Obon is an annual summer festival that commemorates our ancestors. It gives us an opportunity to express our gratitude to our family and friends who have gone before us. We most often associate Obon with Bon Odori, or folk dancing, accompanied by the sounds of the taiko. At the Obon celebrations in Como Park, we enjoy delicious food, celebrate Japanese culture and release beautiful lanterns in the Japanese garden at night. It is a festive, yet contemplative time to gather with our families.
Please join us as Reverend Todd Tsuchiya and Reverend Chiemi Onikura Bly from Twin Cities Buddhist Association Sangha explain the origins of Obon and its history of how it has been celebrated in Japan, the US and locally here in the Twin Cities on Thursday, July 22nd at 6 p.m.!
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Twin Cities Buddhist Association Sangha (TCBA):
TCBA was founded in 1946 by Japanese American incarceration camp survivors and Military Intelligence Service veterans from Fort Snelling. They are a Jodo Shinshu group based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, affiliated with the Buddhist Churches of America. Jodo Shinshu is part of the Pure Land tradition and has its origins in Japan in the 13th century. It developed as a teaching that included all of society, not just the educated elite of the day. It arrived in the US in 1899 along with the Japanese immigrant community. They currently meet every other week via Zoom but in non-pandemic times they meet monthly at the Midtown YWCA in Minneapolis. They also hold monthly discussion sessions in Japanese using Zoom. For more information, please check the TCBA website from here.
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Reverend Todd Tsuchiya
Todd is a Minister’s Assistant at TCBA and ordained in the Jodo Shinshu Nishi Hongwanji tradition in Kyoto, Japan and part of the Buddhist Churches of America. He was born and raised in Minnesota and is a retired dentist. You may have seen Todd playing the taiko in past Kogen Taiko performances and the shinobue (transverse bamboo flute) at JASM events.
Reverend Chiemi Renshin Onikura Bly
Raised in a Jodo Shinshu temple family in Fukuoka Japan, Chiemi graduated from a Jodo Shinshu high school and college. She moved to the United States in 2000. Chiemi has lived in Minnesota for 20 years. She is ordained in the Jodo Shinshu Nishi Hongwanji tradition in 2016. She is an Assistant Minister of the Buddhist Church of America, and serves at the Twin Cities Buddhist Association.
We are looking forward to seeing you there!
P.O. Box 26639
Minneapolis, MN 55426