faced print is reproduced from the Lahaina Historical
Guide with permission from the publisher. Copyright
1998, Honolulu Publishing
Company, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Free copies of the Lahaina Historical Guide are
available throughout Lahaina Town and the Kā`anapali resorts.
Lahaina Jodo Mission Cultural Park sits on a point
of land known as Puunoa Point, "the hill freed
from taboo." The area was once a small village
fronting the royal grove of coconut trees planted
by the governor of Maui's wife, Hoapiliwahine. The
area was called Mala ("garden") and the
adjacent Mala Wharf still bears the name.
park was a pleasant place to the many Japanese laborers
who stamped it with their own cultural heritage. The
mission is the best known landmark in the area today
and is one of Lahaina's busiest visitor attraction. The
largest Buddha outside of Japan sits majestically
and serenely in a small park commemorating the arrival
of the first Japanese immigrants in 1868. The
compound includes the temple shrine and an extensive
outdoor meeting area.
of the church are very active in the community,
and many outside functions such as wedding receptions
and award ceremonies are frequently held here. As
with many other Buddhist temples, the Jodo Mission
celebrates the summer Bon Memorial Celebration,
a joyous drum-dancing festival honoring ancestral
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