|Shorinji Kempo Demonstration at Monterey Obon Festival
(July 14, 2014)
Monterey Branch, U.S.A / July 2014
- Contributor: Monterey Branch Master Kazuki Arita
On July 14th (Sun), 2014, 24 kenshi demonstrated Shorinji Kempo at the "68th Obon Festival" of Monterey
Peninsula Buddhist Temple in Monterey, California, U.S.A. The participants were Mr. Makoto Hagata sensei (Mt.
Diablo Branch Master), Mr. Ken’ichi Takahashi (Mt. Diablo), Ms. Junko Bergren (Mt. Diablo), Ms. Marie Bergren
(Mt. Diablo), Carlos Gonzalez (Mt. Diablo), Mr. Griffin Sukarto (Mt. Diablo), Mr. Angelica Hernandez (Mt. Diablo),
Mr. Ramon Vargas (Mt. Diablo), Theresa Chan (Berkeley), Mr. Yoshiyuki Karahashi sensei (Peninsula Branch
Master), Mr. Lateef Allen-McDowell (Peninsula), Ms. Valentina Stuliy (Peninsula), Mr. Fumio Nishimura
(Monterey), Mr. Mitsugu Mori (Monterey), Mr. Merced Rodriguez (Monterey), Mr. Kleto Hernandez (Monterey),
Mr. Jesse Febus (Monterey), Ms. Isabel Correia (Monterey), Mr. David Correia (Monterey), Mr. Michael Blasheck
(Monterey), Ms. Robin Balchen (Monterey), Ms. Juliette Trambley (Monterey), Mr. Jeremy Diamsun (Monterey),
and Kazuki Arita (Monterey Branch Master).
“Obon” is a Japanese Buddhist tradition to honor the spirits of one's ancestors. This Buddhist custom has
evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean
their ancestors' graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has
been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori. (http:
The Monterey Buddhist Temple was first established in the early-1940s by Japanese-American living in this
area. There was Japan Town in Monterey. However, all of them were forced to move to the internment camp
during the World War II and everything was gone. The Obon festival was restarted in 1946 a year after the war
ended. This is the 8th time to demonstrate Shorinji Kempo for all public in Monterey.
The demonstration started from 12:30. We demonstrated Chinkon, Kihon, Hokei of Goho and Juho such as Niou
ken or Goka ken, and pair Embu. During the 30 minute-demonstration, more than 100 audiences enjoyed
watching and were very impressed with our techniques with sharp movement and big Kiai. This year, a pair
Embu of a daughter and her father (Isabel and David) impressed the audiences very much. The audiences gave
big hands to their sharp kiai and techniques.
Especially because it took two or three hours for all the kenshi of Mt. Diablo, Peninsula Branch, and Berkeley
Branch to come to Monterey, I really appreciate their precious time, effort, and great kindness to join the