Akiko Hiroshima sings for the Matsuri Dancers
NEW YORK, July 12 – The New York Buddhist Church held their 60th Annual Obon Odori in Bryant Park. The Obon Festival is a unique Japanese take on the Ghost Festival, which is celebrated throughout Asia.
This year's Bryant Park celebration was colorful and lively with performances by the Soh Daiko Drum Corp and Happyfunsmile. The event created a festive family oriented atmosphere with food, street odori dancing, and matsuri dancing.
I especially enjoyed the performance by Happyfunsmile. They displayed their amazing skills at getting the audience to dance. Their special brand of Okinawan pop and folk brought scores of people to the dance floor.
Happyfunsmile is playing a few Obon festivals in Los Angeles (July 25-26), and everyone should check them out. See the Happyfunsmile website for dates and times.