Bon Odori 2016

Hey everyone, it’s Stephanie – JSA’s historian!

Can you believe it’s Week 7 already? This quarter is going by so quickly D: Hope midterms and everything hasn’t been too bad 🙂 Well anyway, last week (2/11), we had our 2nd annual Bon Odori event! If you didn’t know, bon odori (盆踊り)is a type of Japanese traditional dance that is danced at bon festivals, or festivals that celebrate our ancestors, all around Japan. Different regions will have specialized dances for what they’re famous for, so places famous for coal-mining will have movements that resemble mining in the dance. I learned a lot of these dances from obons in the Japanese American community in SoCal, and it’s interesting because we do dances from all around Japan since immigrants from brought their different regional dances here!

Obon in Japan vs. US
This year, I taught Memanbetsu Bayashi (メマンベ林)and 1+1 Ondo ( 一たす一音頭) and they are always crowd favorites at obons! Although Memabetsu Bayashi seemed to be a little harder to grasp than I thought it would (lol) it still looked like everyone had a lot of fun! And it was fun seeing people (cough cough Czeanne) put their own “twist” (cough cough dabbing) on all the dances. For the second song, first we danced to the original recording of 1+1 Ondo but for a fun twist, I did what my odori sensei does and paired it with Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off”! It definitely sped things up but it looked like everyone enjoyed it!
After I taught the dances, we played Musical Elbows! The game is really similar to Musical Chairs but instead of grabbing a chair, you have to grab an elbow LOL. Congrats to winners, Lauren and Pauline. Also kind of congrats to pity winner Kyohei LOL.
Thanks so much to everyone who came out to this event! It always makes me really happy to see people interested especially in this event because I got to start it last year! Thank you JSA for giving me the opportunity to share an aspect of Japanese/Japanese American culture that means a lot to me 🙂 <3 and lastly, thank you and お疲れ様 to my fellow leaders Nayuki, Tomomi and Christina!
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Our next event will be our annual Lake Poway event! It’s going to be this Saturday (2/20) with meetup at 10 AM at Pines. And don’t forget about our weekly Language Table every Friday at Cafe V form 5-6 🙂


Hi everyone! This is Stephanie again and this will be my first blog post as your new historian! For the next year, I will be documenting all of our JSA events by taking pictures, so if you ever see me with my camera, don’t be afraid to come up and say hi! And what a fitting blog post for historian because this past weekend was our Photoshoot event! Similar to last year’s photo shoot, we went to Balboa Park to take group photos and single shots. However, this year we did something a little different and instead of staying in one location we took photos in different areas of Balboa Park. Having only been to Balboa Park once, this was a really fun way of exploring the beautiful park as well as taking fun pictures!

 Our first location was the well where we took the Officer group photo and single shots!

IMG_1097Group Photo!


Single Shots!

Then we went to the botanical gardens to explore and take cute/funny photos!


After we stopped for a quick snack


(Expectation vs. Reality LOL)

 We took our boy/girl photos and our group picture at the beautiful fountain!



 Our last stop was the rose gardens where we took some fun, random pictures!


TFTI -Nayuki Isoda


 This was a really fun event where we all got dressed up in our theme of red and white and got to tour Balboa Park in the beautiful weather! I hope everyone who came out had a great time and お疲れ様 to my fellow leaders: Arisa, Jin, Seira and Nayuki! Also, please come out to our next events this week: Temaki Night (if you signed up on the Gdoc) on 5/20 and Multicultural Night on 5/27!

– Stephanie Adachi 🙂

♪ Bon Odori! (2/26) ♪

Hi everyone! Your friendly staff member Stephanie here again, with a recap! On Thursday February 26th, we had our very first Bon Odori (盆踊り) event! I will explain some history of bon odori (including some of my personal experience with it), and recap what happened at the actual event 🙂 Bon odori is a type of traditional Japanese dance that is performed around a wooden scaffold or a yagura (櫓) during bon (盆) festivals. These summer festivals, which end up usually being around July or August, are a Japanese Buddhist tradition and are meant to guide your ancestors back home so you can pay your respects. These festivals are really fun with a lot of food and dancing, and in Japan, each region will have specialties in food, and the song/dance during bon odori.


Obon in Japan!

I grew up in SoCal, and going to obon in LA is a tradition for my family every year. I’ve been heavily involved with my local community center’s obon over the past couple years: from dancing/teaching bon odori, playing taiko and working booths. American obon festivals are different from the ones in Japan and instead of only doing songs from a specific region, we will do dances from all over Japan [ie, “Kyushu Tanko Bushi”, “Tohoku Ondo”, “Ashibinaa (from Okinawa)”, and many more]. I think that is really representative of the Japanese American community and shows how even though we are all from different places, we take pride in being Japanese, and spreading the culture.

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Me (and my sister in the right picture) at SoCal Obon!

I wanted to do the same here at UCSD, so I was really excited when I got the opportunity to lead and teach a Bon Odori event through JSA. Even though obon is a summer tradition, dancing bon odori this week was a good stress reliever during that second wave of midterms :P.

To start off the event, we began with an icebreaker. It was kind of like the app “Heads Up”, so the groups had to act out famous dances and common movements in order to get points. Let’s just say that it ended up being more scandalous than expected (hehehe)



After the icebreaker, my fellow leaders and I started to teach the dances. The first dance we taught was “Kyushu Tanko Bushi (九州炭坑節)” which is a coal miner’s dance from the Kyushu region. It’s a short and easy to learn dance and there are movements like pushing the coal carts, shoveling and holding a lantern over your shoulder.









Tanko Bushi

Tanko Bushi was just the warm up (hehe), and the next dance we taught was “Hokkai no Abarembo (北海の暴れん坊)”, which is a Northern Fisherman’s Dance. There are some cool moves like rowing the boat and yelling “YOISHO” and some complicated movements. It was really impressive to see how quickly everyone was able to get the hard combinations down (I know it took me waaaay longer ahaha).


Hokkai no Abarembo (YOISHO!)

After everyone had the dances pretty much down, we played a game: Musical Chairs! But the catch was that the songs were the bon odori songs and you had to keep moving and keep dancing the dances you just learned. After some crazy rounds and an unexpected ending, Tomo-kun was our champion!


Obon Musical Chairs

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Bon Odori Event, I hope you had as much of a good time as I did! Also, お疲れ様 to my fellow leaders: Sakurako, Nayuki, Billy, Alisa, and Sam! Our next event will be the JSA Movie Night, this Thursday (3/5) at 8 PM at CSB 002.


Thanks for coming everyone!


Stargazing: 11/22

こんにちは!This is new staff member, Stephanie Adachi. This is my first blog post, so please don’t be too hard on me hehe. Can you believe it’s almost week 8 already? Fall quarter is flying by and this week we had many events, finishing it off with Stargazing on Saturday night.

We first met at Café V at 7 to meet up with our respective drivers. Once everyone was grouped into their cars, we headed to our first stop, which was Starbucks. Since it was a chilly night by the beach, a nice, warm, holiday-themed drink was the perfect complement.

With warm drink in hand, we headed to Torrey Pines State Beach. We sat on beach towels and tarps and many people were bundled up in sweaters, blankets, hats, and scarves

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when you see it…                                        かわいいぼうしね〜

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hope everyone is staying warm!                                                       and having fun!

to protect against the cold. Some members downloaded star maps and other stargazing apps on their phones to help find constellations. People found Orion’s Belt right away but there was some controversy to where the Big Dipper was. Some people were very lucky and while stargazing saw shooting stars! (I was too slow and missed it both times lolol) When it started getting really chilly and the tide got higher, we snapped a group picture


and started heading back towards campus.

It was a really nice experience; I personally had never gone stargazing before and I realized how we often take something as beautiful as a night sky for granted. It was a really relaxing evening and also a good way to meet new people. Thank you to everyone who came out to the event and I hope you enjoyed the event as well! お疲れ様 to all of the leaders too! (Priscilla, Tomoki, Sam, Yusaku, Arisa, and Diana!)

The next event will be the Thanksgiving potluck next Wednesday (11/26). Please RSVP on Facebook!

-Stephanie Adachi (安達ステファニー)