyama Ondo — hand dance

Sakura Ondo — Sakura Ondo — cherry blossom dance

Shiawase Samba — samba style dance

7:45 pm BREAK — NORTHWEST TAIKO concert

Soran Bush — fisherman’s dance

Hiroshima Ondo — dance from Hiroshima

Gosho Ondo — Meiji era dance

Yashiro Ondo — sister city dance

Samisen Slide — line dance with tanegui

Hanabi Ondo — fireworks song with lit rings

9:00 pm Luminary Peace Procession and song

Domo Arigato!!!

Dancers from Tacoma, White River, and Seattle

Procession of the Species Art Studio

Lincoln Options

Pacific Stage

Our many wonderful volunteers

Whether we can continue this event in the future really depends on whether we can muster enough financial and volunteer support. To help, please go to our Facebook page, “JACL Olympia” i.e. facebook.com/JACLOlympia/ or donate at gofundme.com/xqwvh9-olympia-bon-odori-fundraiser

Donations are tax deductible.


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