What a summer…shooting incidents at places like Uvalde, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Laguna Hills…further evidence of global warming with continuous wildfires, record high temperatures and worsening drought…deepening political division across the US and Europe… And then, there was San Jose OBON 2022!

We did it!  We ALL did it!  We pulled off our first “in-person” Obon since 2019.  I was going back through some old emails and noticed that we didn’t make the final decision to have a “normal” Obon until early April.  We were able to pull this all together in a bit over 3 months!  To accomplish this incredible task required a tremendous effort by the Obon Committee.  My hats off to the entire team!  But as you all know, it takes hundreds of volunteers to run this festival and the Sangha stepped up to the plate.  We were able to get many volunteers at the last minute to step up… It was a huge win for the Betsuin as well as the Japantown community.

Earlier in the year, there was a lot of discussion on whether or not to have a normal Obon this year.  There were a lot of different factors to consider.  How was the COVID situation going to evolve by July?  Would we find enough volunteers to come out?  Would a crowd actually come out to a large event?  Would security be an issue and how would we deal with it?  And of course, could we pull this off in 3 months?  Well, for those that did attend, I think the answer was a resounding YES!

For those that could not attend, or did not feel comfortable to attend, we live streamed Obon as well.  This gave the viewer a very good glimpse into the festival as a whole…and hopefully, convince people to come out next year.

In addition to the food and game booths, this year we had a booth to present the plans for Generations Phase II, the replacement of the current and aging Education building.  We will be calling the new building the Dharma Center.  I hope that you got to see what the new Dharma Center will look like and what its capabilities will be.  We are very excited about this new building and expect to see more information soon.

In Gassho,