Dancing, food, and history.
According to Judy Van Zile in her book, “The Japanese Bon Dance in Hawaii,” the bon festival tradition is believed to have been started in Hawaii by Japanese laborers in plantation communities in the early 1900s.
“Today, Obon festivals are community events that draw hundreds of participants. The bon dance is a living tradition that continues to change, she said, and has different meanings for different people.” — Christine Yano, professor of anthropology, University of Hawaii at Manoa
So it was quite a treat for me to visit Hawaii Plantation Village in Waipahu this past weekend to experience what a plantation bon dance could have been like over a hundred years ago.
I was inspired. [Read more…]