Odori Dances at the 2019 Japanese Friendship Garden's Cherry Blossom Festival

Under the guidance and supervision of Junko Kajita, assisted by Shirley Omori and Kimberly Kruse, a group of Temple members performed several Odori dances to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Fesitval in the Japanese Friendship Garden. The performance was presented to a full house of visitors in the beautiful Inamori Pavilian, located at the lower level of the garden. Watch the dancers here in these videos:

Sakura Ondo
Mottainai Ondo
Akachan Ondo
Bambutsu no Tsunagari
Tanko Bushi

About the Dances

The following descriptions of each dance were prepared by Kimberly Kruse and Junko Kajita. Some of the information was taken from the Odori teacher’s dance instruction manual.:

  • Sakura Ondo - In honor of the beautiful and fragile sakura or cherry blossoms. We will depict viewing and appreciating the array of the delicate, pink cherry blossoms.

  • Mottainai - (tenugui or towel dance) Mottainai means to not be wasteful. The song reminds us that grandma tells us not to be wasteful, use every grain of rice, every drop of water.

  • Akachan Ondo - (kachi kachi dance) "Akachan" meaning [crying] child.

  • Bambutsu No Tsunagari - Nobuko Miyamoto (Great Leap) first came together with Quetzal Flores (Quetzal - band) at a Fandango class. Fandangos in Mexico are community celebrations of music and dance. When Nobuko saw the similarities between the Fandango and the Obon festival as participatory events, she and Quetzal and his wife Martha Gonzalez collaborated and created a piece that melted the Japanese-American and Mexican-American traditions (including African influences) into a song called “Bambutsu No Tsunagari” which means “All Things Are Connected.” Learn more here.

  • Tanko Bushi - Also known as the coal miner's dance, this is a common obon dance that you can find at various temples. The steps run through digging, throwing the dirt over your shoulders, looking back in the coal mine, and pushing the cart.