Bon Odori Festival 2012

The Bon Festival is held each year during summer in the month of August  in Japan.

This one week celebration is to honour the spirits of their ancestors and has over the years evolved into a family reunion where people return to their ancestral homes, visit and clean their ancestors graves.

The Bon Festival has a tradition which is more than 500 years old and traditionally includes a dance called the Bon Odori.

This year is the 36th anniversary of the Bon Odori Festival in Malaysia  and this years theme celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the “Look East” policy first mooted by former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathri Mohamad.

Masato Nakamura officiating the opening of the Bon Odori Festival in Shah Alam.

In his opening speech, the chairperson of the Organising Committee, Masato Nakamura said “The Look East Policy has strengthened the exchange of talents, enhanced economic development and mutual understanding  of both nations.

“I hope that this close relationship will be  further strenthened by the Bon Odori Festival by enhancing the mutual understanding of both country’s culture,” he said.

Held at the Kompleks Sukan Negara  in Shah Alam on the July the 14th, the festival attracted more than 15,000 people who jam packed the stadium as early as 5.00pm even though the programs were supposed to be kicked off at 7 pm.

It was an evening of great Japanese food, dancing and cultural performances.

Visitors were already at the stadium as early as 5pm.

It's never too young to start to learning the tradition of Bon Odori.”]

Japanese children in their traditional dress having a bite before the dancing starts.

Plenty of Sushi packs for hungry visitors.

A portable mini sushi bar.

Scene near the food stalls.

At 7pm the dancing started on a high stage in the middle of the stadium.”]

View on the stage during one of the many dances.

The audience dancing round the field. Many of the audience came dressed in Japanese Kimonos.”]

These young ladies seem to be having the time of their life dancing to the beat of the drums.

The Bon Odori dances continued for almost 3 hours with stops in between for cultural performances.”]

Dancers on the field dancing round the centre stage following the movements of the Bon Odori dancers.”]

Members of the Japanese Club of Malaysia performing the umbrella dance.

THe Wadaiko Syo Drums put up a spectacular Japansese drum performance. They were joined in by traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian drums.”]

Nakamishi, the director of Wadaiko Syo on the Japanese flute.”]

Malay drums.
Bhangra drums.

Chinese drums.