KAPA‘A — Kapa‘a Hongwanji Junior Young Buddhist Association members Madison Doo and Taryn Ramil will not be present when the kansho, or temple bell, is struck by the Rev. Mieko Majima and Jr. YBA member Isabella Kasprzyk today at 12:01 p.m.
“We have class,” said Doo, a student at Kapa‘a High. “It’s distance learning, but we still need to be in class.”
Kasprzyk, an early college student at Kapa‘a, secured permission from her professor to be able to participate in the World Peace Day activity.
Roberta Yanagawa of the Kapa‘a Hongwanji remedied the girls’ absence by doing a video of the youngsters’ sounding the kansho Sunday.
This will be forwarded to the Honpa Hongwanji Mission, ensuring the girls will be virtually participating in the event. The public is invited to watch the bell-ringing live online on the KTUH Facebook page, where a Facebook account should not be necessary to view the video. The live video will also be available on the Hongwanji Facebook pages, too, including the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i Facebook page.
“Today we are strengthening the ideals of peace, spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the pandemic,” said Bishol Eric Matsumoto of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i. “We join together in promoting listening and learning and healing our planet for a peaceful future.”
The bell-ringing that follows a moment of silence at noon until 12:01 p.m. is a common theme on this year’s Peace Day, which happens internationally today, Sept. 21. Ring Your Bell for Peace Day is the theme that rings through most of the celebrations being held on Kaua‘i in observance of Peace Day. The bells will be rung throughout the state for five minutes, from 12:01 to 12:06 p.m.
“Everyone wants peace,” said Rene Mansho, the Peace Day Committee chair. “With the new Zoom technology and social media, we can connect with each other in new and creative ways now more than ever.”
Peace Day started Friday when Carol Valentine of the Lihu‘e Hongwanji Mission spearheaded a virtual candlelight vigil — Shaping Peace Together — leading up to today’s celebrations.
Rev. Majima and Kasprzyk will do the honors at Kapa‘a Hongwanji. Taylor Nishimoto, a high school senior, will be ringing the kansho at the Lihu‘e Hongwanji. Other churches on Kaua‘i participating in the bell-ringing include Immaculate Conception Church, the Koloa Jodo Mission, the Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple Zenshuji, and the West Kaua‘i Lions Club.
“We will be participating with the world in observing World Peace Day,” said Eric Nordmeier of the WK Lions. “West Kaua‘i Lions will be meeting at the Kukuiolono Park pavilion from 10 a.m., with the program via Zoom starting at 11:45 a.m. The request went out for a youth to ring the bell for five minutes following a moment of silence at noon. Lion Vanessa’s daughter Comila will be ringing the bell for us.”
Other Peace Day celebrations include the planting of a Peace Pole at the St. Catherine School in Kapa‘a, the event being done virtually to minimize gathering in consideration of COVID-19 rules and regulations.
“Under pastor Father Anthony Rapozo’s leadership, St. Catherine is eager to dedicate our very own, four-sided Peace Pole, with eight languages to help assuage the challenges we are facing,” said Terri Donovan Mansfield of St. Catherine.
“During this time of fear and uncertainty, a symbol of our community coming together in peace, love and nonviolence will help bring healing to everyone. May peace prevail on earth.”
The dedication will be videotaped, and a parish-wide blessing will be held at a later, approved date.
On the echoing sounds of the West Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple Zenshuji kansho, the Storybook Theatre of Hawai‘i in Hanapepe invites people to experience the International Day of Peace with the opening of the West Kaua‘i Distance Learning Studio, and special guest expressions on peace live-streamed worldwide.