Tomohiko Sato, 51, works for a PR company by day and is a Bon dancer by night. Living in Tokyo, for more than a decade he has spent his summers attending hundreds of dance events, particularly during o-Bon, and promoting them on his social media accounts. He may even be Japan’s first-ever “Bon-bassador.”
1. You once said that your job is your “life work” and the Bon dance is your “soul work.” What did you mean by that? A job is something you need to make a living. My job is PR work but, since encountering Bon dance, I’ve found a new purpose in life. It’s my “soul work.”
2. What was your first experience with the Bon dance? It was in August 2011 at the Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple Bon Dance Festival. I had a friend who really liked the Bon dance and went to this festival to understand why he liked it so much. I got hooked on it that day and went to 20 different Bon dance events that year. The following year, I went to Gujo Hachiman Castle in Gifu Prefecture where they pull all-nighters for four days to perform the Bon dance. I went there without booking a hotel, danced until the morning and returned home.