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Wailuku Hongwanji Mission celebrates 120th anniversary

Choir Director Joan Tamori leads the Wailuku Hongwanji Mission Buddhist Temple Choir.

Wailuku Hongwanji Mission celebrated its 120th anniversary Oct. 20 at the temple grounds in Wailuku. The mission was established in 1899 with the arrival from Japan of the Rev. Hojun Kunisaki of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism.

A commemorative service was held that recognized keiro kai members, those ages 80 and older, for their dedication and service to the temple. Among the keiro kai in attendance were centenarians Misao Tengan, Edith Omuro and Tomiko Yamagata.

Affiliate organizations represented at the service included the Wailuku Hongwanji Preschool, Gakuen (Japanese Language School), Boy Scouts Troop 40, Cub Scouts Pack 40, Girl Scouts Troop 24, and judo and karate clubs.

The celebration featured games and entertainment by the Dharma School students and Dharma Strummers ukulele group. A buffet lunch was served in the social hall to a gathering of 180 temple members and guests.

Throughout the years, Wailuku Hongwanji Mission has maintained a vibrant sangha and strong affiliate ties. It has grown into a community temple that continues to enrich the lives of all who participate in its programs.