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To go or not to go? A tough decision for Bon this year

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Many people must have had a difficult time deciding whether to make their annual trip to their hometown for the Bon holidays this year because of the COVID-19 crisis.

I was no exception. My elderly parents effectively made the decision for me when they said: “I don’t want you to bring us this infectious disease.”

This is a first in my history of observing this midsummer custom.

Let’s look at how and when the Bon tradition, popularly called O-bon, started.

According to Seishi Gamaike, 69, a former chief priest of Chozenji temple in Nagoya and the author of “O-bon no Hanashi” (About O-bon), a Buddhist ritual known as Urabon-e that dates to the seventh century.

It was based on a Chinese narrative........

© The Asahi Shimbun

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