The US Army facility at Camp Zama, Japan, recently hosted the 53rd annual “Bon Odori Festival:”
The festival is consistently the largest bilateral event of the year for U.S. Army Japan, this year attracting more than 30,000 visitors to the installation. This year’s Bon Odori featured live entertainment, games for children, a variety of ethnic foods, bilateral sports, and a fireworks show.
While that sounds benign enough, it turns out this was actually a huge religious celebration:
Bon season is a Buddhist holiday that honors the departed spirits of one’s ancestors. The tradition dates back more than 500 years.
Relying on the ever-accurate Wikipedia:
Bon Odori originates from the story of Maha Maudgalyayana (Mokuren), a disciple of the Buddha, who used his supernatural powers to look upon his deceased mother. He discovered she had fallen into the Realm of Hungry Ghosts and was suffering. Greatly disturbed, he went to the Buddha and asked how he could release his mother…The disciple, happy because of his mother’s release and grateful for his mother’s kindness, danced with joy. From this dance of joy comes Bon Odori or “Bon Dance”, a time in which ancestors and their sacrifices are remembered and appreciated.
Naturally, some military atheists will see this as a vast, unconstitutional government conspiracy to give preferential support to Read more…