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Monday, December 16, 2013

2013-08-17 OPMUG Byodo-In Temple Valley of the Temples Memorial Park Bon Dance

This year Byodo-In Temple joined the bon dance calendar holding their first event ever.  Admission was free and the turn out was pretty impressive.

This is one of my favorite locations to shoot at whenever I travel to the windward side of the island.

From their home page:

The Byodo-In Temple is located at the foot of the Ko'olau Mountains in Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. It was established on June 7, 1968, to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. The Byodo-In Temple in O'ahu is a smaller-scale replica of the over 950-year-old Byodo-in Temple, a United Nations World Heritage Site in Uji, Japan.

The Byodo-In Temple is a non-practicing Buddhist temple which welcomes people of all faiths to worship, meditate or simply appreciate its beauty. The temple grounds are often used for wedding ceremonies for Hawaiians or visitors from Japan.

The Amida Buddha

The Byodo-In Temple is home to Amida, a golden Buddha unique to the entire world.
The Buddha is thought to be the largest figure carved outside of Japan. Towering more than 9 feet, the immense figure is an original work of art carved by the famous Japanese sculptor, Masuzo Inui. When the carving was completed, it was covered with cloth and painted with three applications of gold lacquer. Gold leaf was later applied over the lacquer finish. Around the Buddha are 52 smaller sculptures depicting Boddhisattvas (enlightened beings) floating on clouds, dancing, and playing musical instruments. The hall and all the artistry it reflects are regarded as representing the essence of the culture of the Fujiwara aristocracy.
The Hall is popularly known as Hoo-do, or the Phoenix Hall, because a pair of the legendary birds of good omen and of Chinese origin is seen perched on both ends of the roof with their wings spread and ready to fly away. The hall containing two wings reflects stability as well as artistic beauty.

Bon-sho (Sacred Bell)

The Bell House, called kanetru-ki-do, contains a five foot high, three ton brass bell, called bon-sho (sacred bell), cast in Osaka, Japan, from a mixture of bronze and tin, by permission of the government of Japan. It closely resembles the bell hanging in an identical Bell House at the Uji Byodo-In. The original is said to be more than 900 years old and to have come from India. It is revered for its distinctive shape, and the tone of the bell sounds a message of deep calm and peace, cleansing the mind of evil and temptation.

The resonant sound of the bon-sho creates an atmosphere of tranquility for meditation that travels for some distance. A soft wooden log called the “shu-moku” is used to strike the bell.

The bell is customarily rung before one enters the temple to spread the eternal teachings of Buddha. Ringing the bell will purify the mind of evil spirits and temptation. It is said that ringing this bell will bring you happiness, blessings, and a long life.

She was so nice and posed for me when I pointed out how unusual it was to see a kimono being worn by a blonde.

Normally they charge a small fee to enter the temple grounds.

Hours, Admission & Useful Information
Open 9:00 am - 5:00 pm daily.
Admission to the Byodo-In Temple grounds is $3.00 per adult, $2.00 senior citizen, $1.00 child. Cash only.

This is a solemn, religious area. Please be respectful and quiet while in the Valley of the Temples. Please remove your shoes before entering the Byodo-In Temple.

Mosquito repellent is recommended.

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