Just outside the historic whaling town of Lahaina on the island of Maui lies a Buddhist temple. Thus, J is for the Jodo Mission of Lahaina for today’s entry in the A to Z Challenge.
The great Buddha and temple bell were constructed in 1968 to commemorate the centennial of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. It is the largest Amida Buddha outside of Japan. It was cast in Kyoto and is made of copper and bronze. It is 12 feet high and weight 3 1/2 tons.
The pagoda at Jodo Mission is 90 feet tall and has copper roofing. There is a small altar enshrined within the pagoda, but there is no entry into the pagoda for tourists passing through.
The temple bell is the largest in Hawai’i and weighs about 3,000 pounds. The bell commemorates the centennial of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawai’i and offers the Jodo prayer “Namu Amida Butsu,” and also has the names of various donors engraved on it.
The temple structure was rebuilt after it burned down in 1968, and the whole complex is located on Pu’uona Point near the ocean. Although you cannot enter, you can look inside to see the beautiful gold-covered altar within the temple.
When I visited the Jodo Mission there were not many other visitors, and walking through the compound was very peaceful. The structures are well kept, and the first time I visited they were cleaning and restoring the great Buddha. It is kept up by the members of the Jodo Mission, and is reminiscent of Buddhist temples in Japan, with a beautiful tropical setting.
Have you visited a Buddhist temple? What is your favorite spiritual place to visit? Let me know in the comments!