Whisky and JP info

Japanese information :” O-Bon” festival

Hi, I’m Shinno(@whisky_Ninja).
This article introduces “O-bon” festival which is one of the Japanese important events.

Hi, Shinno-san, the top of photo is odd.
What did you make?

I made these odd things for “O-bon festival”.
It is holidays from August 13th to August 16th.
Today, I would like to introduce “O-bon” festival.


What is “O-bon” festival?

“O-bon” festival is a very important event for Japanese.
They think their ancestor’s spirits will come back and stay with us in o-bon festival days.

Although religion is different, o-bon festival is a little bit similar to “Halloween”.

This culture is concerning Buddhism.
According to the historical story, it came from China. (The origin of Buddhism is India.)
This festival exists from approximately 500 years ago at least.

In this week, the schools in Japan are in the summer vacation and many companys are on vacation.

Many people go back to their home town because they hope to stay with their family and ancestor’s spirits.

Practically, it is refresh time for Japanese people.
Especially children can get a chance to meet their grandparents.

I recommend you to avoid to come to Japan at the week of bon festival.

What are these objects?

Have you ever seen these objects before?
If your answer is “Yes”, you know Japanese culture very well.



There are the “Shoryo-uma(精霊馬)” and “Shoryo-ushi(精霊牛)”.
According to the story, ancestor spirits ride on these animals to come back and go back.

The cucumber’s one is shoryo-ma.
精霊 is shoryo, the meaning is spirit.
馬 is uma, the meaning is a horse.



The eggplant one is Shoryo-ushi.
精霊 is shoryo, the meaning is spirit.
牛 is ushi, the meaning is a cow.



Why are there two species of animals?

Because the roles of the two species are different.


Shoryo-uma will take ancestor spirit to real world.
A horse can run fast. This object means that ancestor sprit is prayed to come back fast.

Shoryo-ushi will take ancestor spirit from real world.
A cow can carry many gifts. This object means that ancestor spirit can get many souvenir from real world.

I didn’t know it.

It depends on the region. However, these became more famous because many Japanese make it in different styles and post the photos on SNS.
The shapes are funny and cool for us as well.


Following site introduces new design’s shoryo-ushi and shoryo-uma.

The sentence is Japanese, but you can see the photos.
Some designs are not traditional.
However, everyone enjoy making these things.

New design’s shoryo-uma and ushi

I love the one which is car shaped.


What is the main event?

The main event is “Bon Odori”(盆踊り). it means “Bon dance”.
Many people gather and do traditional dance on the night.

This dance reminds people of the ancient spirit and people who were gone and appreciation to them.



It is a very traditional event today.
Following youtube link is a video of big bon dance in Tokyo.


My hometown’s bon odori was smaller than youtube’s one.

However, it is very homelike style. I joined when I was a child. After bon odori, we had been given ice creams by adults.

I remember the hotness and high humidity every time although it was night.


Did you enjoy this article?
Following box is the summary.

①In the week of “Obon” -13 August to 16 August, public transportations and roads are crowded.
Obon week is not recommended to visit Japan.

②Shoryo-uma and Shoryo-ushi are very cool.
Also Japanese update these today.
Obon festival is that ancestor spirit come back.
It is a little bit similar to Halloween.

③The main event is the bon dance.
It remained Japanese traditonal culture.


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座右の銘は「冗談のなかに真実あり。真実のなかに偽りあり。」 あなたに新たな発見や楽しい時間を過ごすという価値を届けます。