Celebration to mark 130th anniversary of Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii

The Hawaii District of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii invites the public to celebrate the 130th anniversary of Hongwanji in Hawaii.

The 130th anniversary events is slated for 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, and 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, at Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin Sangha Hall, located at 398 Kilauea Ave. in Hilo, and is a time to celebrate the organization in Hawaii and bring new awareness to people about the existence of Hongwanji and its impact in various ways.

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Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

Presentations will include these and more:

• Japanese immigrants and their descendants in Hawaii by Arnold Hiura, Hawaii Japanese Center.

• Hongwanji in Hawaii — Past, Present, Future by Dr. Dexter Mar, Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin.

• Buddhism, the Youth Generation and Engaging in the World by Hongwanji Youth.

• Buddhist Weddings in Hongwanji by the Rev. Katsuya Kusunoki, Seattle Betsuin chief minister.

• Interfaith Dialogue: Homelessness on the Big Island.

The event is free to attend. Door prizes will be given, a display of Hongwanji temples will be exhibited, Puna Taiko will perform and more.

A special Sunday service in commemoration of the 130th anniversary is planned for 10 a.m. Sunday at Sangha Hall, with special guest speaker Kusunoki, special guest Bishop Eric Matsumoto and Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii Ministers’ and members’ panel discussion “N-A-M-O-A-M-I-D-A-B-U-T-S-U: Find out what it means to me.”

Those who attend are asked to bring a refreshment to share.

The Rev. Soryu Kagahi arrived in Hawaii on March 2, 1889, and conducted the first service March 3, 1889. It is described in this way in “A Grateful Past, A Promising Future, p. 1”:

“Anyone passing by Kojima Hotel at #1 Beretania Street in Honolulu the evening of March 3, 1889 would have heard sounds never before heard in the kingdom of Hawaii. The clear sweet striking of a small gong. The sonorous rhythm of a sutra chanted in Sino-Japanese. The first Shin Buddhist service in these islands was being held by the Reverend Soryu Kagahi, a young priest from the Kyushu province of Oita-ken.”

Therefore, March 2 is Hongwanji Day and this is the 130th year of Hongwanji in Hawaii.

The Hongwanji organization has played a role in providing a cultural and spiritual center for Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans since its beginning. It continues to serve its members and community through temples, schools, volunteers, charitable organizations and events.

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The 130th anniversary event is the time to celebrate the organization and bring new awareness to people about the existence of Hongwanji and its impact in various ways.

For more information about Hongwanji or the 130th anniversary celebration, call Puna Hongwanji at 966-9981 or your temple.

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