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Zenshuji bon dance is this weekend

HANAPEPE — The Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple Zenshuji in Hanapepe will host its obon festival on Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. each day.

“Our bon dance is multi-faceted,” said Gerald Hirata. “It’s not just Friday and Saturday. We had a plant discussion with the Hawai‘i State Public Library System and Professor Dee Denver from Oregon State University on the Bohdi tree, the tree under which Siddhartha Gautama became enlightened more than 2,500 years ago in what is today Bodhgaya, India.”

A sapling from that historical tree graces the yard of the temple.

“We’ll also host a bon dance reunion on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the social hall, where participants bring their own lunch or bento and have an opportunity to see the wide array of exhibits, photographs and artifacts,” Hirata said.

“In Japanese culture, obon is a time when ancestral spirits return, guided by lanterns that show the way. We are hoping that you are returning home to visit … it’s been a while — three long, long, long years — and we have some catching up to do. Let’s sit down and talk story and have a little reunion.”

Hirata said everyone is invited.

“We are also part of the McBryde family and the Westside communities,” he said. “You don’t have to be from the Wahiawa camp.”

With a theme of “Let’s Bon Dance!” the temple anticipates coming alive with the free admission, the offering of food, activities, exhibits and special performances honoring loved ones on each night.

“We need to get information out on our Friday night only parking,” Hirata said. “The Hanapepe Stadium ballpark parking is not available until after 7 p.m. Early parking is available at Mariko’s and at the National Guard armory.”


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

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