Our Side Historical Context

Carol Muske-Dukes
This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Our Side.
This section contains 850 words
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Obon and Toro Nagashi: Festival of the Dead

The speaker in “Our Side” mentions “colored paper lanterns” while remembering her dead lover. In Japan, an annual holiday incorporates welcoming the spirit of the dead back to earth and then sending the spirits back to the other side. The festival, Obon, is celebrated from August 13 through August 15 and encompasses Buddhist observances that honor the spirits of everyone's ancestors. Obon means “festival of the souls.” The observance began in China and was brought to Japan in the seventh century.

During Obon, great fires are lit, so the spirits can see their way home. Food offerings are made to entice the spirits, and traditional folk dances are performed to make the spirits feel at home. At the end of the Obon, paper lanterns are lit during a part of the festival called Toro Nagashi. The lanterns are placed on small, floating...

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This section contains 850 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Our Side Study Guide
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