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July 21, 2013 at 8:20 PM

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The Beat of Bon Odori


LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Tyler Moriguchi waves a cloth scarf as he leads participants in a new dance this year, the Seattle Shamisen Slide, at the Japanese festival Bon Odori Saturday, July 20, 2013 at the Seattle Buddhist Church. Also known as simply "Obon," the event is an ancient Buddhist festival celebrating the spirits of one's ancestors and is a popular part of Seattle's Seafair program. The festival's main event is line dancing, but the event also features kendo and judo demonstrations, traditional food and taiko performances. Many attendees reserve spots along the curb the night before because the event becomes so crowded.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Stephen Soule of Seattle Matsuri Taiko pounds away on an odaiko, large drum, with bachi, drum sticks, at the Japanese festival Bon Odori Saturday, July 20, 2013 at the Seattle Buddhist Church. Also known as simply "Obon," the event is an ancient Buddhist festival celebrating the spirits of one's ancestors and is a popular part of Seattle's Seafair program.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Some attendees choose to dress in more traditional cotton yukata, or summer robes, while attending the Japanese festival Bon Odori Saturday, July 20, 2013 at the Seattle Buddhist Church.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Members of Seattle Matsuri Taiko perform for a large crowd gathered at the Japanese festival Bon Odori Saturday, July 20, 2013 at the Seattle Buddhist Church.

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