Dead Love: Obon, When the Dead Rise

I love Obon, Japan’s festival of the dead.

It’s happening this year mid-August, though there’s always a question about the date, since it is supposed to take place in the 7th month of the year by the lunar calendar and we use a solar calendar.

So some celebrate it in July … but my first Obon was in Tokyo in August.

Spooky obake (Japanese ghosts) hung in the windows of all the little shops for kids. It’s a great time to revisit some of the scariest old kabuki dramas, like the story of Oiwa. Dead relatives come back for a quick visit, too, so it’s a real zombie holiday.

Maybe that’s why so many of the zombie walks naturally fall around this time of year.

—Erin Orison, DEAD LOVE/the Daily Slice