LAHAINA - In commemoration of its Centennial Anniversary, Lahaina Jodo Mission will host a free community appreciation concert on Saturday, Oct. 20, beginning at 7 p.m. on the temple grounds at 12 Ala Moana St.
The concert will feature the popular Japanese singing duo Paix2 (pronounced Pepe), who will sing traditional Japanese folk melodies and contemporary Japanese songs.
Located on Puunoa Point at the north end of Front Street near Mala Wharf, the scenic Lahaina Jodo Mission was founded in 1912 with the arrival of the first minister, Rev. Gendo Saito, who arrived from Japan to propagate the teachings of Jodo Shu, the Japanese Pure Land sect.
At Lahaina Jodo Mission’s community appreciation event on Saturday, artist Roman Czerwinski of Sargent’s Fine Art gallery will unveil an original painting depicting the recently restored statue of Amida Buddha.
At first, Rev. Saito rented a small plantation house at the entrance of Ala Moana Street. Later, with the help of many Japanese immigrants who worked in the sugar and pineapple plantations, Rev. Saito built a temple, which was relocated to the present beachfront location in 1931. The original temple was destroyed in a fire in 1968.
The Great Buddha and the Temple Bell were completed in June 1968 to commemorate the Centennial Anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. In 1970, the present temple and pagoda (columbarium) were built with the generous support of the members of the mission and the entire community.
Japanese businessman and philanthropist Masao Omori donated the expertise of Japanese craftsmen that was necessary for the construction of the buildings and the casting of the Buddha. Together with the temple members, the temple and pagoda were constructed in a traditional Japanese style using interlocking wood beams, without nails.
The present temple grounds have been dedicated to members' ancestors.
Today, the mission continues to be a center for Buddhist spiritual practice, Japanese cultural activities and annual celebrations, such as the popular summer O-Bon and Floating Lanterns Festival.
In appreciation to the community and its support over the years, the temple invites the public to come and enjoy this free concert. Feel free to bring blankets and lawn chairs. For more information, call 661-4304.