The following news item was submitted by Pieper Toyama, Vice President, Jikoen Hongwanji.
Haisai! Chāganjū yami sēmi! (“Hello… How are you?” in the Okinawan language)
This year the Hongwanji in Hawaii will celebrate its 130 year anniversary. Jikoen Hongwanji Temple will honor this anniversary by focusing on a specific period of our history, the period from 1964 to 1990. It was during those 26 years that Jikoen worked with the Hawaii United Okinawa Association (HUOA) in partnership to provide for the welfare of the Uchinanchu. HUOA helped to integrate the cultural and social fabric of the Uchinanchu community into the life of Hawaii’s people, while Jikoen provided a spiritual base for all who were in need.
In 1964, Jikoen’s newly built temple became the gathering place for the Uchinanchu community. HUOA leadership and membership used Jikoen’s facilities for its meetings and events. The larger community came to know Jikoen as the informal headquarters of HUOA. Journalists have even surmised that HUOA’s strength in the Okinawan community was due to the fact that it had a physical gathering place from the establishment of Jikoen through the completion of the Okinawan Center.
On October 6, 2019, Jikoen Hongwanji Temple is celebrating and honoring this partnership and the people who made it possible during that 26 year period when Jikoen was the physical home for the Okinawan community. We invite you to join our special service in the temple at 9:00 am. This service will weave together Okinawan culture and Buddhist teachings to express our collective gratitude for the people who gave so much to the Uchinanchu community. After the service, refreshments will be served in the Okinawa Memorial Hall.
During refreshments, there will be a special exhibit and presentation by Gene Kaneshiro and Howard Takara on the history of Okinawan-owned restaurants in Hawaii.
Please join us to offer our gratitude for the people and the causes and conditions that have made a home for us all in this most beautiful of places, Hawaii.
Dūganjū shimisōri yo. (Please take care of yourself)