Collective Memory: honouring deceased in Japan

People venerate their ancestors for various reasons: out of respect to local traditions, as an act to connect to their own roots or even to achieve healing and transform their lives. Every summer Japan celebrates a festival, Obon, to commemorate ancestors, whose spirits are believed to temporarily return to this world in order to visit their relatives. Originating from Buddhism and acquiring several Shinto elements, Obon has now evolved into an important family reunion tradition. It is believed that memorial services, dances, altar offerings and other ceremonies not only help people to pay their respect to spirits of deceased relatives but also serve as healing rituals helping families and communities to process their grief and disturbing memories.

Join Azumi Uchitani’s talk to dive into the traditions of Obon and explore its spiritual meaning.

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Azumi Uchitani is an Intercultural business consultant, keynote speaker, writer, artist and founder of Japanese SALON art & culture, based in the Netherlands. She is a two-times TEDx speaker, appearing Dutch TV and media and delivering talks to an international audience in Europe and in the US. Azumi is on a mission to build an essential bridge between Japan and Europe, helping global leaders discover Japanese ancient wisdom beyond culture, teaching how to apply its wisdom in everyday life, act with inner peace and create conscious leadership and fulfilling life. Azumi decodes the complexity of Japanese culture, tradition, philosophy, spirituality and unspoken rules into a simple essence of wisdom. She was born into a traditional spiritual Japanese family and raised with the teachings of Shingon Buddhism and Shinto. The spiritual and cultural practices, such as tea ceremony, flower arrangement, calligraphy have always been a part of her life, besides that, her grandmother was a kimono maker. Her insights, a series of talks are available on her YouTube channel “5 minutes on Japanese Wisdom” on YouTube.

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