VIDEO: Speakin' Japanese lesson: How are you going to spend Obon?

VIDEO: Speakin' Japanese lesson: How are you going to spend Obon?

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Obon is a traditional festive period to honor and entertain our ancestors’ souls and most regions in Japan observe it from August 13 through Aug. 16.

During this time, you’ll notice families visiting cemeteries and setting up festival altars to welcome the souls of their relatives. Bon Odori dances during this time are also a popular way to entertain and greet ancestors visiting during this time.

Obon is known as a family-oriented time where children return to their parent’s homes to celebrate. So, your Japanese coworkers and friends may plan to take one-week leave and go back home during this time. Ask them how they are going to spend the period. They will explain to you how important the Obon period is in Japan, and probably show you some unique examples of the Obon traditions. 





Today’s Japanese phrase: 

“Obon wa do sugoshi masuka?” = How are you going to spend Obon period?

("do" = how, "sugoshi" =spend, "..wa/wo .. masuka?" = do you make ... ...?)


You may wonder what the cucumber and eggplant mean to the traditional festival. Learn about the unique traditions of Obon here.

Stay safe and enjoy rich tradition of Obon! 


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