Monday, October 17, 2011


From 12th to 16th August, hubby and I had been to his ancestral home in Ichinomiya city for Obon festival. Obon is an annual Buddhist event to commemorate our ancestors. It is believed that each year during Obon, the spirits of ancestors return to this world in order to visit their relatives. Traditionally, lanterns are hung in front of houses to welcome the spirits of ancestors, graves are visited, and food offerings are made at family altars. At the end of Obon, floating lanterns are put into rivers, lakes, and seas so that the spirits can return back into their world. The customs followed vary considerably from region to region. Obon is celebrated from 13th to 15th August every year.

On the afternoon of 12th August, we left Akita by flight and reached hubby’s ancestral home in Ichinomiya city at about 9 pm. We soon retired to bed as we were a bit tired due to the travel. The next morning my hubby, father-in-law, and his wife got up at about 4.45 am, got ready, and left home at 5.30 am to go for playing golf. I preferred to stay at home and relax as I am not much interested in golf. They went to play golf at Springfield Golf Club in Tajimi city of Gifu prefecture. Tajimi was the hottest city in Japan that day but my relatives enjoyed playing golf as they really love the game. Hubby took a few photos and videos of his relatives hitting tee shots. So hubby is not seen in the photos and the compiled video of the game that are uploaded here.
Father-in-law hitting tee shots

Father-in-law’s wife hitting tee shots

Hubby’s uncle hitting tee shots

A compiled video of my relatives playing golf at Springfield Golf Club in Tajimi city

As I wrote in an earlier post, on the morning of 14th August hubby and I visited Kiyosu Castle. The same day in the afternoon we visited my mother-in-law’s grave and offered our prayers. Hubby cleaned the gravestone with water, offered flowers, and lit some candles and incense sticks. We also visited the home of my father-in-law’s eldest brother who lives nearby hubby’s ancestral home. In fact, it is the main ancestral home of ‘Nagata family’. They have an amazingly exotic family altar. We offered some food items at the altar, lit incense sticks, read some sutras, and prayed to welcome the souls of our ancestors. In the evening we went to see Nobi Fireworks Festival about which I have written in the previous post. 14th August was a really busy day for us.
Hubby cleaning his mother’s grave with water

Hubby standing in front of his mother’s grave

Family altar at the home of the eldest uncle of hubby

Food offerings at the altar

On 15th August, hubby, father-in-law, and his wife again went to play golf at Springfield Golf Club in Tajimi city and returned back at about 2 pm. I spent the entire morning lazing around. I read a few pages of a novel and watched television. At about 3 pm hubby’s sister and her family, who live nearby, visited us. It was a very hot and humid day, and the daughters of my sister-in-law wished to play in a pool. So father-in-law and hubby set up an inflatable pool at the front yard of the house. It took about 15 minutes to inflate and almost an hour to fill with water. Father-in-law, hubby, and his nieces had lots of fun playing with water inside the pool.
Father-in-law and daughters of my sister-in-law having fun inside inflatable pool

Hubby holding a parasol sunshade

Hubby too joined the fun

Nieces playing with their uncle

My beautiful sister-in-law

At about 6 pm, we along with my sister-in-law’s family went for dinner at a local Chinese restaurant named Koufukuen. We ordered various kinds of Chinese dishes. The food was really delicious. It was nice to chat with relatives and play with the daughters of my sister-in-law. We had a nice evening and enjoyed having a tasty dinner.
Chinese restaurant Koufukuen

Kids enjoying dinner with grandparents

We all having dinner

Dinner and chatting

Hubby having dinner

We returned back to Akita on 16th August. Every year hubby and I visit his ancestral home during Obon festival. It gives us a sense of fulfillment in carrying out our traditional family duties.

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