The inspiration for this picture
Obon is an event held in the summer in Japan where Japanese people pray to their ancestors. Obon usually lasts a week and the spirits of the ancestors are said to return home during this time. Each town and area has it's own unique way of celebrating Obon which includes visiting ancestoral graves and decorating the Buddhist family shrine.
Another custom is to prepare the Mukaebi, a bonfire to welcome the spirits at the beginning of the festival. At the end of Obon is the Okuribi, another ceremonial bonfire is lit to send off the spirits on the last night of Obon.
Each household lights a lantern called a Taimatsu and burn incense to help the spirits not get lost when visiting and leaving the family home.
The Taimatsu is what inspired this painting.
|"Okuribi" flame to send off the ancestral spirits|