Friday, August 03, 2018

Shiraishi Bon Dance, a national treasure Aug. 13-16, Seto Inland Sea, #Japan

The Obon Festival of the Dead is from Aug. 12-16 on Shiraishi Island. This is absolutely the best time to be on the island! The Shiraishi Bon Odori, a National Treasure, has been performed every year for over 700 years now. The dance is to appease the souls of the Heike warriors who died in the final battle at Dan'no Ura in the Seto Inland Sea in 1185, marking the end of the Genpei Wars between the Taira and Minamoto clans fighting for control of Japan. After this war, the Kamakura Shogunate ensued. Come out and watch the locals perform the dance, or participate to help appease the souls of the warriors!

Shiraishi Bon Dance schedule for this year is as follows:

Monday evening Aug. 13 Mukaebi (welcoming the spirits back to the island) at the temple and Shiraishi Dance performance.
Tuesday 8pm Aug. 14 Shiraishi Dance (at Kominkan--a great time to learn the dance!)
Wednesday 8pm Aug. 15 Shiraishi Dance (at Kominkan--a great time to learn the dance!)
Thursday evening, sunset, Toronagashi (sending the spirits off via lanterns on the sea) From 7pm the last Shiraishi Dance performance. Takes place on the beach.

If you're planning on seeing the dance, you will need to stay overnight, so please book as soon as possible as everything will soon be full! See accommodations at or email shiraishireservations at yahoo dot com.

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