In Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, Obon is called "The Gathering of Joy," and is a celebration in honor of those who have come before us. Please join us on Saturday, July 11, for Ekoji's Obon Festival. Click here for more information.
Obon epitomizes one of the basic tenets of Buddhism and something that we emphasize in our group - interdependence. Without those who have come before us, we would not be where we are today. As we prepare for our favorite performance of the year, we also pause to express our gratitude to those who have passed on before us.
On June 22, we lost a wonderful friend, expressive taiko player, and former "Nennie," Sachiko Tomomatsu. As I was looking through some old pictures for this blog, I was reminded of the countless good times we shared as a group with Sachiko and her two daughters, Lya and Lyna. Not surprisingly, much of it revolved around food and laughter. Nen Daiko tradition has always been to work hard, laugh a lot, and eat good food!
It was such a joy to learn from and play taiko with Sachiko over the years. I think her spirit is captured in these pictures - she embraced life, was devoted to her daughters, and loved taiko, driving long distances to come to practice every week. Although Lya and Lyna didn't start out playing with the group, they were there with her for every practice and gig, and fantastic cheerleaders for all of us. Eventually, they knew our songs inside and out, so it was an easy transition when they were ready to join the group! Lya and Lyna both have one more year, respectively, of their graduate and undergraduate education, and a fundraising page has been set up for them to help them during this unexpected transition. Their mother was their only family in this area and every contribution will help them! Please click here for the fundraising page. Thank you!