Alicia Fung HON291S Fall 2010 Noting the abundance of Japanese in Mo’ili’ili, the most prevalent religion in Mo’ili’ili is Buddhism. The symbol that appears on numerous gravestones in Mo’ili’ili cemetery is related to either Shingon Buddhism or the Tensho Kotai Jingu Kyo. Founded by Sayo Kitamura ◦ Known as Ogamisama (Great God) by followers Believed to be “God’s only daughter” destined to save mankind Starting preaching in 1945 in Yamaguchi, Japan May1952, came to Honolulu Attracted many Issei Japanese after WWII ◦ Sought a new religion with promise of fulfillment ◦ Wanted world peace, brotherhood Tensho Kotai Jingu Kyo offered just that 75-80% were between 40-60 years old ◦ Although Japanese were dominant, also attracted Chinese, Koreans, Puerto Ricans, Filipinos and Caucasians Main branch was formed in Mo’ili’ili ◦ Mr. Takeyoshi Hirai (A tailor) 2716 S. King St Honolulu, HI Gather weekly in living room of his cottage One Sunday each month, meet for “Consolation Day” at park ◦ Members pray until dancing Hence “dancing religion” “Nam myoho renge kyo” • Prayer recited vigorously and rhythmically so it’s almost sing-song Followers are in an emotional state of prayer Supposed to give participant supernatural insight into universe Prayers have power to “redeem all evil spirits..” Efficacy carries on into daily life “Namu daishi henjo kongo” 南 無 大 師 遍 照 金 剛 Sanskrit Symbol ◦ Seed syllable for Amitābha (Buddha of the Western Quarter) In Japanese: Amida Nyorai ◦ Represents chiefly meditation and compassion ◦ Pronounced (キリーク）[kiri-ku] in Japanese Shingon Mantra ◦ On amirita teizei kara un Pure Land Buddhist Mantra ◦ Namu amida butsu Shingon Buddhism ◦ Orthodox Esoteric Buddhism ◦ Characterized by dancing, eccentric rituals, prayer and chant etc Pure Land Buddhism ◦ Focused on Amitabha Buddha ◦ Of all Buddhism sects, Pure Land is the most practiced Buddhism in Hawaii Jodo Shinshu Sect is largest ◦ Recitation & reading of Pure Land Sutras They are both two different schools of Buddhism ◦ But they share similar concepts Tensho Kotai Jingu Kyo & Shingon Buddhism were both popular religions in Mo’ili’ili. The symbol on many gravestones that was thought be a Buddhist sect symbol is actually a Sanskrit symbol – related to Shingon Buddhism. Brady, Spence. Hawaii’s ‘Dancing Goddess’ Prays for World Peace. The Honolulu Advertiser. January 26, 1961. Jabbour, Miller E. The Sect of Tensho-Kotai-Jingyu-Kyo: The Emergence and Career of a Religious Movement. University of Hawaii. August 1958. Tensho Kotai Jingu Kyo. The Prophet of Tabuse. Tabuse, Yamaguchi Pref., Japan. 1954. "Amitābha and Amitāyus." Visible Mantra. Jayarava, 2009. Web. <http://www.visiblemantra.org/amitabha.html>.