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109th community Obon service in Honokaa (July 21)

Bon dancers Violet Oketani and Ann Koji (Photo courtesy of Cathey Tarleton)


Since 1904, the Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple has annually hosted the “Obon Service,” a communal memorial event when families and friends come together to remember loved ones who have passed away in the previous 12 months.

This year, the Buddhist temple is making an increased effort to include any and all members of the community to participate in the event, regardless of faith. Non-Buddhists are welcome; any one can request to have a loved one remembered and included in the service.

When that person’s name is called, friends and family go forward to offer incense in his or her memory. Even if only one person comes forward, it is important and gratifying to have the deceased remembered and honored in the presence of everyone. This is a unique opportunity for the entire community to support one another as we memorialize our loved ones.

The ceremony starts at 6 p.m., Saturday, July 21. The service will include “The Dharma Band” performing compositions by Mark Knopfler and Justin Currie.

It will be followed by the always colorful and festive Bon Dance. Food and refreshments will be for sale.

Call Reverend Yagi ar 775-7232, to request to have your loved one included in the service. Admission is free for both events; 45-516 Plumeria Street, Honokaa.

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