Founded in 1963, Valley of the Temples Memorial Park has served the community by providing a place of peace and serenity for loved ones.

How to Behave at a Funeral

If you have ever been to a funeral, then you know that it is a somber event for mourners. To avoid offending the bereaved in their time of loss, you must keep a few pieces of advice in mind.

This video offers a basic look at funeral etiquette. First, you must remember to dress in conservative, subdued clothing. If you’re having trouble coming up with something to say to the bereaved, simply say, “I’m sorry for your loss.” You might also consider sending flowers, a personal note, or making a charitable donation in the deceased’s honor.

Valley of the Temples offers a beautiful location where you can lay your loved one to rest. To learn more about our Oahu cemetery, call us at (808) 239-8811 or visit our website.

A Guide to Asian Funeral Customs

A funeral is an opportunity to cherish the life of your loved one and mourn your loss along with friends and family. When planning a funeral, however, it is important to consider certain funeral customs. Learning about and respecting the funeral customs of the deceased’s loved ones can help you offer the right manner of support at the right time. Here is a brief guide to Asian funeral customs.

Cremation Memorialization

Attire

When guests attend western funerals, they are generally expected to wear black attire. In many Asian traditions, however, white is the color of mourning. Because of increased cultural exchange, attendees of Asian funerals—especially those from outside of the family—can generally wear either white or black. It is important to understand the cultural difference in funeral customs, however. In some cases, mourners who wear black attire to an Asian funeral might be asked to wear a white armband. When in doubt, ask one of the funeral organizers what you should wear or refer to the dress code on the funeral announcement.

Views on Death

In many Asian traditions, death is viewed in a much different light than it is in Western traditions. For example, Buddhists believe that though the physical body dies, the soul lives on through a cycle of reincarnation. Hindus generally hold a similar belief about the soul, namely that the soul goes through a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. In these particular traditions, mourning rituals and prayer during funeral ceremonies tend to focus on helping the soul in its journey after death.

Funeral ceremonies play an integral role in virtually every culture. Although there are many differences between religions and cultures, funeral ceremonies of all types are critical for the healing process. By offering you a chance to mourn alongside your friends and family, funeral ceremonies can give you the emotional and psychological support you need. If you want to learn more about Asian funeral customs, call Valley of the Temples at (808) 239-8811 or visit our website.

From Japan to Hawaii: The Symbolism of the Byodo-In Temple

The Byodo-In Temple is a historic treasure that is beloved by history and architecture lovers from all over. Established in the 11th century, the Byodo-in temple has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage. Although only a few structures of the original temple still remain, the Byodo-In Temple remains an important cultural site whose rich history and symbolism draw visitors from all over the world. The Byodo-In Temple is so well-loved that a smaller-scale replica was built in Hawaii’s Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in 1968. Here is a brief summary of the symbolic significance of the Byodo-In Temple.

Temple - Close Up

The Symbolism of the Temple

The Byodo-In Temple radiates spiritual significance. The original temple is best known for its depiction on the 10-yen coin, and the phoenix, the mythical bird of China. The structure of the Hoo-do hall—one of the two original structures still standing—was designed to look like the two outstretched wings of a phoenix. Within the temple visitors find the seated figure of Amida-Nyorai Buddha.

The Cultural Significance of Hawaii’s Byodo-in Temple

The Byodo-In Temple has become an important cultural symbol in both Japan and Hawaii. Located in the Ko’olau Mountains in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, the Byodo-In replica temple was erected in 1968 to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in Hawaii. As a non-practicing Buddhist temple, the Byodo-In Temple is a sanctuary for people of all faiths. Popular among visitors from both Hawaii and Japan, the temple remains an important symbol of harmony and cultural exchange.

Visiting the Byodo-In Temple is the only way to truly appreciate the temple’s beauty and rich symbolism. If you want to learn more about the significance of the Byodo-In Temple both in Japan and Hawaii, call Valley of the Temples at (808) 239-8811.

The Iconography of Amida Buddha

Buddhism is a rich religion with that encompasses a variety of beliefs and practices. For instance, Amida Buddha represents just one depiction of Buddha. Amida Buddha can often be hard to distinguish from Buddha’s other forms. It is important to understand the difference, however, as Amida Buddha has unique cultural and religious significance. When seated, Amida Buddha is generally depicted in a meditative stance or touching the earth. In some cases, Amida Buddha is depicted as holding a lotus while in meditation. When standing, Amida Buddha is most frequently shown with the left thumb and forefinger touching and the right hand facing outwards.

Amitabha statue

When visitors enter the Byodo-In Temple, they find a statue of Amida Buddha seated. As the one who presides over paradise, Amida Buddha has special significance for those coping with loss. If you want to learn more about the iconography of Amida Buddha, call Valley of the Temples at (808) 239-8811.

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Hours of Operation

  • 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Sunday
  • 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday
  • 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Tuesday
  • 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Wednesday
  • 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Thursday
  • 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Friday
  • 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Saturday