Yesterday, Beth took us to the Byodo-In Temple in Kahaluu, north of Honolulu. It was finished in 1968 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawai’i. Located in a multi-denominational memorial park, it was modeled on the 900+ year old temple in Uji, Japan. You can read more about it here.
Before entering, Beth and Trinity together rang the large bon-sho (sacred bell) to create the proper mood for meditation. Next, we went to the meditation pavilion, which is set among little waterfalls and beautiful plantings. The temple grounds are non-denominational and it was nice to have a quiet space for the many prayer requests that are on my mind among family and friends. To enter the temple proper, we removed our shoes in order to visit the golden Amida Bhudda.
Then, we progressed to the other side of the grounds, which had ponds filled with carp. We also saw resident turtles and black swans. On shore, a large peacock was strutting about. There were sign warning that peacocks are not tame and should not be approached. Brent spotted the peahen off near some bamboo plantings at the edge of a clearing. With her were three young peachicks, who were so well camouflaged that we could not spot them unless they were moving.
I have never been to Japan, so I’m grateful that a piece of Japanese heritage is so beautifully re-created on O’ahu.