What is Bon Odori(Bon dance)?


Written by aki

bon odori

“Bon Odori(盆踊り)” is one of the summer events in Japan.
The literal translation is bon dance.

Here are the origins and origins of Bon Odori!


What is Bon?

Bon(盆) is a Japanese custom to make offerings to ancestors.
It is held every year from about August 13 to 16.

Many companies and stores are closed during the Bon!

Bon is considered to be the period when a deceased person returns to this world from the other world.
As the deceased person returns to the place where he or she spent his or her life, we welcome him or her home and pray that he or she will be happy in the afterlife.

There are various ways to make offerings, but in general, people visit graves and make offerings.

Also, offerings are made by dancing Bon Odori.

bon odori
The deceased, who are returning to this world after a long absence, dance to the accompaniment of flutes and drums so that they can enjoy themselves.

How can I participate in the Bon Odori dance?

Bon Odori is basically an event in which anyone is welcome to participate.

At most Bon Odori events, there is a stage in the middle with many people dancing around it.


Although the number of people dancing may be limited in some areas, you can jump in at most events.


However, there are some manners!

1. Do not dance with large bags.

Since there will be many people, minimize your luggage to avoid injury.

2. When entering the dance circle, enter from the outside.

The recommended time is when the song is over.
The further you go to the inner circle, the more experienced you will be, so it is better to enter from the outer circle.

3. Self-dancing is not acceptable.

Bon Dancing is a traditional dance.
Do not dance excessively to attract attention.
Watch veteran dancers and imitate them.

4. Do not stop suddenly.

Do not stop to take pictures or play pranks. Running the wrong way is also not allowed.


Many of the people who come to the Bon Odori dance are there for community interaction and to genuinely enjoy dancing.
Even if you do not know how to dance, as long as you enjoy dancing, you will be fine.
All you need to do is slowly imitate their gestures and join in the circle!


These days, in addition to traditional tunes, they even have a Bon Odori with cartoon tunes!



Hello! I live in a place called Shiga, Japan. I'm not very good at English, but I'm writing this blog in the hope that I can convey some of Japan's beautiful places and delicious food to people overseas.