Buddhist temple

The Kona Hongwanji Buddhist temple celebrates its 125th anniversary

Kona Hongwanji turns 125 this weekend.

About 125 years ago, the founders and early members of the Kona Hongwanji Buddhist Temple congregation could not have imagined that the church would survive a war started by its home country; that members of their congregation would be interned by their adopted country; or that future generations would be instrumental in the success of Kona coffee.

Come dance the night away starting at 5 p.m. Saturday with the first post-COVID bon temple dance. The event will also include food and craft stalls. Booths open at 5 p.m. and a service and dance begins at 6 p.m. at the Kealakekua Temple.

On Sunday, the celebration continues with a Chigo Parade at 9:30 a.m. featuring the beautiful Hawaiian keiki dressed in Chigo kimonos and finery parading around the temple for all to enjoy.

The parade will be followed by a 10 a.m. service presided over by Bishop Eric Matsumoto, born and raised in Kona. A lunch will follow the service with lucky prizes for Hawaiian Airlines and KTA gift certificates and orchid plants.

The weekend celebration ends at 2 p.m. with a service of affirmation rites officiated by Matsumoto. The temple will also begin to fill a time capsule which will be “buried” for 50 years.

For more information, contact the temple office at (808) 323-2993.