|Lawai International Center, Kauai|
In the hope of encouraging peace in 2018, I'm presenting images of some of the unique Japanese shrines populating the hillside paths of the Lawai International Center on the island of Kauai
The Lawai International Center, a non-profit community project, is an archaeological and cultural treasure in a valley that has long been recognized as a healing sanctuary. In 1904 the first generation of Japanese immigrants built 88 shrines replicating an ancient pilgrimage of 88 temples in Shikoku, Japan. Today, it is the only such site existing outside of Japan and is one of the oldest Buddhist temple sites in the country. When the shrines fell into disrepair in the 1960s, the nonprofit Center was formed to restore the site. The maintenance and restoration work continues to be done today by a network of devoted volunteers.
|It was fascinating to glimpse into each miniature shrine and marvel at the objects within|
We called the Center when we arrived in Kauai and made arrangements to visit the site. They are open to the public two Sundays a month, but if those days don't work, a volunteer will open the Center when it's convenient. When we arrived we were offered tea and were told the history of the valley. Then we were given walking sticks to help us clamber up and down the uneven paths and peer into each shrine to discover the unique offerings placed inside. Many are still tended by family members and offerings are replaced or repaired when necessary.
|Treasures inside a shrine|
|Here's Dean peeking in|
I conclude with this peaceful shrine from the Lawai Center, hoping that peace will bloom out of every nook on the planet, like the orchids of Kauai.