Bon Odori (Japan)

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In Japan, people pray for the spirits of their deceased relatives and ancestors to be able to obtain Buddhahood without suffering. There are many events held around the 15th of the 7th month of the old lunar calendar, generally correspond to the four-day period between August 13th and 16th. Parts of the Kantō region hold Obon to be from July 13th to 16th, and in Hamamatsu as well, Obon is held in July or August depending on the area.

«Bon-Odori,» as the name suggests, refers to a dance (odori) held during Obon. One of the folk arts held dear by Japanese, dance is performed all over Japan to receive spirits and send them off again. At the present day, the religious aspect of the event has been mostly lost, and the dance is held as an event to liven up summer festivals and so on.

There are many cases in which the movements of the dances passed down from long ago are made to coordinate with lyrics describing such actions as «harvesting the rice» or «scooping the mud.» Dress can consist of anything, but since the choreography is based around yukata, people can often be seen wearing it while dancing.



  • Deceased:A person who has died.
  • Correspond: Communicate by exchanging letters.
  • Aspect: A particular part or feature of something.
  • Choreography: The sequence of steps and movements in dance or figure skating, especially in a ballet or other staged dance.


When you read, record yourself and listen to it. It will help you with your pronunciation!


  • What is first thought that comes to mind when watching the video? 

Session 2

Welcome to this activity created by Junior Advisor Ms. Areli Gallaga from Reforma Branch. Take note of all the pink words, read the text, watch the video and answer the question in the comment section below.

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