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Valley Focus | Pacoima

Buddhists to Host 2-Day Obon Festival

July 20, 1998|TOM SCHULTZ

Marie Itaya will not wear a kimono when the San Fernando Valley Hongwanji Buddhist Temple holds its annual Obon Festival on Saturday and Sunday at the San Fernando Valley Japanese Community Center.

"It's too hot," said Itaya, who is coordinating a raffle for the event.

Although Itaya will participate in nontraditional dress, others will wear kimonos, yukatas and happi coats when folk dancers, drummers and families from across the Valley convene to celebrate Obon, one of the most important Buddhist observances.

The celebration will include a tea ceremony at 5 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday. A group that plays traditional taiko drums will perform at 5:30 p.m. each day, Itaya said.

Bonsai trees, Japanese dolls and flower arrangements will be exhibited.

"We have all kinds of food booths," said Itaya, who added that a special dance will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The festival, which is open to the public, runs from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday and 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday.

The Japanese Community Center is at 12953 Branford St. For more information, call (818) 349-3068.

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