Experience Treasures of the Hongwanji
by Kristin Hashimoto
Waking up a little early on Saturday morning has its perks. Especially when homemade goodies, demonstrations, music, arts and crafts, await at the Sangha Hall on March 3, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This yearly tradition of cultural and philosophical sharing is greeted warmly by a buzzing Hilo town. Reluctant early morning risers get their caffeinated jump-start at the downtown Starbuck’s; it is within easy walking distance of the event.
The Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin Buddhist temple, along with the Higashi Hongwanji, will showcase talented artisans and cooks.
Some of the food for sale may include: chicken sausage, smoked pork, chayote sambaizuke, jellies, ampan, ti leaf dango, sekihan, barbecued ribs, mini spam musubi and more. To avoid disappointment from sold out vendors, coordinators of the event advise people to come early.
With food comes music. At 10:30 a.m., Zen priest, Aikido instructor and musician, Unzan Pfennig will play world music on his guitar. The sound is melodic and soothing. Some may have already heard Unzan’s sound while eating at Miyo’s Japanese Restaurant. In stark contrast to Unzan’s peaceful sound will be the Puna Taiko drummers, who will bring thunder to the hall.
Crafts, arts and plants will also be on sale. Children will be entertained with activities just for them, and adults will get to play as well with some lucky number prize drawings.
Sangha hall is located at 424 Kilauea Avenue on the grounds of the Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin. Admission is free.