Buddhist festival set for Stockton

by Malcolm Maclachlan, Tracy Press, July 7, 2005

Stockton, CA (USA) -- The Stockton Buddhist Temple is hosting three days of free events for the public in late July.

The festivities begin at 7 p.m. July 24 with a dance performance. It features traditional Japanese dance and music as performers celebrate the Don Odori holiday. This day of remembrance honors dead relatives.

The next weekend, July 30 and 31, there will be a Cultural Festival from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. to introduce locals to the 98-year-old temple, volunteer Steven Sue said.

?This is one of the oldest churches in the area,? Sue said. ?The bazaar is our way of opening up the Temple to the community.?

It will feature a variety of Japanese food and entertainment, including ikebana floral displays, martial arts demonstrations, and taiko drum shows by Stockton Bukkyo Taiko and Sacramento Taiko.

There will also be arts and crafts, such as a demonstration of making Mataro Kimiko dolls. These small wooden dolls are usually carved to resemble traditional figures, but artists can make them in a variety of forms.

?Some people make them with modern faces, such as Pokémon,? Sue said.

Proceeds from both events will go to the Temple?s community efforts, such as opening the Temple?s gym to public events and visiting patients in hospitals and nursing homes.