The Season of Obon, when the spirits of the dead return for visits with the living. Dancers move with the beat of the taiko drum. A few dancers even glimpse the spirits who have joined them around the yagura.
Bon Odori -- a time to forget aches and pains and the loss of loved ones. Obon -- a time to share the joys with the spirits who have returned to enjoy the dance.
The older generations enjoy the rhythmic music. Eagerly, they wait for the drummer to beat on the taiko drum to signal the start of another dance.
The taiko drummer stands on a platform on a scaffold known as the yagura. He keeps both the living and the dead in step with the beat.
Old friends share gossip and memories of moments when the spirits were alive here on earth.
The stone face of a young girl -- lucky girl. She can see the spirits dancing over the heads of the living dancers.
The women wear summer kimonos. Some young men prefer to dress in trendy modern fashions.
The younger generations enjoy the gathering of people -- an opportunity to wear summer kimonos and recall the stories their grandparents told them.
The Bon Odori takes place in a park by the sea. A giant tree ladened with fruits and vegetables stands among a clump of trees -- out of sight by the dancers.
A mother intent of reaching an empty space. She carries her phone firmly in one hand and a child in harness on her chest. Her little boy runs to keep up with his mother's pace.
A mother coaxed her child to pose for a photo. Now she is checking the final product. In the background carried by the sea breeze the music of the obon flows overhead.
For young lovers, the Bon Odori gives them the opportunity to slip away from the crowds and to share an intimate moment. A Kiss.