Monday, August 2, 2010

Bon Dance

My local temple, Pearl City Hongwanji, (pictured above) is making arrangements for its annual Bon Dance.

The Bon Dance is based on the story of Mokuren, a disciple of Buddha.  He saw a vision of his deceased mother in the Realm of Hungry Ghosts.  Greatly disturbed, he went to the Buddha and asked how he could release his mother from this Realm.  Buddha answered, "Provide Dana (selfless giving) for all sentient beings." Mokuren did this and saw his mother's release.  He also began to see the true nature of her past unselfishness and the many sacrifices she had made for him.  Mokuren, happy because of his mother's  release and grateful for her care and for Buddha's guidance, danced with joy.  

This is the origin of the Bon Dance, which is also called Gathering of Joy (Kangi-E) in grateful remembrance of all who have influenced our lives.

The Yagura (tower that holds the musicians) is built, the lights are strung, the food supplies are arriving, the temple members are assigned to their posts, and this weekend we will do a cleanup of the grounds in final preparation.  Won't you join us in the celebration?

August 13 & 14, (Friday and Saturday): 
6:15 pm Hatsu-Bon Service, 
7:30 pm Bon Dance
Pearl City (Hawaii) Hongwanji Temple, 858 Second Street.