Lanterns will float on Memorial Day
Lanterns will be set adrift Monday evening off Magic Island in a Buddhist tradition that has become a Memorial Day event attracting thousands of residents and visitors.
The ninth annual ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. A booth will be open at 1 p.m. for people to submit prayer requests to be attached to the 1,000 lanterns.
The Toro Nagashi, lantern floating festival, is staged by the Na Lei Aloha Foundation, which is affiliated with Shinnyo-En Hawaii. The Japanese-based sect films and broadcasts the festivities to Japan and other Shinnyo-En temples.
Another Toro Nagashi festival will be held July 21 in Haleiwa. Lanterns are set into the ocean at the end of the bon dance at Haleiwa Jodo Mission, 66-279-A Haleiwa Road. Names of people who have died recently are inscribed on the lanterns.
Traditionally, the lantern floating comes at the end of the Obon observance during which "the spirits come back and dance together with us," the Rev. Koji Ezaki of Haleiwa Jodo Mission explained. "In the Toro Nagashi the spirits of the deceased are going back to the land of the Buddha, and we light their way."
STAR-BULLETIN / MAY 2006
About 400 lanterns were launched from shore last year during the Shinnyo-en lantern floating ceremony, or Toro Nagashi, sponsored by Na Lei Aloha Foundation/Shinnyo-en Hawaii, at Magic Island, Ala Moana Beach Park.
Ex-journalist will talk on Cambodia
A retired journalist who spent several years covering news in Asia will speak in Honolulu this month about his efforts to build schools and a free medical center in Cambodia.
Bernard Krishner, who retired as the Newsweek bureau chief for Asia, will speak about "Repairing the World Through Social Justice and Acts of Loving Kindness." The presentation at 6 p.m. Thursday at Temple Emanu-El, 2550 Pali Highway, is open to the public.
Krishner has worked in Cambodia after his retirement. He helped build schools in rural communities and implemented a program that paid poor families to give girls the same access to education as boys. He was instrumental in the launching of Sihanouk Hospital, which provides free care and trains medical professionals, an effort to restore the health care system destroyed under the rule of the Khmer Rouge.
The talk will be preceded by a 5:30 p.m. reception.