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POSTED June 30, 2009 10:42 p.m.
The Cortez Buddhist Temple celebrated the Japanese American tradition of Obon on Saturday with traditional dancing and live performances.
Dan Kubo, master of ceremonies for the Cortez Obon, said that although the tradition has Buddhist roots, it is very much a Japanese American cultural tradition. He explained that while not all Japanese Americans are Buddhist, many still choose to participate in Obon.
There are no on-lookers at Obon, everyone is welcome to get up and dance. There was a small circle of dance leaders in the middle who knew all of the steps, but anyone who couldn’t keep up was encouraged to make it up as they go along.
Kubo said that there was a pretty good turn-out for the small community festival. He said that many area Obons included bazaars and cultural festivals. The Cortez Obon was more about getting together with family and friends and socializing.

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