2020 Obon Festival

| May 26, 2020

| General Info | Sponsors | Opportunity Drawing |

| Silent Auction | Merchandise Sale | Virtual Workshops |

| Virtual Scavenger Hunt | Virtual Obon Dance |

| Taiko | Donors |

General Info

As we celebrate our 60th anniversary this year, we will have “Virtual” Obon Festival activities instead our usual Obon Festival activities at the temple. Most notably, we will have our Opportunity Drawing, Silent Auction, and Marketplace Merchandise Sale (Tote Bags, T-Shirts, and Cookbooks).

Other activities may be added, depending on the status of “Stay at Home” restrictions and social distancing requirements. Please visit this web page and our Facebook page for updates.

Obon Sponsors

We express our gratitude and appreciation to the individuals, families and businesses who are sponsors of the 2020 Obon Commemoration.

$1,500 Sponsorships

  • In Memory of George Ta-Min and Tsui Lin Chan Ching
  • In Memory of Chikao & Mary Kujubu and Dino & Colleen Belli
  • In Memory of Minoru and Betty M. Hisashima
  • In Memory of Butch and Reva Hisashima
  • In Memory of Kaz & Yuri Masuda and Tom & Masako Saeki
  • In Memory of Sadamu Ueki
  • Fusae Nishina and Merle & Gail Sharp Family

$1,000 Sponsorships

  • In Memory of Ray Enomoto
  • In Memory of Nancy Nakagiri and Mie Ino
  • In Memory of Setsuji & Masuyo Nakao
  • In Memory of Jane (Kishimoto) Oishi
  • In Memory of Kaz Uematsu
  • In Memory of Mitsuko Yamamoto
  • Eugene and Phyllis Hayashibara
  • Leonard and Gwen Imada
  • Calvin Ito & Sharyn Yoshimi
  • Milnes and Noriko Kurashige
  • Carey & Vicki Tokirio and Family

$500 Sponsorships

  • In Honor of Aunty Massie Uyeda
  • In Memory of Mitsugi and Hisaye Nakagiri
  • In Memory of Arlene T. Hamashita
  • In Memory of Mie Ino
  • In Memory of Kho Iseda
  • In Memory of Kikumoto, Miya, Kondo, + Quon Families
  • In Memory of Shigeo Kita
  • In Memory of Mike and Aiko Kusaba
  • In Memory of James & Akimi Mayeda
  • In Memory of Donna Nakagiri
  • In Memory of Todd, Ron & Naomi Joy Nishina
  • In Memory of Gram & Lillian Noriyuki
  • In Memory of Sadao & Amy Okafuji
  • In Memory of Minoru Ozaki & Haruko Rose Tademaru
  • In Memory of George & Janet Ueda
  • In Memory of Fred & Edith Wakabayashi
  • In Memory of Kiyoshi and Miyuki Waki
  • In Memory of Kazu Fujioka & Paul T. Yamada
  • In Memory of Isao and Kiyako Yoshikawa
  • Marty and Robyn Cohen
  • Ron and Iris Gee
  • Ayako Masada
  • Emily Ching Mayeda & Grant Murata Sunoo
  • Kenyon Ching Mayeda & I-Wen Lai
  • Ken & Sue Sogabe Family
  • Randy & Mari Tamura
  • Irwin and Judy Wong
  • Anonymous

$250 Sponsorships

  • In Memory of Jim Akioka
  • In Memory of Minoru Kumagai
  • In Memory of Frank Nishina
  • In Memory of Frank Nishina
  • In Memory of Tony & Betty Shinmoto
  • In Memory of Tony & Betty Shinmoto
  • In Memory of Tony & Betty Shinmoto
  • In Memory of Curtis & Joseph Tachiki
  • Jim and Gail Kita
  • Gary and Leticia Kurashige
  • Girl Scout Troop 5325
  • Marina Cub Pack 79
  • Ichiko Sakamoto
  • Ryan Sharp
  • Steven Sharp
  • Sam & Kuniko Shimoguchi
  • Judy & Tom Yamaguchi
  • Sheryl and George Yamada
  • Sally Yamashita
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

Business Sponsors

  • Angel Maid Bakery
  • Union Bank

Opportunity Drawing

Our Opportunity Drawing offers the chance to win the Grand Prize of $1000 cash, or our 2nd and 3rd prizes of $400 and $200, respectively. In addition, through the generosity of local merchants and Temple members, a number of other prizes will be available.

The Drawing will be held on Sunday, July 19th, 2020 at 11:00AM, immediately following our Live Stream Sunday Service. Winners need not be present and will be notified by e-mail or phone.

Email us at obon@vhbt.org or call us at (310) 391-4351 for more information.

1st Prize - $1000 Cash

2nd Prize - $500 Cash

3rd Prize - Apple iPad

Gift Cards & Certificates (subject to change):

  • Aki Restaurant
  • Amazon
  • Benihana
  • CVS
  • Dinah's Family Restaurant
  • Harajuku Taproom
  • In-N-Out Burgers
  • Lucille's Barbecue
  • Macy's
  • Mitsuwa Marketplace
  • Paco's Tacos
  • Panda Express
  • Pinkberry
  • Sakura Japanese Restaurant
  • The Broad Museum
  • Tommy's Original World Famous Hamburgers
  • Trader Joe's
  • Urban Plates
And much more. ...

Silent Auction

Our 6th annual silent auction will open on June 20th for taking bids.

Visit www.32auctions.com/2020vhbtobon to see and bid on all of our auction items!

  • Follow the easy steps online to register to bid on 32auctions. If you have an account from last year, it’s still good this year.
  • You may enter your bid(s) online or take advantage of our “Buy It Now” option, which ensures you are the winning bidder.
  • No online access? Contact Aya Masada at (310) 418-1453 or Sandy Saeki at (310) 641-7307 for more information on auction items and to bid;

Bidding starts on June 20, 2020 at 9AM and closes on July 19, 2020 at 11 AM.

Marketplace Merchandise Sale

Our “virtual’ marketplace has the following for sale:

  • Obon Tote Bags
    These wide-bottomed bags, designed by our own Dustin Noriyuki, are available for $10 each in Red, Blue, and Natural color.
  • Obon Dancers in Training T-Shirts
    The shirts are available in a variety of sizes in men’s and women’s styles at a discounted price of $15 each.
  • “More Family Favorites” cookbook
    Our timeless cookbook is available at a very special price of just $5! Order pickup only.

To purchase any of the items, complete the Marketplace Order Form and return by mail or email. We will contact you to arrange pickup at the Temple. Shipping will be available for an additional cost – contact us for details.

Virtual Family Workshops

Join us for the first ever Obon Virtual Family Workshops hosted by Venice Hongwanji Dharma School.

  • Lantern Craft
    July 12th (11:00-12:00)
    Learn about the tradition and meaning of Obon and make a lantern from recycled materials.

  • Shaved Ice Social
    July 19th (11:00-12:00)
    Learn different ways of preparing shaved ice and share some of your favorite Obon memories.

  • Obon Odori
    July 26th (11:00-12:00)
    Learn/review some of our favorite Obon dances and their meanings.

RSVP: Fill out the google form by the Thursday before to receive the Zoom Link/Password & material list.

Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Participate in the first ever Virtual Obon Scavenger Hunt!

While you won’t be able to play “Bumper Cars,” “Aloha Toss,” or Pack 79’s fun games, the Sangha Initiative group has created a Virtual Obon Scavenger Hunt where you and your team will have 24 hours to complete as many of the 100 missions as possible.

The missions are designed to be multi-generational and you don’t even have to be in the same household, or even the same city, state, or country!

This will be a fun and challenging event, and a chance to be creative, get moving, … and make memories. If you don’t have a team, you can register as an individual and you will be assigned to a team.

Click here for the flyer that has links to an informational video and to registration forms for both Teams and Individuals.

Please register by July 13.

Virtual Obon Dance

Experience Obon Odori right in your living room!

In addition to the Obon Odori workshop mentioned above, Buddhist Churches of America will be hosting a Virtual Obon Dance on August 15th at 6pm. Join the BCA Virtual Obon Dance where Obon instructors from BCA temples will be sharing their dances.

Click here for more information and to register for the event. Space is limited so early registration is recommended.


Our Obon celebration wouldn’t be complete without the wonderful taiko drummers who grace our yagura year after year. We are missing you this summer and look forward to seeing you next year!

Claire Imada of Gardena
Jarrad Kawahara of Gardena
Mike Unno of Sun Valley
Omar DeLeon
Rev George Matsubayashi
Bob Ishikawa of Venice
Hiroshi Ishikawa of Venice
Patty Heyl of Venice
Jill Hopfield of Venice
Kayla Ueda of Venice
Aileen Hongo of Venice

Thank You to Our Opportunity Drawing and Silent Auction Donors

Aquarium of the Pacific
Aya Masada
Baba's Lawn Mower Shop
Barbara Fukuji
Brewyard Beer Company
California Hotel
Carey Tokirio
Cindy Ho
Dinah's Family Restaurant
Donna Shinozaki and Linda Akioka
Girl Scout Troup 5325
Glenn Ishikawa
Halper Fine Art
Harajuku Taproom
In-N-Out Burgers
Janis Toya
Jerry Iseda
Joan Nakagiri
Joan, Jon, Justin Ito
John Cohn
John Tsuruta
Joyce Enomoto
Judd Matsunaga
Julia Ueda
Kaylee Nguyen
Kenya Bovey
Malibu Wine Hikes
Mitchell Ida
Noe Yamabe
Norene Shinozaki
Norman and Yoshie Tachiki
Oriental Trading
Pacific Battleship Center - Battleship IOWA Museum
Pacific Park
Paco's Tacos
Patty Shinozaki
Peter and Sandra Bovey
Rev. Kory Quon
Rev. Ray Fukumoto
Ron Wakabayashi
Roseann Yoshida
Sandy Saeki
Scott Hada
Tammy Ito
The Broad
The Huntington
Tom Yamaguchi
Tommy Nakagiri
Total Wine & More
UCLA Athletics
Venice Hongwanji Adult Buddhist Association
Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Women's Association
Venice Hongwanji Dharma School

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