This year’s Shinzen Garden Toro Nagashi Lantern Ceremony was hindered by the above normal temperatures and poor quality air caused by mountain fires. However, due to the perseveranace of our wonderful volunteers we were able to proceed in a fairly smooth manner – from the opening of the Fresno Gumyo Taiko’s rhythmic performance to the ringing of the bell by Rinban Kakei Nakagawa signifying the last lighted lantern floated in Wookward Lake. In about two hours, participants were able to cast about 250 paper lanterns, guiding the souls of loved ones back to their homes. The paper lanterns in the lake made a beautiful sight.
Our event followed the various Fresno area Obon Festivals put on by the Buddhist churches in July during the summer heat to call back and honor the sprits of one’s ancestors.
To put on such a program like this every year takes the cooperation and hard work from many people and as chairman of this year’s event, I want to personally thank everyone who helped make this cultural ceremony so special.
Ralph Kumano, Toro Nagashi Chair