and the Moiliili Japanese Cemetery Beautification Project

150th Anniversary of First Immigrants 2018 Obon

The first immigrants from Japan arrived to work in the sugar plantations in 1868. The monument at the entrance of the cemetery is the 100th anniversary commemoration. This year marks the 150th anniversary. The obon is the time of year when ancestors are welcomed back to our world for a brief visit. This is a Buddhist practice that goes back thousands of years ago to ancient Shinto cultural ceremonies.

On July 15, 2018, we gathered to pay our respects and express our appreciation to all those who are remembered here. Under rainy skies, we had a ceremony conducted by Rev. Toshiyuki Umitani  of the Mo’ili’ili Hongwanji and which included Shinto priest Rev. Akihiro Okuda of Daijingu Temple of Hawai’i and Hawaiian representatives Uncle Bruce Keaulani and Aunty Kehaulani Lum.