Secrets of Happy Retirement Life

盆踊り (Bon Odori)

 

昨夕6時頃、すぐそばの総持寺(曹洞宗大本山)の盆踊りを見に行きました。

 

何年も近くに居ながら、準備中の境内を通ったり、お祭り帰りの浴衣姿を見かけたりはしたものの、実際に会場にいったのは初めてでした。

 

浴衣姿の子供連れで踊る若い親や祖父母にまじり、若い修行僧が楽しそうに踊る姿を見て、とてもハッピーになりました。

 

こういう場に出掛ける気になたのも、リタイアして時間に余裕が出来たからですね。それだけではなく、気持に余裕ができたからでしょう。

 

一緒に行った姉が、ご近所の方に呼び止められていましたが、後から聞いたところでは、そのリタイアしたご夫妻も、この盆踊り大会を初めて見にいらしたそうです。

 

私はこれまで盆踊りに行った記憶がありません。都会育ちのせいだけではないのでしょうね。昨日は浴衣姿の若者達が大勢、友達同士でよそから来ていましたから。時代のせいでしょうか?

 

インターネットで他人と交わらないといわれている若者達。でも昨夜、私たちが帰ろうとしたら、参道の両側に出来た屋台の間にはぎっしり人の波。若い方々が圧倒的に多く、初詣の時以上の混雑ぶりでした。

 

それも私にはハッピーに写りました。

 

 

Bon-odori

 

Last evening around six o’clock, my sister and I went to a nearby temple, Sojiji (the main temple of Soto Zen Buddhism), to see their Bon-odori (Bon dance) festival.

 

We’ve lived here for quite a long time, but this was the first time we actually went to see this festival. We, however, have often seen their preparations and yukata-clad visitors around the temple this time of the year.

 

When we got to the parking area where this festivity was going on, we saw children in yukata (summer cotton kimono) accompanied by their parents or grandparents, happily dancing around. There were many Buddhist priest trainees dancing as well, even on top of the scaffold stage. There were happy smiles everywhere. This whole scene made me very happy.

 

I guess the fact my sister and I finally felt like coming to this festival is due to our leisurely life of retirement. We seem to have more relaxed attitude toward life now.

 

My sister met a retired couple she knew in our neighborhood, who also came to see this festival for the first time.

 

I do not recall ever having been to Bon-odori, which has been one of the typical summer events in Japan for centuries. Bon is the period when our ancestral spirits come to visit us. This dancing is part of the rituals to celebrate their visits.

 

It is often said that the youths these days isolate themselves because they communicate through internet and avoid direct contacts with one another.

 

While passing through the approach to the temple, we had a hard time getting through the crowd, most of which were young people. There were far more people there than there were on New Year’s Day.