Members of the Kuakini Medical Center Auxiliary and the Kuakini Health System administration gathered at Honolulu Memorial Park in Nu‘uanu on May 29 to honor the memory of the Gannenmono, who arrived in Hawai‘i in 1868, and the 141 Issei who once resided at what was originally the Japanese Home of Hawaii.
They offered prayers and flowers during the Buddhist ceremony led by Bishop Ryokan Ara and the Rev. Ryodo Ishida from Tendai Mission of Hawaii at the Kuakini columbarium. Bishop Ara has performed the ceremony for the former Japanese Home residents during the Buddhist obon season every year since 1997. Those Issei worked on Hawai‘i’s sugar plantations during the late 1800s and early 1900s and did not have relatives to care for them in the final years of their lives. Thus they lived in and were cared for at the Japanese Home of Hawaii, which had opened in 1932.