Toro Nagashi Lantern Ceremony
Wednesday, August 16th
7pm – 10:00pm
Garden of the Phoenix, Jackson Park
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.
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 water using traditional candle-lit lanterns (toro). The lanterns visually represent the spirits’ drifting home.
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 Japanese 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.
Among the speakers:
- 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
*Those who reserve a lantern will have the opportunity to decorate and craft their lantern into any design they wish on-site from 7:00-8:00pm with the community. Available lanterns are limited, please reserve yours in advance.
**We expect this event to be well attended and visitors will be welcomed on a first come first served basis.
This year’s ceremony is held in partnership with the Japanese Culture Center, Chicago Park District, Parliament of the World’s Religions, and Asian Improv Arts Midwest.
**We will stop taking orders for lanterns on 8/6/23. We will not be able to offer refunds for lanterns already purchased. Thank you for your understanding.