Aloha from Joetsu City in Japan!
The first day of O-Bon has just begun since yesterday, August 13th. This is the busiest day for most Buddhist temples in Japan. People usually start to come to temple as early as 4:30 a.m. for cleaning their family-grave stones and then come back later to welcome their ancestors.
Because my father was busy visiting members for home services on this day, I was in charge of offering prayers for the visiting families at the temple. I was also asked to pray for the families who cannot come to the temple. On the first day, I was honored to have 25 services and asked one of the membes if I could take a photo of the grave stone. I explained that I watned to introduce a traditional way of decoration later at my blog. I' m very grateful for Kusama family who has taken photos of myself during the service.
The bamboo decoration is called `Kekkai` in Japanese. Kekkai literally means `Connecting World.` It is like a gate between this world and thar world. And lantern is for both welcoming and sending off the spirits of ancestors.