She took two steps forward and one step back to Japanese folk music, performed by Minyo Tanoshimi Kai dance and music group in
Behind her danced other instructors who led a large circle of volunteers in the Obon Odori, a traditional dance performed during the Buddhist Obon Festival in
"Why are you sitting there, you should join," Reverend
More than a hundred people lined up with chairs and fans on
Members of the church remember holding the event every year except the three years during the war that they were forced to go to internment camps.
Tanimoto, who was sent to Rohwer,
"I remember before the war where all those hotels were on Main street. We used to dance over there," Tanimoto said.
She has been teaching classical Japanese dance for 60 years, and teaches children and volunteers the steps for each Obon dance in the weeks before the event.
In the Obon Odori, each of the 14 dances performed comes from a different region or prefecture in
Other dances included other folding fans, pieces of cloth and hachi-hachi, which are castinets usually made of flat pieces of bamboo.
Small children dressed yukata and happi, traditional Japanese clothing worn at festivals, stumbled in and out of the dancing line. One small 3-year old boy wearing a red open happi stopped running around to stare at the taiko drummer in the center of the circle.
It was an event for families to come together, to dance together and to celebrate their heritage.
"I've been coming here every year my whole life -- 46 years. I'm originally from
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