Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21st. The United Nations has devoted this day to strengthen the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
This marks the 7th year of celebration in Hanapepe, “Kauai’s Biggest Little Town.” It commemorates the legacy of two local residents whose visions for peace left an indelible mark in our community.
 Senator Spark Matsunaga (1916-1990) was born and raised on Kauai, attended Eleele School,
Kauai HS, University of Hawai’i, and Harvard University. During his many years as a
Congressman, he was a longtime proponent of peaceful resolution of disputes and is the
founder of the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. At the Spark M. Matsunaga
International Children’s Garden for Peace, referred to as “Sparky’s Garden,” is a statue of
Matsunaga. The garden is located at the Storybook Theatre in Hanapepe town.
 Reverend Koichi Miyoshi, a resident minister of the Kauai Soto Zen Temple from 1971 to
1998, envisioned a symbol of peace where people would come and pledge that there will be no
war on this earth, pray for peace, and remember all who gave their lives in the pursuit of peace.
A World Peace Kannon Statue stands on the temple grounds in Hanapepe since 1991.
Rev. Miyoshi felt that the island of Kauai, with its beauty and tranquility, was the perfect
setting for this statue.
The 4th Grade students of Eleele School will honor and remember Spark Matsunaga at Sparky’s Garden, Storybook Theatre on Friday morning, September 20th. The students’ expressions of peace, through song, dance, art, prose, and poetry will be featured at the Saturday event. Over a thousand paper cranes, folded by the students, will decorate the Peace statue.
The gathering on Saturday, starts at 5:00 pm, with food and activity/game booths. Life sized marine life inflatables, costumes gallery; any foot fits by Aloha Slippahs, corn hole toss, origami paper folding, card games; writing personal messages of peace; mix, mingle and share stories of peace with others. View exhibits of Eleele School students’ expressions of peace through art, prose, and poetry. Let us know where you are from and mark your spot on a world map!
Others may also gather at the Storybook Theatre in historic Hanapepe town, at 5:00 pm and congregate for the candlelight Peace Walk, starting at 5:30 pm. The walk from Sparky’s Garden to the World Peace Statue at the Soto Zen Temple, is a 15 minute march across town, starting at approximately 5:30 pm. The sounds of the temple bell and taiko drumming will greet the walkers upon arrival, who will join the rest of the public.
A celebration of peace will then take place, starting at 6:00 pm on the temple grounds in front of the peace statue. The program & entertainment includes:
• Welcome and blessing + Color guard by Waimea HS JrROTC
• Expressions of peace through performances in music, song, and dance, reflecting our island
diversity by various community groups
• Recognition of people, volunteers, veterans, public servants, first responders, national/
international service volunteers & others who take an active role in promoting peace, harmony
& goodwill among all people
• A concluding fire-burning ceremony to acknowledge our wishes and hopes for peace
Everyone is welcomed and attendance is FREE to the public. Visitors are especially welcomed!
Food booth donations support Eleele School 4th grade students for their annual off-island excursion.
On behalf of the members of Soto Zen Temple, thank you for helping us make our Soto Zen Bon Festival a special community event. Your generous support through your monetary donations, donated goods, patronage, and attendance is most appreciated. We hope you enjoyed the festival as much as we did hosting it. Special thanks to the ten craft vendors and food vendors: Special Olympics, WHS JrROTC, Kali Ohana, Chip Wreck, Toots Ohana, Kekaha Hawaiian Homes, Dusenberry Ohana, Kamacho Ohana, Kimo Lazaro Ohana. Credits to our game booth sponsors: Tsunami Taiko, WHS JrROTC, Hirano-Miyashiro Ohana, and Senior Softball. Appreciation to the many, many volunteers who staffed the food, drinks, game booths, hospitality/information booth, choba/donation table, and dancers food table. Acknowledgement to our security guards, parking lot attendants, and trash pickup. Praise to the ondo singers and dancers, Kauai Ondo Drummers, Taiko Kauai, Intermission exhibition dancers. Also, to our benevolent businesses: Service Rentals, Hartung Brothers, J&S Portable Toilets, Pacific Blue Construction, County Parks & Recreation, and National Guard Armory. To Reverend Shuji Komagata for officiating our Bon services. Finally to all of our members and friends who worked so hard to make it an extraordinary event!