Obon festival remembers loved ones

This year’s obon season continued last weekend at the Lihue Hongwanji Mission temple as hundreds of people gathered for two nights filled with the smell of freshly-cooked food and sounds of traditional Japanese and Okinawan songs.

Local food from the bon dance, which sold out within the first two hours on both nights, included flying saucers; barbecue meat sticks; barbecue chicken sticks; pronto pups; saimin cups; shave iced; and poi andagi, a local favorite.

The temple also opened up its playground for children attending the bon dance and had volunteers on hand to host several games in the temple’s classroom, including ring toss and coin toss games.

Lihue Hongwanji Mission Dharma School teachers Joann Naganuma, Karen Hiranaka and Carol Valentine also had a booth outside the temple’s social hall, where they sold handmade glass bead necklaces, photo cards, bags, jewelry and leis.

The trio, who were also selling pre-sale tickets for a car wash fundraiser on Sunday at Kukui Grove Center, said they are trying to raise funds for students traveling to Oahu for the Sadako Peace Memorial dedication ceremony on Sept. 2 at Pearl Harbor.

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