Note: To include news of your temple or organization’s obon-related events this summer, email We reserve the right to edit your information for brevity. [We are also not repeating information we included in past Herald issues.] For updates, check with the temple or organization’s website, social media, newsletter, office or recent messages — as events are changing regularly.

Makawao Hongwanji members make cranes to decorate the temple during obon season. (Photo courtesy of the Maui News)
Makawao Hongwanji members make cranes to decorate the temple during obon season. (Photo courtesy of the Maui News)



Lahaina Jodo Mission [(808) 661-4304]

Activities only for “members and friends” on Saturday, July 3, include —

  • 6 p.m.: Bon service at Pagoda.
  • 6:30 p.m.: Bon service at Hondo.
  • 7 p.m.: Nenbutsu (prayer) procession.
  • 7:30 p.m.: Toro nagashi (lantern floating).
  • 8 p.m.: Presentation of Daibutsu Ondo.

Makawao Hongwanji Buddhist Temple [(808) 572-7229]

Check for updates at Most activities are limited to temple members; questions, call temple or email

Sunday, July 18, 9 a.m.: Obon service, including all family memorials, not just hatsubon (first obon service), will be both virtual (streamed via and in-person following the temple’s revised COVID-19 protocols for July 2021:

  1. If not everyone attending the service in-person is vaccinated —
  • For the vaccinated: Masks on, clean hands, distancing OPTIONAL
  • For the not vaccinated: Masks on, clean hands, distancing RECOMMENDED
  • Dharma school (and all children under 12 years old): Outdoors-only, masks on, clean hands, distancing RECOMMENDED
  • Livestream of services: Always available for those who choose to stay home, who are not Maui residents or who cannot attend in-person for any reason.

2. If everyone attending the service in-person is vaccinated —

  • Masks OPTIONAL, clean hands, distancing OPTIONAL

Friday, July 23-Monday, July 26: Lanterns hung for hatsubon service; origami cranes will also decorate the temple (or) grounds.

Saturday, July 24:

  • Hatsubon service.
  • Virtual Bon Dance (livestreamed, most likely via Private event with a Zenshin Daiko performance.

Wailuku Hongwanji Mission [(808) 244-0402].

  • No bon dance.
  • Friday, Aug. 6, 6 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 7, 4 p.m.: Hatsubon service.


Daifukuji Soto Mission (Daifukuji Zen Buddhist Temple) [(808) 322-3524]

  • No bon dance.
  • Sunday, July 11, 8-10:30 a.m.: Cemetery clean up of weeding and of cleaning graves and crematorium area. Lunch will be provided.
  • Sign up by emailing or calling the temple or Stephen Tanaka at (808) 938-4617.
  • If you have them, please bring weeding and moss scraping tools labeled with your name. Garden gloves and mosquito repellent, too.

Hilo Meishoin [(808) 935-6996]

  • No bon dance.
  • Saturday, July 3-Friday, July 9: Private hatsubon service and Toba prayer available.
  • Saturday, July 10: Bon service.

Kohala Jodo Mission [(808) 889-​5456].

  • Saturday, July 10
  • 9 a.m.: Bon graveyard service.
  • 10 a.m.: Hatsubon service with Toba prayer.


  • Koloa Jodo Mission [(808) 742-6735]
  • Sunday, July 18, 10:30 a.m.: Bon service with Toba prayer.
  • TBA: Virtual bon dance and virtual toro nagashi.


Jodo Mission of Hawaii [(808) 949-3995]

  • No bon dance.

Virtual bon service (no in-person attendance)

  • Friday, Aug. 20, 6 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 21, 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 22, 10 a.m.: Link to Zoom service will be provided mid-July on temple website ( and in Aug. newsletter.

Private in-person services

  • We believe we can hold private services in our temple, if everyone wears a mask (covering nostrils), social distances 6 feet, avoids touching eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands and undergoes temperature checks.
  • From Monday, Aug. 9, to Thursday, Aug. 19, on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; on weekends, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Private Bon Services and Toba prayers held an hour apart from other sessions, to follow COVID-19 protocols.
  • Call the temple to arrange services, indicating if the elevator is needed (located in the back near Ikoi Hall). Elevator brings people directly to the temple for private O-toba (memorial stick/s) service.
  • Your O-toba will be brought to the temple for your private service.
  • For now, these private services will be limited to 25 persons; if the situation changes, the limit may be lessened. No one will be allowed in the Social Hall where the O-toba will be displayed; no O-toba offerings will be allowed.
  • Chu-toba and chöchin orders
  • By Monday, July 19: Send in the form on p. 4 of the July newsletter ( with your orders for chu-toba (only if you are not able to purchase an O-toba) and/or for small chöchin (Japanese lantern) with a check and, if unpaid, current membership dues (gojikai, $60).


  • Needed especially from Aug. 9-19.
  • Needed on O-toba Set Up Date (Sunday, Aug. 8, 9am) and O-toba Kuzushi or take-down Day (Sunday, Aug. 22, after the final obon service at 10 am).
  • Call temple and leave your contact info.

Higashi Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii [(808) 531-9088]

  • No bon dance.

Sunday, July 18, and through the following week:

Mililani Hongwanji Buddhist Temple [(808) 625-0925]

Temple monetary donations (choba):

Monday, June 7-8 a.m.-Saturday, Aug. 7, 5 p.m.:

Sunday, Aug. 15, 7 a.m.:

Saturday, Aug. 21

10:00 am to 12:00 noon: Item pick-up time, including bon towels from temple donations

Items for sale [varied deadlines]:

Use forms in, or make checks payable to Mililani Hongwanji and mail to:

Mililani Hongwanji
PO BOX 893308
Mililani, HI 96789

  • Regular or cinnamon-sugar andagi ($4/dozen) [Sunday, Aug. 15, deadline]
  • Saturday special bento or vegetarian bento ($10/bento) [Sunday, Aug. 15, deadline]
  • “Country store” and craft items [check above URL after Tuesday, July 6, for updates]
  • Mililani Hongwanji Buddhist Temple facemask, 3 types ($10/mask plus shipping and handling if by mail; choice of pre-order sale, pick-up or mailing)
  • 6 p.m.: Virtual bon dance on YouTube channel.


Note: Many temples that have canceled bon dance are still holding obon-related services, fundraisers and other activities.

The O‘ahu Soto Mission Bon Dance Association, as of Mar. 23, 2021, said it will not hold any in-person bon dance.


Kauai Soto Zen Temple

Taiko Kauaʻi playing “Fukushima Ondo” for Obon 2021, which the temple posted on Friday, June 18:

Wahiawa Hongwanji Mission

On Saturday, June 26, the temple’s bon dance team posted this Virtual Bon dance (click on 9:04 p.m. post) which congregants participated in via Zoom and Facebook Live Stream:


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