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Kapa‘a Hongwanji celebrates bon festival on June 9 and 10

The deadline for donating a “Lantern of Remembrance” at the Kapa‘a Hongwanji Mission is June 3. People interested in donating can do so by emailing for a form.

“We would like to remember our predecessors who influenced our lives with a Lantern of Remembrance,” said Roberta Yanagawa of the Kapa‘a Hongwanji. “It is a wonderful time to express our gratitude to those who worked hard through the Buddha’s teachings and contributed to our life.”

Three sizes of lanterns are available: small, or 8 inches, medium, or 10 inches, and large, or 12 inches, that people may donate for loved ones who passed away.

The Lantern of Remembrance is just a part of the Kapa‘a Hongwanji Bon Festival that will launch the 2023 Bon Dance Season on June 9 and 10 at the church’s temple located across from the Kapa‘a Shopping Center.

“Kapa‘a Hongwanji is excited to resume the 2023 Bon Dance Season following several years of not having bon festivals because of the pandemic,” Yanagawa said. “Obon is an occasion for rejoicing in the awakening through the Buddha’s compassion, and for expressing appreciation to ancestors and all who have passed on.”

The donated lanterns will adorn the temple for the Hatsubon Service, the service for those who passed since the last bon festival, or within the past year, the Family Obon Service, and on the temple lanai for the bon dance festival.

The Kapa‘a Hongwanji Hatsubon Service is June 9, starting at 6 p.m., to open the festival, with the Rev. Mieko Majima opening the event with a short opening ceremony to welcome and greet all Buddhas and guests. Bon dancing starts at 7:30 p.m. The Family Obon Service will take place on July 2 starting at 9 a.m.

“We welcome everyone to join us, and look forward to celebrating this religious and cultural event with the community,” Yanagawa said.

Free bon dance practices with Pearl Shimizu have started, and are held on Mondays from 6 p.m. at the Kapa‘a Hongwanji social hall where, in addition to dance practice, the church hosts a table and rack for bon dance accessories. That includes a limited number of happi coats, kimono, obi and other items.

During the bon dance festival, there will be a food booth, and a country store with items such as baked goods, lilikoi jelly or butter, hand-crafted bags, floral hair ornaments, scrubbies, greeting cards and fruits and vegetables that are available during the season.

Keiki can enjoy the fish pond and the ring toss challenge.

The menu for the food booth that opens at 6 p.m. on both nights of the festival includes flying saucers, pronto pups, chicken yakitori sticks, a dinner plate, somen salad, nishime bowl, chili bowl, cone sushi, Spam musubi, shaved ice and soft drinks.

Following the Kapa‘a Hongwanji bon festival, the excitement of the season moves to the Hanapepe Soto Zen Temple Zenshuji, where the temple will celebrate the Spirit of Obon on June 16 and 17 from 5 to 10 p.m. each day.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or
Source: The Garden Island

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