A celebration of peace will take place in Hanapepe Sept. 21 to commemorate and continue the legacy of two local residents whose visions for peace left an indelible mark in the community.
The students of Eleele School will celebrate International Day of Peace with a morning event at the Soto Zen Temple from 9 to 11 a.m.
They will gather at the World Peace Statue to place paper cranes and pledges for peace around the statue’s base. Students expressions of peace will displayed through song, dance, art, prose, and poetry.
A candlelight peace walk is set for 6 p.m. from Sparky’s Garden, Storybook Theatre to the World Peace Statue at the Soto Zen Temple, a 15-minute walk across town.
A celebration of peace will take place after the arrival of the walkers. It will include taiko drumming, folding paper cranes, writing personal messages of peace and a presentation, “Sparky Matsunaga Warrior Poet for Peace,” by storyteller/actor Alton Takiyama-Chung.
The two locals the celebration honors are Sen. Spark Matsunaga and the Rev. Koichi Miyoshi.
Matsunaga (1916-1990) was born and raised on Kauai, attended Eleele School, Kauai High School, University of Hawaii, and Harvard University. During his many years as a Congressman, he was a longtime proponent of peaceful resolution of disputes and is the founder of the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. A statue of Matsunaga stands in Sparky’s Garden, at the Storybook Theater in Hanapepe town.
Miyoshi, a resident minister of the Kauai Soto Zen Temple from 1971 to 1998, envisioned a symbol of peace where people would come and pledge that there will be no war on this earth, pray for peace, and remember all who gave their lives in the pursuit of peace.
A “World Peace Kannon” marble statue stands on the temple grounds in Hanapepe since 1991. Rev. Miyoshi felt that the island of Kauai, with its beauty and tranquility, was the perfect setting for this statue.
Everyone is welcome on Sept. 21 in Hanapepe to join the peace celebration. Refreshments will be available with donations going to Eleele School fourth-grade students for their annual off-island excursion.
The Garden Island