Hawaii Book & Music Festival to explore Buddhist community in Hawaii on Sunday, May 1

On Sunday, May 1, at the Hawaii Music & Book Festival, nineteen panelists in seven sessions will explore diverse aspects of the Buddhist community in Hawai’i. Sessions begin on the hour starting at 10 a.m., with the last panel beginning at 4 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Hawai’i Council for the Humanities and BDK Hawai’i, each session includes comments from the panelists followed by a talk-story exploration with the audience of the many, sometimes surprising, facets of Buddhism in Hawai’i.

Note that several of the panels include Honpa Hongwanji participants, including Bishop Eric Matsumoto in the 4 p.m. session entitled “Japanese Buddhist Adaptations for the Future.”

Panel 1: Architectural Adaptations of Japanese Buddhist Temples in Hawaiʻi (10 am)

  • Lorraine Minatoishi Palumbo, architectural historian and producer of Aloha Buddha
  • Willa Tanabe, art historian and co-author of Japanese Buddhist Temples in Hawaiʻi

Panel 2: Translating the Buddhist Canon into English (11 am)

  • George Tanabe, historian of Japanese religions and chairman of BDK America’s
    Buddhist Translation Project
  • Michel Mohr, Japanese Buddhist specialist and translator of Zen texts
  • Arnie Kotler, founder of Koa Books and former director of Parallax Press

Panel 3: Diamond Sangha Zen in Hawaiʻi (Noon)

  • Helen Baroni, Japanese Buddhist specialist and author of Love, Roshi: Robert Baker Aitken and His Distant Correspondents
  • Michael Kieran, teacher at the Palolo Zen Center of the Honolulu Diamond Sangha

Panel 4: Buddhism, Christianity and Hawaiian Spirituality (1 pm)

  • Rev. Sherman Thompson, chaplain, Kamehameha Schools and member, Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaiʻi
  • Manulani Aluli-Meyer, UH Hilo

Panel 5: Socially Engaged Buddhism (2 pm)

  • Rose Nakamura: Project Dana
  • Maya Soetoro Ng, Assistant Faculty Specialist, Matsunaga Institute for Peace,
    UH Manoa
  • Therese Fitzgerald, Zen Buddhist minister and Spiritual Care Counselor, Hospice Maui

Panel 6: Buddhist Meditation and the Rise of Mindfulness (3 pm)

  • Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey, Vipassana Hawai’i
  • Pat Masters, ordained Buddhist nun, teacher at Bodhi Tree Dharma Center, and
    UH Student Services staff
  • Rev. Bert Sumikawa, Moiliili Hongwanji

Panel 7: Japanese Buddhist Adaptations for the Future (4 pm)

  • Bishop Eric Matsumoto, Honpa Hongwanji
  • Bishop Chishin Hirai, Nichiren Mission of Hawai’i
  • Bishop Kenjun Kawawata, Higashi Hongwanji Mission

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