Lawa‘i Center will hold open house this Sunday

Lawa‘i International Center, a non-profit community project, is an archaeological and cultural treasure in a valley that has long been recognized as a healing sanctuary. In 1904 the first generation of Japanese immigrants built 88 shrines replicating an ancient pilgrimage of 88 temples in Shikoku, Japan. Today, it is the only such site existing outside of Japan. Volunteers are bringing these shrines and this valley back to prominence as an international center for compassion, education and cultural understanding.

Hawaiian elders have described Kaua’i as the crown of the archipelago. It is anchored to the south by the valley named Lawa‘i, long known as a place of healing — a sanctuary in a changeable world. From the distant reaches of the island, the ancient Hawaiians traveled by foot to receive the healing benefits of Lawa‘i Valley.

When the Asian immigrant followed, they too, built their temples: a Taoist temple, a Shinto shrine, and Shingon Buddhist temple. Today all that remain are the 88 Buddhist shrines one of the oldest Buddhist temple sites in the country and a replica of the famous pilgrimage to Shikoku, Japan.

Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., discover the thread that unites the Hawaiians, the immigrants and a community of modern residents who have established the non-profit Lawa‘i International Center. It is a healing and cultural center for all pilgrims of the world, a beacon of aloha when the world needs it most.

As Hawaiian elder Pilahi Paki said, “Aloha will be ‘Hawai‘i’s gift to the world in the new millenium.”

For more information call 639-4300, e-mail LM@hawaii.rr.com or visit www.lawaicenter.org

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