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Bon Odori Festival: A photo essay from the Japanese dance festival

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 look:

bon odori photo 1

A drummer of the group Matsuriza strikes a dramatic pose before a taiko drum performance.

bon odori photo 2

Members of the Charlotte Kendo Club lock their shinai during a live sparing demonstration.

bon odori photo 3

Japanese cranes hand folded from decorative origami paper.

bon odori photo 4

Traditional Japanese lanterns hang from the “yagura,” a decorated scaffold  in which participants dance around.

bon odori photo 5

Little girls in matching kimono hop to the beat of the taiko drum.

bon odori photo 6

Young ladies preforming a tradition Japanese dance around the yagura.

bon odori photo 7

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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