Konko Missions in Hawaii
Welcome to the Konko Mission of Hilo
58 Huapala Lane
Hilo, HI 96720
Konko Mission of Hilo
Daily Service: 5:30 am, 10:00 am, 4:00 pm, 7:30 pm
Every Sunday 10:00am Sunday Service
Every 1st 10:00am Monthly Service for Memorial
Every 10th 10:00am Monthly Service for Ikigami Konko Daijin
Every 22nd 10:00am Monthly Service for Tenchi Kane no Kami
3/25 Sunday 10:00am Spring Memorial Service
5/13 Sunday 11:00am Tenchi Kane no Kami Grand Ceremony
9/23 Sunday 10:00am Autumn Memorial Service
10/28 Sunday 11:00am Ikigami Konko Daijin Grand Ceremony
History of the Konko Mission of Hilo
The Konko Mission of Hilo on the Big Island (called also the Orchid Isle) has had a robust and lively history dating back almost eighty years. In 1926, Rev. Kokichi Katashima was sent by the Church Offices to Hawaii to research the possibilities of propagating Konkokyo in the land of Aloha.
On August 1, 1929, Rev. Yoshifusa Nishida was encouraged by Rev. Katashima to begin preaching the Konko Faith in the Pu’ueo area of Hilo on the Big Island. Rev. Nishida accepted Rev. Katashima’s request as a divine message. There were no worshippers in the beginning; however, Rev. Nishida sat devoutly in the mediation place all day long, from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm, and prayed to Kami. For a while, he ate only a single meal a day.
About nine months later, on May 19, 1930, the Konko Missions of Hilo was approved as a non-profit organization. Rev. Nishida was joined with his wife, Rev. Fuji Nishida, and their daughter in October of 1931.
In those days, Japanese immigrants had to work very hard in the sugar cane fields. They suffered from poverty, disease, and acculturation problems. Many flocked to the new Konko church to seek toritsugi mediation from Rev. Nishida. The church membership began to increase. In 1940, a little less than ten years later, the worship hall (currently in use) was constructed at Huapala Lane. To celebrate this event, a service was held both for the new building and for the Konko Daijin Festival on November 10 of that year.
On December 7, 1941, the horrors of WWII came to Hawaii. The Japanese living in the islands were devastated. Issei and Nissei (first generation, second generation) leaders were sent off to internment camps on the US mainland. Rev. Nishida too was sent to a camp until the end of the war. When he was separated from his family, he told his wife and children to look after the Konkokyo church, and to not rely on the American government, for any care they might need.
Rev. Nishida spent four years in a camp in California, and later repatriated to Japan and forced to remain for six more years. A decade passed by before Rev. Nishida finally came back to Hawaii and resumed his missionary tasks in 1951.
On March 1, 1964, Rev. Yoshie (Yamanaka) Nagai came to Hawaii as an associate minister. She began a Sunday school in June of 1976 that taught Japanese and calligraphy. For decades afterward she supervised games and sports for children. Unfortunately, the Sunday School is no longer in function at Hilo Church.
On June 16th, 1977, the current Head Minister, Rev. Makio Nagai, arrived in Hilo. In November of that year, the new residence quarters for his family were constructed. And on June 16th –17th of 1979 the KMH Conference was held in Hilo. Also, on November 10th of that year, the 50th Anniversary Celebration for the Konko Mission of Hilo was conducted with Revs. Yoshifusa and Fuji Nishida.
Rev. Yoshifusa Nishida passed away on his birthday, April 2nd of 1981. He was 91 years old. He devoted his life to the people who were suffering, and never stopped praying to Kami for the people in need. He truly lived as a living kami in Hawaii, and even till today, Rev. Nishida’s great spirit guides us through our toritsugi mediation.
In the same year, 1981, Rev. Fuji Nishida took over the position of Head Minister, and continued praying for the welfare of all people.
In 1988, the basement social hall was completed. Since then, it has been used for workshops, socialization, and various activities.
Rev. Fuji Nishida passed away on January 25th, 1992, at the age of 90. The Konko Mission of Hilo stands till this very day because Rev. Fuji has dedicated herself to the continuous service of the church for 10 years, following the death of Rev. Yoshifusa.
On August 11th –12th of the Year 2000 the KCNA/KMH Joint Conference was held in the city of Hilo. And on the 13th, a day later, the 100-Year Anniversary Service for Konkokyo Independence was observed with our 5th Spiritual Leader (Kyoshu Konko-Sama), Rev. Heiki Konko. The ministers on the Orchid Isle and the membership there put forth Aloha Spirit for these events, and all felt very grateful.We in Hawaii, and throughout the world, will continue to pray to Kami-Sama for the welfare of all people, and will strive to develop our faith to welcome the KMH 80th Anniversary in 2006.
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