Sunday, August 5, 2007

Mitsuwa Bon Odori Summer Festival

This evening, in spite of the rain, we all made our way over to the Bon Odori Festival at the Mitsuwa Marketplace here in Arlington Heights.
Mitsuwa Marketplace

We have been to Mitsuwa in the past, shopping for Asian groceries, as well as attempting to decipher cool Japanese crafts books in their bookstore...ah, but this was different. So beautiful and so, so different.

We arrived just in time to view a lovely Bon dancing event. I had never seen this before, but I know now that I will see it again.

This is a video of another Bon dance (the rain kept me from taping the one held at Mitsuwa). I absolutely love it.

This photo is one from the Mitsuwa Bon dance.....
Bon Dancing

I loved how people simply stepped into the circle and began dancing. Not just the talented Japanese dancers....rather the children, the young Dad's with babes strapped on their chests, the older couples, the young, the old, the shy, the hip kids who would try anything once. The dance held a sense of community, of tradition, of history. We seem to have so little of that in this country...and I don't quite know why.

The one perfect moment I take with me from this experience is this small, beautiful woman.....
Beautiful Bon Dancer

She danced each and every dance round and round the circle. She moved with exquisite grace, each turn of her hand a story, her motions fluid and thoughtful. She was an absolute wonder. I will remember this small woman forever.

Our evening ended with a quick escape from the rains, and an insatiable desire for a few good egg rolls.
Mitsuwa Egg Rolls

I will return to the Bon Odori Festival next year. This time I too will dance.