Happi coat, happy life - that’s how the saying goes, right? Check out some happi coat patterns designed by several of our talented friends in honor of obon season!
Yo! Mural is an ongoing art series that sources work of all mediums from our community around a given theme. Through this series, Yo! Magazine hopes to showcase talent, share inspiration, and encourage dialogue.
During obon festival season, I see the happi coat as an emblem of Japanese American heritage.
It’s not as traditional as the full kimono or yukata, but instead a gentle nod to Japanese culture as an identifier of one’s involvement in a community organization, church, basketball team, or taiko group, with a coordinated outfit to reflect one’s own personal style.
In the “young adult” demographic, you’ve seen it at obons on guys paired with khaki or basketball shorts, a t-shirt or tank underneath, maybe a cap, and a footwear choice of slippers, Vans, or Nike Air Max. You’ve seen it on girls styled with denim shorts or leggings paired with some Converse or slippers. You’ve seen it on moms paired with shorts or cropped capris, strappy sandals/slippers or athletic shoes, some sort of hair piece or visor, and a crossbody bag/purse to hold food/drink tickets, your kachikachi, etc. And you already know what I think JA dads would be wearing.
For all intents and purposes, it’s safe to say that the happi coat is an obon classic. But who’s to say classics can’t be jazzed up? Enter stage left: a handful of talented and artistic friends in our Yo! Magazine network. We asked them to contribute a unique happi coat design and they did not disappoint. Be sure to check out all of their designs, read a bit about each of the contributors, and let us know which ones you loved!
No, we don't mean Christmas. For many Japanese Americans, the food, friendships, and frivolities found at cultural festivals across the country make summertime the most wonderful time of the year.
What sport are you?
By no means an "official" list - peruse through our crowd-sourced list to explore the new, and reminisce on the familiar from obon's across the country.Read More >>
"Ei Ja Nai Ka" is a popular obon dance loved by many, but unlike other dances, it's not directly from Japan. Learn more about how PJ Hirabayashi of San Jose Taiko created the dance to be for the Japanese American community.Read More >>
Happi coat, happy life - that’s how the saying goes, right? Check out some happi coat patterns designed by several of our talented friends in honor of obon season!Read More >>
The Buddhist origins of obon festivals pose a predicament for some Christians, noted as being in conflict with their religious beliefs, while others view them simply as a cultural event to celebrate Japanese American heritage.Read More >>
The intense and passionate dancers found in the bon odori circles (you know who we're talking about) are true obon legends. Dance on!Read More >>
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We've created the ultimate obon food bracket for you to download and enjoy with friends and family. We hope this bracket brings you joy and reminds you of the delicious tastes of obon.Read More >>
This year, many temples and community centers are faced with the big challenge of capturing the spirit of obons and matsuris while at home. San Jose Obon's committee member Matt Ogawa shares how the largest obon in North America transitioned to having "Obon@Home."Read More >>
No shaved ice machine? No problem! You can make granita.Read More >>