I tried asking my neighbor about Obon, with the help of the English-Japanese dictionary. She said people bring snacks and sake to their ancestors and clean the grave site and pray. I wanted to know who is drinking the sake (not the ancestors, right?). She made motions like passing around the cup and drinking. She said the ancestors like to have round bean things for food. If this isn’t right, I blame it on the dictionary. I also asked her about who takes the things away from the Jizo area. She said people in the neighborhood. I’m still wondering about that. I know I wouldn’t feel right about taking something away that someone else had brought.
I downloaded a book to my iPod called Buddhism, the Essence by David Tufffley, but I haven’t started reading it yet. Maybe it will give me some Buddhist basics.