Yet another successful installment of this Festival coordinated by the Maui Okinawan Kenjin Kai (MOKK)! Featuring an all-day line up of entertainment ranging from taiko drumming to samurai swordsmanship, the event also plays host to a bunch of booths with ono grindz (like chow fun, andagi, andadog and Chinese pretzels), as well as crafters and carnival-like games for kids.
The Festival’s stage performances opened with a lion dance featuring the bright, whimsical character in the photo above. This lion was ‘awakened’ at the Paia Rinzai Zen Mission’s obon festival on August 22nd, where ‘life was breathed into’ it via traditional rites performed by a woman (chosen as the spiritual leader), prior to dancers entering the costume.
MOKK has a beautiful facility on Waiehu Beach road (across the intersection from Sack N Save), their East and West facing walls lined with beautiful glass cases that house artifacts, art, photographs, awards and gifts of cultural exchange. Members of the MOKK painstakingly move these items and create a beautiful makeshift museum in an empty storefront at the Maui Mall. Though I am lucky enough to regularly enjoy these items at the MOKK’s facility (myself a member of Komei Juku Maui, the swordsmanship group that performed at this and every Festival and calls the MOKK our home dojo), I am nonetheless continually intrigued by masterful craftsmanship used in creating these pieces and the evident care taken to preserve them through (and for) generations to come.