Virtual Hanamatsuri is Sunday

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Buddhist Council is hosting the 2021 Buddha Day Service, or Hanamatsuri, virtually, Sunday, to commemorate the birth of Shakyamuni Buddha on April 8.

Traditionally held on the Sunday close to April 8, this year the KBC is offering a link — — that connects to a special video presentation created by Brycen Hiraoka of the West Kaua‘i Hongwanji Mission that will debut on Sunday starting at 9:30 a.m.

“It has been a challenge to comprise, edit, play, edit, replay, edit, finalize and change and add new recordings before officially cutting the final recording of the Hanamatsuri Day Service for YouTube,” Hiraoka said in an email. “I would like to thank all of you who submitted your recordings for the offering of incense and flowers, as well as all of the ministers for their recordings.”

Buddha’s Birthday, or Hanamatsui, is a Buddhist festival celebrated in most of East Asia commemorating the birth of the Prince Siddhartha Gautama, and later, the Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.

In Japan, Buddha’s Birthday is known as Kanbutsu-e, or Hanamatsu, that translates to “Flower Festival” that is held on April 8.

The Kaua‘i Buddhist Council also announced the cancellation of the 2021 bon dance season this year.

“Because bon dance could cause a huge crowd and make it hard to keep the physical distancing, the majority of the Kaua‘i Buddhist Council thought it would be still difficult to hold in-person bon dance this summer,” said the Rev. Kosen Ishikawa, president of the KBC.

“However, we encourage temples to hold o-bon service and fundraisers while we keepp following CDC guidelines and the county’s orders. We confirmed our top priority as safety of the people and our community.”

Ishikawa said the KBC meetings will continue as the group keeps track of the pandemic situation.

Should the situation improve, the KBC is hoping to have a single, grand bon dance.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or


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