Aloha Everyone,

The Rinzai Zen Mission invites you to our Obon Festival on Saturday, August 19 at our Temple. Services will begin at 6 p.m. with Obon dancing and entertainment to follow. Reverend Seiya Chisaka and four ministers from Japan will be our guests and will preside over our services.

To prepare for our event, we are requesting volunteers to help with the following:

On Friday, August 18 at 8 a.m.:

  • Set up large canopy tent
  • Set up Choba tent
  • Set up table and chairs under the temple and large tent
  • Set up benches around main stage
  • Hang chochin and banners
  • Set out trash receptacles
  • Set up 3 dressing rooms

That night after the Obon festivities, we will also need help with the break down and clean up and will continue cleaning the following day. Because of the physical work involved, we are reaching out to our younger members and friends for help.

We will also need help with our nantu-making event that day (August 18) at 8 a.m. For more information, please leave a message for Patti Kitkowski at (808)572-0625 or

We are also asking for donations of vegetables and baked goods for our bazaar. Please contact me at (808)281-7181 regarding vegetable donations and any other questions regarding Obon. For baked goods, please label ingredients from greater to lesser amounts. We can help with labeling if needed. Please contact Janet Miyahira at (808)205-7116 or for questions regarding labeling. Please drop off all vegetables and baked goods by 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

Since our last Obon was held in 2019, we will have a refresher Obon dance practice on Tuesday, August 8 and Friday August 11 between 7 and 8 p.m.

Other Temple updates:

Reverend Kodai Haga is scheduled to become our next minister in September. Immigration Attorney Richard Berman has submitted the required documents to Immigration Services. They are reviewing Reverend Haga’s application for a working religious visa. I’m waiting to see if they will need any additional information but hopefully, we will be receiving final approval of his application soon. Let’s support Reverend Haga so he can continue the legacy of Rinzai Zen Mission.

Our columbarium has finally been repaired. I’ve submitted a claim with the County of Maui for reimbursement of $36,585 incurred by us for the repairs. The damages were caused by an ironwood tree in the park area that fell onto our Temple’s property damaging the power and cable lines causing a power pole to fall onto the columbarium.

Because of the damage caused by the trees, we have taken a proactive approach and trimmed the ironwood trees on our property facing the ocean and had the bodhi tree trimmed at a cost of $7,300. We hope the County will follow suit and take the necessary steps to prevent any of their trees from falling onto our property again.

Presently, our elevator is inoperable. The control panel needs to be replaced due to age related issues. Since the covid pandemic, many of the elevator companies have folded making it difficult to get parts for older elevators. As a result, the panel is being sent to the Mainland to be rebuilt at a cost of over $7,000. Hopefully, repairs will be made by Obon.

This year’s Obon will be a highly anticipated event, and our success in the past has been due to the help of our members, their families, and the Maui community for which we are very grateful.

In Gassho,

Alan Nago
President, Board of Directors

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