Bon Fest Chicago

Event Type
Online Event
Event Description

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 Yoshinojo Sensei is also a resident artist of the Japanese Arts Foundation and instructor at the Japanese Culture Center, and we will be hosting free 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. Make sure you register! 

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! 


Running Time
1 hour
Dance Styles
Traditional/Indigenous Dance