LIHU‘E — September 21 is recognized as the International Day of Peace, and Peace Day in Hawai‘i.
Kaua‘i organizations have scheduled a variety of activities to observe efforts of promoting peace and harmony in the world.
“At 9 a.m., we will have a minute of silence to honor all those who sacrificed for us to achieve peace,” said Rene Mansho, the chair of the 2023 Peace Day Committee, Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i. “In the spirit of promoting Peace Day in Hawai‘i, and throughout the world, we invite the world to join us in ringing bells for Peace Day, starting at 9:01 a.m.”
Those responding to the invitation are encouraged to register online at bit.ly/PeaceDay2023 before Sept. 12 to ensure receiving the link to the event.
“We are also planning to capture the program and all participants on a Zoom screen, simultaneously,” Mansho said in the event flier. “So, get your computers ready when you are sent the link to join the event.”
On Kaua‘i, there are three hongwanji church temples, including the Kapa‘a Hongwanji Mission whose Roberta Yanagawa is the Kaua‘i representative to the 2023 Peace Day Committee. Other hongwanji mission are the Lihu‘e Hongwanji Mission, and the West Kaua‘i Hongwanji Mission that covers the Koloa, Hanapepe and Waimea temples.
“This year marks the 10th year of Peace Day Celebration in Hanapepe, ‘Kaua‘i’s Biggest Little Town,’” said Gerald Hirata of the Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple.”This year’s Peace Day events celebrates 10 years of collaboration among The Storybook Theatre of Hawai‘i, the Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple, the Interfaith Roundtabler of Kaua‘i, and ‘Ele‘ele Elementary School.”
“Mark Jeffers of The Storybook Theatre, and I targeted the date of Sept. 21, the United Nations International Day of Peace to celebrate the legacy of our Kaua‘i native son, and Hanapepe Boy, Senator Spark Matsunaga who strengthened the ideals of peace for his tireless efforts in promoting peaceful resolution of conflicts without resorting to war,” Hirata said. “We felt that Sparky deserved the global stage and recognition for his legislation in creating the U.S. Institute of Peace.”
Peace Day in Hanapepe starts on Sept. 16 from 4 p.m. at the Hanapepe Soto Zen Temple where the Kannon statue is located. Once the statue is decorated, everyone is invited to view the adorned statue from Sept. 16 through Sept. 21. The statue is available for viewing daily and will be lit at dusk until 8 p.m. through this period.
“Everyone is invited to join the ‘Ele‘ele School, and other westside students who folded paper cranes, to decorate the World Peace Kannon Statue,” Hirata said. “The afternoon will be a time for food, fun, fellowship, music by Kirk Smart and Friends, and peace activities. We are also featuring several youth groups with their expressions of peace through art, music, song and dance.”
Hirata said the collaborative groups’ focus for 2023 is to continue telling stories of peace in Kaua‘i’s own way — through Kaua‘i Museum Executive Director Chucky Boy Chock, ‘Ele‘ele School students, Kumu Puni Patrick and the Kupuna Club Halau, and musician Paul Togioka.
Starting at 2 p.m. on Sept. 21, everyone is invited to the Storybook Theatre, home of The Spark M. Matsunaga International Children’s Garden for Peace, to promote kindness, generosity and goodwill by making first aid kits for people in need.
At 4:45 p.m., preparations for the Parade of Peacemakers get underway for the parade to the Taiko Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple, where the Peacemakers will be greeted by temple bells and taiko from Taiko Kaua‘i to the Peace Program. The program ends when the adornments on the Kannon statue are removed and prepared for the closing fire burning ceremony, ensuring that Kaua‘i’s peace messages and wishes are received.
Following the taiko, Puni Patrick will perform the welcoming oli, and vocalist Troy Wai‘ale‘ale will render two numbers — Ka Na‘i Aupuni and For a Peaceful World, that will be danced to by Kumu Patrick and The Kupuna Klub halau.
Chock will tout Kaua‘i’s emergence as an island separate and distinctive from the other islands of Hawai‘i, historically, culturally, linguistically and its legacy of peace. He will also share his mana‘o about a song he composed, E Ho‘omaluhia Kakou, inspired by the Hokulea’s worldwide voyage from 2014-17.
Source: The Garden Island