It is Obon here. Obon is the time of year that we welcome our ancestor's spirits back to "our world". Every year about this time, we visit our ancestor's graves, give it a good cleaning, pray and thank them for watching over us over the past year.
Some companies have the week off, but not Satoshi's. Many people return to their hometowns during their week off which is the cause for traffic jams and packed trains.
Since my FIL passed away this year, it is his first obon or hatsubon as they call it.
During this time of year, most of the priests are very busy. They go around to various congregation member's homes to pray for the member's ancestors. Yesterday, the priest from Sennyuji came to the house to pray for my FIL and our family ancestors. It was also the 17th memorial of my FIL's father's death, so we also had special prayers said for him also. This time not many relatives came, just us, BIL, MIL and FIL's younger sister.
It wasn't as stressful as the other memorial services. Since there were less people, there wasn't the need to serve lots of tea. On top of that, we didn't need to wear black. But that didn't mean you could wear hot pink or some bright color, we still had to dress subdued.
Satoshi's mom gave us some chagashi (sweets for tea). These are from Yuuzuki, a little wagashi (Japanese confection) shop down the street. I had seen them the two times we passed in the taxi on our way to the wake and funeral.
This is their usuyaki (literally thin bake). It is a thin wafer, like the ice cream cones that get soggy. And inside is a sugary cream. She gave us matcha and caramel.
Both were very good, not too sweet and the wafer very crisp.
Hope you have a great week.
64 Gotodamachi, Murasakinonishi