Thursday, July 20, 2017

Festivals, Fire, Fortes 1

This entry covers three weekends crossing June and July. It starts on Saturday, June 24. There were lots of Obons in the L.A. area this weekend -  Venice (VJCC), Gardena (GVJCI), West Covina (WCBT), Long Beach (LBJCC), and San Fernando (SFVHBT). Needless to say, I couldn't go to all of them. My plan was to go to Venice on Saturday and San Fernando on Sunday. A job came up for Sunday. Money trumps festival fun, so San Fernando was out. I have been to that one a couple of times anyway. I was surprised on Saturday as I followed the GPS, because it was leading me to a slightly different place than last year. It turns out there are two Venice temples, a couple of blocks from each other. This is not unusual, as you know from past posts. I just wasn't paying close enough attention to the names. The Venice Japanese Community Center (VJCC) Obon is bigger than the Venice Hongwanji Obon Festival (VHBT), which happened this past weekend. It is a good one. Lots of people, lots of fun, a big indoor auditorium to get out of the sun. Lots of dancers. The thing about the dances is that there are plenty that are the same at each Obon, but each temple seems to have a few that are unique to them. My goal this year is to do at least one dance per Obon. So far I am way ahead of the game.

A very good Taiko group. It is the group of the church. I haven't been to a single Obon that didn't have at least one Taiko group.
If there is chili rice, I have to have it. It is not that I like this dish so much,It is a memory thing.
It is from my childhood. Obons are the only place I find it these days.
The back of the kitchen.
The dish with accompaniments.
There were lots of games. I had to play one of them because I wanted some slime.


This is the game I had to play for the slime. I offered to just buy it, but they didn't go for that. I had to play. It took three rounds. They made more money than they would have if they just let me buy it.
Most of the Obons have displays of traditional arts and crafts. Here are some ikebana and bonsai examples.

An indication of how big this Obon is and how popular some of the dishes are.

Someone showed up in style. 

I have a thing for alleys. They have a sense of mystery. There are not too many alleys that I feel safe walking down left in Los Angeles. This one looked very safe, so I took it. I cannot explain the pleasure it gave me.

Okay, I am going to break this post up, because it is just too difficult to work the photos. This is a very clunky platform. This is now "Festivals, Fire, Fortes 1"

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