Michelle Whaley (second from the left) represents her mother, the late Jane Serikaku, who was an executive director for the Hawaii United Okinawa Association and a student-exchange coordinator for the Hawaii-Okinawa Student Exchange Program. Next to Whaley is HOSEP coordinator Tom Yamamoto (third from left). Student Michelle Nitta has the mic, speaking on behalf of Hawai‘i high-school students. (Photo courtesy of Tom Yamamoto)

30 YEARS OF HAWAI‘I–OKINAWA STUDENT EXCHANGE

Tom Yamamoto Special to The Hawai‘i Herald Thirty years ago, an innovative idea became a reality: to create an exchange program for students to learn firsthand about diverse cultures, fostering their global awareness and sense of...
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Sidebar: HUOA: Irei no Hi in Hawai‘i Set for June 22

The Hawaii United Okinawa Association will livestream a commemoration of Irei no Hi, or Okinawa’s Memorial Day, on Monday, June 22, on its Facebook page and YouTube channel from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Logo for 'Tsuru for Solidarity'

Bulletin Board – Tsuru Rising! Virtual Protest to Close the Camps

WHO/WHAT: Tsuru for Solidarity will host a virtual protest for its one-year anniversary. The online, two-day educational event renews the demand to stop cruelly imprisoning families in detention and concentration centers. Register here: tsuruforsolidarity.org/tsururising WHEN/WHERE:  Saturday, June 6,...
The Rev. Bert Sumikawa and a dozen members of the Windward Buddhist Temple held an obon service in June 2019 at the nearly one-acre Bellows Japanese Cemetery in Waimänalo. (Photo courtesy of Windward Buddhist Temple)

Lead Story – Obon: The Graves at Bellows Air Force Station

Rev. Bert Sumikawa Helps Descendants Honor Ancestors at the Bellows Japanese Cemetery Gregg K. Kakesako Special to The Hawai‘i Herald This year, obon — the 500-year-old Japanese Buddhist custom honoring ancestors’ spirits — will deepen Ann Nakata’s connection with her family roots. Just two months ago, 72-year-old Nakata, a retired Kapahulu florist, discovered she had....
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Sidebar – Memorial Day: Shinnyo Lantern Floating Livestream

The annual Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaii event attracts over 40,000 people to Ala Moana Beach Park from around the world every year. However, this year, due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival...
Bon dance festival 2019 at Hawaii's Plantation Village. (Photo by Wayne Shinbara)

Community – Ever-Evolving 2020 Statewide Obon Schedule

Around mid-April, The Hawai‘i Herald starts calling Japanese Buddhist temples and community organizations across the state. And this issue would normally include a four-page pull-out section filled with information including Hatsubon and obon services, Töro nagashi (lantern floating) and bon dance festivals. Regretfully, this is the first summer in decades that the schedule seems up....
The Hawai‘i Gagaku Society held its concert on Feb. 8 at the Daijingu Temple of Hawai‘i under a full moon. Member David Shinsato told the Herald, “Our sensei (Rev. Masatoshi Shamoto, not pictured) passed away a week after the concert on Feb. 14, so this was the last concert that he was able to attend.”

In Our Community (Photos by Wayne Shinbara)

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Students greet their sensei at beginning of class. From left: Ai vanDeventer, Aya Okimoto, Yuu vanDeventer, Jamelyn Tomori, Cora Saito, and Kenjiro Otake.

Lead Story – Chado, the Next Generation

Young Students Learn to Be Mindful In A Fast-Moving World Jodie Chiemi Ching The tradition of Chadö, or the Way of Tea, is a practice of cultivating harmony, respect, purity and tranquility. These are universal principles that can help ease some of the anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last fall, I visited a children’s....
Bishop Cosmo Hirai does three pours with three prayers. On the first pour, we pray for world peace; on the second, we pray for our ancestors; and the third, we create our own prayer. (Photo courtesy Todaiji Hawaii  Bekkaku Honzan)

Hanamatsuri – Essays on Hanamatsuri in an Age of COVID-19

Editor’s note: This year the local Buddhist temples will not hold Hanamatsuri services due to COVID-19. Twenty-nine-year-old Bishop Cosmo Hirai brings a young new perspective to the community. We have also added two previously published essays by Rev. David Fujimoto and Bishop Chishin Hirai because they provide insight relevant to the current struggles of the....

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