The United Japanese Society of Hawaii held its 20th annual “Tsukimi no Kai,” or moon-viewing celebration, on Oct. 15, on the rooftop of Bakery & Table. This year’s event was co-chaired by UJSH president-elect Frances Nakachi Kuba and past president Dean Asahina. Highlights of the event included a blessing, tea ceremony, haiku contest and bon dance under a clear sky and a full moon.

Emcee David Jones welcomed guests and introduced Rev. Akihiro Okada of the Daijingu Temple of Hawaii. Okada opened the evening with a traditional offering of the tamagushi, or evergreen branches. “Tama” refers to “tamashii,” or “soul;” and “gushi,” or “kushi,” means “to connect.” It is an ancient Shinto ritual, which includes ceremonial food offerings and blessings to the attendees. In Japan, the altar and offerings are usually placed on the veranda or near a window so that the moon can shine on them as offerings to help make wishes come true, while expressing our gratitude to Kami-sama (God).

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