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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!

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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!
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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.
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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 🙂
-Stephanie

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