Bambutsu

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This song and bon odori dance was written by Nobuko Miyamoto, Rev. Mas Kodani, Quetzal Flores, Martha Gonzalez, and Cesar Castro in 2013. It was written for the first FandangObon convening, to reflect Japanese American and Chican@ relationships in East LA, with an emphasis on the shared values and practices found in Mexican/Chican@ fandango and Japanese/Japanese American bon odori. The lyrics are this in English, Spanish, and Japanese, and the music is a combination of Veracruz-style son jarocho and Japanese/American singing. The instrumentation includes jarana, guitar, tarima, shamisen, taiko, and fue. The dance was choreographed by bon odori instructor Elaine Fukumoto and Martha Gonzalez. Featured singers have included Nobuko Miyamoto, Atomic Nancy, Carla Vega, Martha Gonzalez, and Cesar Castro.

In 2013, "Bambutsu" was first taught in a series of FandangObon workshops throughout the greater LA area, and was then formally debuted at a convening in the JACCC plaza on November 3, 2013. In the summer of 2014, it was taught and then included in all of summer Obon festivals held by the temples in the Southern District Buddhist Churches of America in Southern California. During that summer, Quetzal and the Mottainai Band frequently performed the song live for bon odori. Since then, their recording has been frequently featured in the bon odori set list danced at many Obon as well as in the First Street Ondo that closes Nisei Week in LA's Little Tokyo. At the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 2016, FandangObon was featured in the 'Sounds of California' festival theme, and the dance for "Bambutsu" was taught to thousands of participants.

Lyrics

The lyrics are as follows:

BAMBUTSU, NO TSUNAGARI - FANDANGO OBON (2013) By Nobuko Miyamoto, Rev. Kodani, Quetzal Flores, Martha Gonzalez and Cesar Castro

(Verse 1)

IN THE CIRCLE WE DANCE NO BEGINNING, NO ENDING IN THE CIRCLE WE DANCE I AM YOU, YOU ARE THE OTHER ME

BAM BUTSU – NO TSUNAGARI, BAM BUTSU – - HORE MI ! BAM BUTSU – NO TSUNAGARI, NO TSUNAGARI (Repeat)

Caracter ceremonial Ceremonial character el fandango rompe el orden Fandango breaks with “order” Celebración especial A special celebration en donde las almas borden Where souls intertwine

Con sus ritmos, melodías With its rhythms and melodies Que al día de hoy celebramos From which we celebrate today Ancestral sabiduría Ancestral knowledge con la cual nos abrazamos Which we used to embrace

BAM BAM BAM BUTSU – NO TSUNAGARI….4 XS (8 bars)

(Verse 2 – 4 bar intro)

IN THE CIRCLE WE DANCE LIKE THE MOON AND THE SUN IN THE CIRCLE WE DANCE – YUI YO – YUI YO – O ! LET OUR HEARTS BE THE DRUM

BAM BUTSU – NO TSUNAGARI, BAM BUTSU – - HORE MI ! BAM BUTSU – NO TSUNAGARI, NO TSUNAGARI (Repeat)

FANDANGO SECTION

(4 bar intro, verse 8 bars)

BAM BAM BAM BUTSU – NO TSUNAGARI….4 XS (8 bars)

(Verse 3)

IN THE CIRCLE WE DANCE – YUI YO – YUI YO - O TO REMEMBER THE DEAD - IN THE CIRCLE WE DANCE ONENESS IS MOVING

BAM BUTSU – NO TSUNAGARI, BAM BUTSU – - HORE MI ! BAM BUTSU – NO TSUNAGARI, NO TSUNAGARI (Repeat)

(Out chorus) FandangObon…FandangObon…(repeat)

Somos la fe y esperanza We are faith we are hope somos nuevo amanecer We are the dawning y la energía que alcanza And the energy that we reach dara vida a un nuevo ser Will give life to new beings

Que el baile y el canto juntos Let the dance and the song together rieguen campos de alegría Make fields of joy y que crezca entre la gente And let it grow amongst people frutos de sabiduría The fruit of knowledge

(but more like “let new knowledges erupt from tradition”)

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Performances of "Bambutsu" can be seen on these webpages:

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