Hitchens on Obon

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Christopher Hitchens, the acerbic British journalist and provocateur, is not known for his soft spots. But he gets a little gooey and sentimental in Monday’s post Obon Jour on the Palo Alto obon in Slate. Hitchens, whose latest book is “God is Not Great: Religion Poisons Everything,” notes much of the bitterness of Japanese American history but offers of experiencing the obon:

All could meet under the great roof of a secular multiethnic democracy, and all did, sharing the food and the music and admiring one another’s children. And if this of all reconciliations can occur, without it even having to call itself a reconciliation, then perhaps we are not all heading for hell on a sled as fast as we sometimes think.

A bit of summer reverie and interesting observations from an outsider to the obon tradition.

—GWEN MURANAKA

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