Kona Hongwanji Buddhist Temple celebrating 125 years

Kona Hongwanji celebrates its 125th anniversary this weekend.

Some 125 years ago, the founders and the first members of the Kona Hongwanji Buddhist Temple congregation couldn’t imagine that the church would survive a war initiated by its home country; that members of their congregation would be interned by their adopted country; or that the future generations would be instrumental in the success of Kona coffee.


Come dance the night away starting at 5 p.m. Saturday with the temple’s first post-COVID bon dance. The event will also feature food and craft booths. Booths open at 5 p.m. and a service and dancing starts at 6 p.m. at the temple in Kealakekua.

On Sunday, the celebration continues with a Chigo parade at 9:30 a.m. featuring Hawaii’s beautiful keiki dressed in Chigo kimonos and adornments parading around the temple for all to enjoy.

The parade will be followed by a service at 10 a.m. officiated by Kona-born and raised Bishop Eric Matsumoto. A luncheon will follow the service with lucky number door prizes for Hawaiian Airlines and KTA gift certificates and orchid plants.

The weekend celebration concludes at 2 p.m. with an Affirmation Rites service officiated Matsumoto. The temple will also start to fill a time capsule that will be “buried” for 50 years.

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

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