Saturday, August 13, 2005


THE OTHER NIGHT, family members all over the Land

welcomed the spirit of the dead into their homes.

They gathered at the gate of their respective homes

and lit wooden sticks. Doing this would make the task

of finding their homes easier for the wandering souls.

This serves as beacon for the souls.

ALONG THE ROAD, men dressed in black and white shirts

with black neckties, and women in black dresses,

walk as they visit the homes of the recently departed.

The HACHIBON or first OBON is done.

This means that it is the departed's first OBON.

This is equally an important ceremony

where the dead is made to feel that they are not forgotten

by the living. Family members, old friends, and neighbors

pay their respect. They bring envelopes which contain money

= a tradition here: it relays the sympathy of the visitors


the family of the departed gives something in return:

face towel, soomen [noodle similar to vermicelli;

this is usually eaten during the summer],

or any little thing.

Meanwhile, THE HEAT continues.....

amidst the O-BON, and the FIREFLIES [HOTARU]

and the SUIKA [WATERMELONS]..........

..............very typical of JAPANESE SUMMER [NIPPON NO NATSU].

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