Obon Festival visitors introduced to Buddhism

By Ross Farrow, Lodi News-Sentinel, June 29, 2008

Lodi, CA (USA) -- The end of June typically marks the annual Obon Festival celebrating everything Buddhist and more in Lodi.

The festival, held in Lodi since at least the 1960s, featured Japanese cultural performances, an Obon dance, two days of bingo and traditional Japanese food on Saturday and Sunday.

And Rev. Harry Gyokyo Bridge took the opportunity of having a captive audience to introduce the concept of Buddhism durng both days.

Twenty people showed up Sunday to learn more about Buddhism, which Bridge described as not being monotheistic.

"Buddhism does accept the idea of multiple Buddhas and future Buddhas," Bridge said.