On Aug. 1, the Japanese Association and Japanese Language School in Charlotte hosted the 31st Bon Odori Festival — a dance festival dedicated to Japanese culture.
Visitors experienced a vast array of colorful sights and sounds at the Wells Fargo atrium uptown – a bit different than the button-down-and-slacks business attire that typically populates that area.
From a Bon Odori Japanese dance performance and a Japanese drum performance by Matsuriza to a Kendo Japanese martial art exhibition and a Kids Taiko by E.E. Waddell Language Academy, local Charlotteans had a chance to either celebrate their culture or experience something completely new.
A drummer of the group Matsuriza strikes a dramatic pose before a taiko drum performance.
Members of the Charlotte Kendo Club lock their shinai during a live sparing demonstration.
Japanese cranes hand folded from decorative origami paper.
Traditional Japanese lanterns hang from the “yagura,” a decorated scaffold in which participants dance around.
Little girls in matching kimono hop to the beat of the taiko drum.
Young ladies preforming a tradition Japanese dance around the yagura.
Fully clad members of the Charlotte Kendo club stand patiently in front of the main stage.
Photos by Johnny Wright. Madysan Foltz contributed writing to this story.
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