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....
Misako Ito sips tea prepared by Omotesenke tea sensei from Kyöto, Masaki Kimura-Soshö and Hiroyuki Sugata-Sensei. Seated beside her are Consul General of Japan Koichi Ito and former Hawai‘i Gov. John Waihe‘e.

Community Focus – Omotesenke Domonkai Holds Hatsugama Tea Ceremony

The Omotesenke Domonkai held a Hatsugama tea ceremony in the Seiköan Tea House at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi on Feb. 15. The ceremony commemorated the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the Hawaiʻi branch.
Graphic drawing of an Ikebana arrangement in celebration of Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Honolulu Hawaii Chapter's 40th Anniversary

Celebrating the Spirit of Ikenobo Ikebana

WHO/WHAT: The Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Honolulu Hawaii Chapter will feature an exhibit of various ikebana arrangements from local and Japanese members. This year the organization celebrates its 40th anniversary. WHEN/WHERE: Friday, March 6, 8:30...
Pacific Buddhist Academy: 14 Annual Taiko Festival

PBA: 14th Annual Taiko Festival

WHO/WHAT: The Pacific Buddhist Academy presents its 14th annual taiko festival, entitled “Aspirations,” featuring Hyaku Sen Ki Kai Taiko. Taiko drumming is an integral part of the course offerings at PBA, the only high...
After a 10-year absence, Naalehu Hongwanji Mission on Hawai‘i Island opened its doors to the public last Aug. 31 and observed obon with a bon dance. Members of Hongwanji’s Hilo, Pahala, Kona and Kohala temples, along with Kona Jr. YBA members, helped the Naalehu Hongwanji members set up the grounds and also participated in the festival to welcome home the spirits of deceased loved ones . . . even in the pouring rain!

Big Island Community Focus – Bon Dance Returns to Naalehu Hongwanji Mission

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