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2021 Bon Fest Chicago (盆フェスト・シカゴ) Virtual (Live from the Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park with Music & Dancing)Newly Listed

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Date: Saturday, 31 July, 2021       Time: 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Garden of the Phoenix
5800 S Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, CA 60637

Phone: (312) 742-7529
Website: Click to Visit

BON Fest Chicago - VIRTUAL EDITION Join the inaugural BON Fest live from the Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park with music and dancing!


Festival History
A Bon Festival ( or Obon Matsuri) occurs during the hottest part of the summer when it said that distance the natural and supernatural world is the smallest. People then come together to remember those that have passed on or where lost as a community. Traditionally, a specific regional style of dancing and music is performed by those in attendance to welcome spirits.

Our hope is to use the festival as an opportunity for our community to heal and process the tremendous loss and damage the COVID-19 pandemic has caused through the arts.

The Bon Odori Association of Japan, Asian Improv Arts Midwest, and Shubukai’s Fujima Yoshinojo will be helping to support this important new event. Fujima Sensei is also a resident artist of the Japanese Arts Foundation and instructor at the Japanese Culture Center, and we will be hosting virtual Bon Odori dance lessons on 3 Tuesdays leading up to the Bon Fest, so everyone can participate from the convenience of their own home.

Festval Program Schedule
The program will begin streaming on the JAF’s Twitch channel at 8 PM CDT on July 31, with a variety of guests sharing their own local festival memories and traditions.

Speakers will include Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago Kenichi Okada, Fujima Kimiei of Shizuoka, Japan, Atsushi Koike of Mitsuwa, Arlington Heights, Melody Takata of Tsukasa Taiko San Francisco, and more!

The event then continues with a dusk performance stream from the Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park with Taiko performances by Tsukasa Taiko, and Bon Odori dancing by Shubukai.

We hope that you can join us in participating remotely from the comfort of your own home!

Bon Odori Dance Class Schedule 
Join the FREE virtual class and learn with Yoshinojo Fujima Sensei, assisted by Ikunojo Fujima, both of Shubukai. We are honored to be collaborating with Kimiei Fujima Sensei from Shizuoka, Japan and Ageha Bijou Sensei from the Nihon Bon Odori Association to learn four bon odori:

Shizuoka Meguri, Shizuoka Ondo, Tanko Bushi, and Tokyo Ondo.

Bon Odori is made for people to come together and express their joy, respect, and feeling of community; to feel a connection with their ancestors and with everyone.

One does not have to be a professional dancer, the dances are simple and fun!

July 6th, 13th, and 27th at 7PM

Each virtual lesson you will learn two dances.

Make sure to wear comfortable clothing.

We recommend you make space so you can dance moving in a circle (you can dance around a chair or even a table).

Pdf illustrations for each dance will be available for you to use and review.

Please register with the links below to ensure all the information for the class.
Bon Odori Dance Class Part 1 on July 6 from 7 - 8 PM CDT
Bon Odori Dance Class Part 2 on July 13 from 7 - 8 PM CDT
Bon Odori Dance Class Part 3 on July 27 from 7 - 8 PM CDT

Saturday, July 31, 2021

8:00 pm - 9:30 pm (Chicago time)
(6:00 pm - 7:30 Pacfic Time)

The Japanese Art Foundation and Culture Center in partnership with the Chicago Parks District, Tsukasa Taiko and Shubukai invite you to the inaugural BON Fest Chicago. Join us virtually Saturday, July 31st at 8:00pm for taiko drumming, bon odori dancing, and festivities in Chicago’s historical Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park. The BON Fest Chicago is entirely virtual this year, but will expand to welcome everyone in the years to come!

An Obon Matsuri / Bon Festival is traditionally held in the peak heat of summer when space between the natural and the supernatural world is thinnest. This is a time when individuals come together to remember ancestors and those lost as a community. As we continue to process the tremendous loss from the COVID-19 pandemic, we welcome our community to come together through the arts. Traditionally, Bon Odori dancing is performed by those in attendance to welcome spirits, though each community and region has their own style of dance and music.

With the support of the Bon Odori Association of Japan, Asian Improv aRts Midwest and Shubukai’s Fujima Yoshinojo, we will host virtual Bon Odori dance lessons on 3 Tuesdays in July leading up to the fest so you can join in from home!

Register for one or all three classes HERE!

The night begins with global guests sharing their local Obon Festival traditions, memories, and community. Guests include Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago Kenichi Okada, Fujima Kimiei of Shizuoka, Japan, Atsushi Koike of Mitsuwa, Arlington Heights , Melody Takata of GenRyu Arts San Francisco, and more!

We then stream from the Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park at dusk with Tsukasa Taiko performances, and Bon Odori dancing by Shubukai that you can join remotely from home! This FREE event will stream to the Japanese Arts Foundation Twitch channel where we will be live chatting with everyone!


About Japanese Cultural Center
The Japanese Culture Center was established in 1977 in Chicago by Aikido Shihan (Teacher of Teachers) and Zen Master Fumio Toyoda to make some of the martial arts, crafts, and philosophical riches of Japan available to the public.

Today the JCC continues this tradition, offering classes in over a dozen martial and cultural arts. The Center is not a museum where lifeless objects are displayed; it is a school where living skills are passed on person to person from generation to generation. You become an active participant in arts that have been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

We invite you to visit and experience the richness and complexity of knowledge cultivated around the world. Upon entering the Center you will see a wooden panel on which are carved the characters “Ten Shin Kan,” or “Place of the Universal Mind/Body/Spirit”. In the spirit of the traditional training halls, the JCC is a true “Dojo”, or “House of the Way”.

Saturday, 31 July, 2021

Event/Festival Contact

Bon Fest Chicago
Website: Click to Visit

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