Diehard bon dance enthusiasts got an early start on the evening, dancing to recorded music before the sun had set and the live musicians had arrived.
This volunteer (left) kept cool grilling barbecue meat by covering his head with a cold washcloth. (Photos by Wayne Shinbara)
Three-year-old Bailey Fujita of Käne‘ohe was ready to dance with her mother, Jamie Fujita.
The lanterns, all lined up and ready to be distributed to people who had ordered them.
Aiea Taiheiji Yagura Gumi musicians took turns performing throughout the night.
Several people entered the ocean to place their lanterns in the water.
At the end of the night, these lanterns, representing the spirits of departed loved ones, were set afloat in the ocean behind the Haleiwa Jodo Mission to begin their journey back to the spirit world. At next year’s obon season, they will return once again to visit and dance with their loved ones.
Jodo-shu ministers (from left) Rev. Myoko Takano, Haleiwa Jodo Mission resident minister Rev. Koji Jeff Ezaki and Rev. Goshin Nakamura before conducting the obon service on July 20. Rev. Ezaki holds a hossu, a Buddhist implement symbolizing the chasing away of flies, ants or other small creatures rather than killing them.
Two children, possibly siblings, write a message to their grandmother on their lantern.
This unidentified family purchased a lantern to send out to sea in memory of their departed loved one.
Enthusiastic Aiea Taiheiji Yagura Gumi musicians perform bon dance music in the yagura at sunset.