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Dancing to Welcome the Spirits of the Dead

West L.A. Obon Festival Eleven Years Ago

I have been attending the West Los Angeles Buddhist Temple’s Obon Festival for more than forty years now, and today was no exception. I chowed down on the Men’s Club udon soup—two bowls, no less!—and sat with Martine to watch the cheerful dances in which the spirits of the dead were welcomed. As usual, all he participants seemed to be having a great time. One nice thing about this festival is that all are welcome, regardless of race, color, or creed.

This time, I neglected to bring my camera, so I am sharing with you a picture I took in 2006. The same tall Japanese Obon dancer was there today, looking not much older than he did eleven years ago.

Poster for the Festival We Attended


Although I have not done it in over fifty years, some day I will attend one of the West L.A. Buddhist Temple’s services. I should, inasmuch as the Temple has played such a benign part in my life over so long a period of time.

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