On a blazing hot Sunday, the spectacular 10,000 Eisa Parade took place on Kokusai Street in Okinawa. The lively festival was in honor of Obon, a time when the community bids farewell to their ancestor’s spirits. I saw the most amazing beautiful faces. Come and take a peek…
July and August are festive months in Okinawa. Every night from our balcony, we hear drummers, sanshin players, and singers preparing their ballads and prayers for Obon. The sounds are basic and primal. The vibrations rattle our outdoor furniture and something inside us too.
Families perform private memorial services for their loved ones in their homes, but the whole island bonds together to celebrate the 10,000 Eisa Dance Parade.
From small children to adults, there is a wide range of participation from the community in this event. Despite the intense heat, I saw commitment, cooperation, and faces full of enthusiasm and happiness.
When’s the last time you felt such exhilaration?