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Toyoaki Shamisen at Toro Nagashi
Toyoaki Shamisen at Toro Nagashi

Wed, Aug 16


Garden of the Phoenix at Jackson Park

Toyoaki Shamisen at Toro Nagashi

The Japanese Arts Foundation presents the Toro Nagashi lantern ceremony, featuring music by AIRMW's Toyoakimoto.

Time & Location

Aug 16, 2023, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Garden of the Phoenix at Jackson Park, 6300 S Cornell Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

About this event

Toyoakimoto will be participating in Toro Nagashi presented by Japanese Arts Foundation.


From the organizers: 

The Japanese Arts Foundation is proud to welcome you to the inaugural Toro Nagashi lantern ceremony, in Jackson Park’s Garden of the Phoenix. We hope to invite you to join us in this meaningful ceremony to process the loss of loved ones, and to strengthen our bonds as a community.

Lanterns will be floated in the waters of the Garden of the Phoenix pond, and can be placed throughout the garden, Yoko Ono’s SKYLANDING, and along the Columbia Basin as guests choose. Traditional music provided by Asian Improv Arts Midwest will comfort guests throughout the evening as interfaith leaders will say a few words in honor of those lost in their own tradition.

This year’s ceremony is held in partnership with the Japanese Culture Center, Chicago Park District, Parliament of World Religions, and Asian Improv Arts Midwest.

Among the speakers:

  • Hiroshi Tajima, Consulate-General of Japan Chicago
  • Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki, Hiroshima Peace Ambassador, President of the Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York
  • Dr. Yuki Miyamoto, Peace Ambassador to Hiroshima, Director of Humanities DePaul University

About Toro Nagashi:

The ceremony of Toro Nagashi (literally, “floating lanterns”) is a Buddhist tradition held to celebrate the end of Obon season. Toro Nagashi can be a smaller family affair to remember lost family members or a much bigger event to memorialize those who have been lost to natural disasters, war, and other causes. Toro Nagashi officially begins at the moment the ancestors commence their return to the spirit world. Communities come together to guide the spirits down to the sea using traditional candle-lit lanterns (toro). Toro nagashi is to send off a spirit to the other world), so the lanterns visually represent the spirits’ send off to the other world.

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