Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Welcoming Rice Cakes Mukaedango
These "welcoming rice cakes" (Mukaedango) are put out at the beginning of the summer festival to welcome the return of the spirits of the ancestors to the family home.
According to the ethnologist Yanagita Kuniyo, the Obon festival is one of two times of the year when the spirits come to the home, the other being the New Years festival. The symmetry between the two festivals, at the festival for the ancestors (obon) in Summer and the New Year Festival (shougatsu), is visible in the details, in the fact for instance that round rice cakes are put out on display.
In my own opinion, I see obon as a Shinto, or Shinto-Buddhist festival.
This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.