By Gerald Hirata

Kaua‘i Soto Zen Bon Dance 2015

Kaua‘i Soto Zen Bon Dance 2015

It’s that time of the year again, when we host the largest event on our calendar. It’s our temple’s biggest fundraiser and it’s Kaua‘i’s most festive Bon Dance celebration! This year our theme is “Celebrating Our Roots!”

That means you must join us so you can partake in following:

  • Food, food, food — comfort food, festival food, Bon Dance grinds, no matter what you call it, Carla and her crew will deliver, from andagai to Zenshuji’s own, original flying saucers!
Taiko Drummers, Kaua‘i Soto Zen Bon Dance 2015

Taiko Drummers, Kaua‘i Soto Zen Bon Dance 2015

The ring is the main thing, so jump in and dance, or just enjoy the music, taiko, singing and dancers.

  • Walk down memory lane and dig into our past in an exhibit that will feature plantation camp life, games we played as kids, the way we talked (plantation Pidgin) and the way we lived our lives through Bon Dance history, other kinds of Japanese traditions.
  • Watch the intermission performance — where did the “beccho” dance come from? Our sister temple from Wahiawa, O‘ahu will send a Bon Dance troupe (Ruysenji Yagura Gumi) with drummers, singers and dancers, followed by our own Kauai Ondo Drummers to demonstrate the origins of one dance, and explore how it varied and changed from yesterday to today, island to island, and sometimes even church to church!
  • Book signing & presentation — meet one of Wahiawa’s progeny, Melody Miyamoto Walters, college professor and historian who wrote a book on her grandparents’ courtship letters during the war years, titled In Love and War. She’ll be at the Bon exhibit tent, Lihu‘e Public Library June 29 and KKCR radio July 13, 1:30 p.m., 91.9 FM.
  • Kaua‘i Soto Zen Bon Dance 2015

    Kaua‘i Soto Zen Bon Dance 2015

    Game booths for kids! We have the best fishing around, with the best prizes! Other fun games, like darts and duck pond.

  • Help us to welcome visitors and all guests that enter our temple gates to make sure they will have a pleasant and fun evening! Free gift bags for our visitors and off-islanders, lucky charms to buy, and T-shirts for souvenirs.
  • Double the celebration, double the fun, because on Friday night two events are happening in Hanapepe Town. Take a free Aloha shuttle ride to Art Night from 6-10 p.m. A lot of visitors will be coming our way!
  • Sit and hang out at our picnic table and benches, all over the place, so park you okole anywhere with friends and enjoy the best Bon Dance on the island!
  • Obon is a good time to come home, visit family, and especially your Wahiawa family, and raise funds for Zenshuji.

    • Gerald Hirata is the president of Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple in Hanapepe, and he can be reached at (808) 346-4650