Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi: Space to Heal
In place of its usual ceremony at Ala Moana Beach on Memorial Day, Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi is being offered as an in-person interactive experience on the grounds of the Shinnyo-en Hawaii temple by reservation from Friday, May 27 through Sunday, June 5, 2022.
Every Memorial Day since 1999 through 2020 when our world took a pause due to the pandemic, thousands gathered on the shores of Oʻahu to dedicate lanterns in an experience that offered a tangible way to feel connected to loved ones past and present. As part of the Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi experience this year, we are offering an opportunity to write messages of remembrance, prayers, and commitments to positive action on the very lanterns usually floated at the beach in an interactive experience on the grounds of the Shinnyo-en Hawaii temple.
With so many having suffered losses during the pandemic, we’d like to offer space, physical and emotional, for people to experience a sense of comfort and healing. Our aim is to create a solemn yet hopeful space for participants to be moved from whatever personal or collective turmoil or trauma they may be experiencing to a moment of internal reconciliation and peace.
We invite you to reserve your space in this Interactive Experience — “Space to Heal.”
Artists’ Statements on the “Space to Heal” Interactive Experience
Hideaki Tsutsui — Production Director & Designer
For the last two years, our world has been shattered and people have been separated by the pandemic. Many people around the world have suffered from losing their loved ones, but I feel it also brought the world closer spiritually through the unexpected threat to humankind.
Despite the stereotypes and biases that often blind us, I have always believed that we are more alike than different. In Japan, there is a word that describes the spiritual connection and harmony that we share with each other. It is called “Yuwa”. For Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaii 2022, I wanted to create and emphasize that word by offering a space to experience the human connections and to share their loved ones’ stories. I also hope that this event will be the light to overcome the last two years of darkness and extend the hands to bring the community of Hawaii together again.
The entire installation is to symbolize the journey of human life and that we all end at the same place. The shape of the circle was inspired by the Hawaiian lei and to express and share the feelings of love, happiness, honor, friendship, and goodbyes. Bridges are to create a sense of the transformation of space into the spiritual world, by crossing the bridge before floating the lanterns. The pool of water is to honor the lives and the resilience of human nature, and with promise that Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi will return to the beach.
Boz Schurr — Muralist
Over a year ago, when I started working on this mural piece, I was feeling many things, often in conflict with one another. I was mournful but also grateful, and then I would feel guilty for feeling happy. A year ago I was coming to terms with having been in the depths of a pandemic for over a year. I felt isolated but also optimistic. The mural is reflection of these feelings of duality, which in a way feel even stronger to me now. Although we might feel things, that at first glance might seem contradictory, they are actually complimentary. I see this mural as a personal journey into a place of peace and healing. My hope is, a year later, others can see the bright colors and flowers blooming, can walk through this emersive space, and also feel a sense of hope and healing.
Masahiro Nakawaki — Music Composer/Director/Producer
The origins of music can be traced to humanity’s earliest experiences of prayer, reflection, and awe. In these times of turmoil, with global pandemics, international strife, and environmental issues, we still have countless challenges ahead of us before we can say that we are leaving a better world for our children and generations to come. Many people every year have taken part in Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi as a place where they can express their thoughts to those who have passed and come together to share in their hopes for a more peaceful world. I feel truly blessed to have been able to join in the positive energy generated from everyone’s prayers by composing and producing the music for our ceremony at Ala Moana Beach for over a dozen years. This year, my wish was to create music that would help to amplify the messages participants have dedicated for this event. May we all meet again for next year’s Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi in a shared spirit of thanks to all who came before us and reaffirm our promise to together create a hopeful world for all.