On the sparkling morning of Monday, January 15, about 20 members of the Honpa Hongwanji ohana participated in the 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Parade through Waikiki. Carrying colorful signs and strings of origami peace cranes on bamboo poles, the group clearly communicated its gratitude for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his teachings of nonviolence, equality, and nondiscrimination.
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Photos courtesy of Wendie Yumori and David Atcheson.
Maintaining a tradition from years past, group members carried bags filled with origami peace cranes and presented the cranes one by one to delighted onlookers lining Kalakaua Avenue. A yellow Pacific Buddhist Academy school bus, driven by Head of School Josh Hernandez Morse, followed behind the walkers. A sign affixed to the front of the bus proclaimed “All Embracing Wisdom & Compassion” as colorful strings of peace cranes flew in the breeze outside the windows. Inside the bus were a few participants who chose to ride instead of walk.
The Hongwanji parade contingent was organized through the Social Concerns Committee of Honolulu Hongwanji Council. Each of the four temples in the Honolulu District — Hawaii Betsuin, Moiliili Hongwanji, Jikoen Hongwanji, and Windward Buddhist Temple — was represented. A number of Buddhist Women’s Association members participated, and the long BWA banner at the front helped clearly identify the group as Honpa Hongwanji. (Pacific Buddhist Academy students held their annual Run/Walk for Peace earlier in the weekend and did not attend this year, but may very well swell the ranks in 2025.)
We conclude this item the same way we concluded our video tribute to Dr. King produced in 2021: “Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii treasures the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. May we continue to learn from – and be challenged by – his work and life’s example. Namo Amida Butsu.”