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

Our thoughts are with the victims and families affected by the Boston Marathon atrocity

Our thoughts are with the victims and families affected by the Boston Marathon atrocity on April 15, 2013. Words fall short of expressing our sorrow to those who lost their lives and those who were injured.

Valley of the Temples is hosting a book of condolences for the public to write messages to the victims and their families. We hope this small gesture will bring together our own community to offer encouragement and strength to all who have been affected. The book will be available to the public from April 16 – May 1 from 10am – 5pm daily and will be shared with the families and victims.

Understanding Japanese Funeral Traditions

Small flower

Cemetery arrangements and funerals are a way to show love and respect to the deceased. Different cultures celebrate past lives in various ways, but they all seek to honor the memory of the deceased loved one. Cemetery arrangements are also a first step toward healing. Although traditional Japanese funerals vary in their specifics, they have a few general aspects in common.

Preparation of the Deceased In the past, the family would wash the body of the loved one; these days, this practice is generally conducted by the hospital. Once the body is cleaned, it’s dressed in either a suit or a kimono, depending if the deceased is a man or a woman. Just as with funerals from many other cultures, makeup is applied to preserve the deceased’s appearance.

Preparation of the Casket Dry ice is placed at the bottom of the casket and the deceased is placed on top. A white kimono, sandals, and six coins are placed in the casket for the journey in the afterlife. Family members also commonly place treasured personal possessions of the deceased in the casket. The head of the casket is positioned so it faces the north or west while on top of the altar.

Guests at the Funeral Guests who attend the funeral are expected to wear black. Men typically wear suits, and women wear either dresses or kimonos. The guests might also carry a juzu, a Buddhist prayer bead. Each guest brings a special black and silver envelope, which contains condolence money for the survivors.

The Cemetery Arrangement Typically, the funeral service is conducted on the day following the wake. The deceased will receive a new Buddhist name in accordance with the belief that the deceased may return if his or her name is uttered. Flowers might be placed in the casket before it is sealed and transported to the cemetery. Cemetery arrangements typically include a stone monument with areas for flowers, incense, and water.

When you make cemetery arrangements, consider how you and your family would like to celebrate the life of your loved one. The compassionate and culturally sensitive staff at the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in Oahu can help you with the cemetery arrangements. We also offer funeral pre-planning services. Contact us today at (808) 239-8811 or visit our website to learn more.

The Basics of Grief and How Our Funeral Home Can Help

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It’s natural to feel grief after losing a loved one. Grief is a highly personal emotion, and everybody experiences it in different ways. Throughout the grieving process, which may last for months or years, it is normal to experience different emotions. The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. However, it’s not unusual to experience these stages in different patterns. Although you will always cherish the memories of the departed, with time comes healing. Gradually, the pain of grief will diminish, and it will be easier to cope with the loss. Throughout the mourning process, reach out to your other loved ones for mutual support. Talking to others at the cemetery can help you cope with the loss and share memories of your loved one. Many people also find comfort in consulting a professional counselor.

When it’s time to say goodbye to your loved one, the compassionate staff of the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park can help guide you through the funeral process. Contact our Oahu, Hawaii office today at (808) 239-8811 to discuss cemetery arrangements. You may also find solace in our Byodo-In Temple.

The Byodo-In Temple in Japan: Inspiration for the Replica in Oahu

The Byodo-In Temple in Japan is located in Uji city, just south of Kyoto. It was originally built as a retreat villa for Fujiwara no Michinaga, a politician. With the addition of the Phoenix Hall in 1053, it became a spectacular temple. Paired with a pond-style garden, its breathtaking architecture melds seamlessly with the natural beauty of the site.

View the highly stylized designs of the Phoenix Hall by watching this video. You’ll also learn more about its history and the best way to reach the temple—a handy piece of knowledge if you’re planning a trip to Japan in the near future.

Visit the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in Oahu, Hawaii, to see a majestic replica of the original Byodo-In Temple. Contact us at (808) 239-8811 to learn more about our memorial park and cemetery arrangements.

What Is the Amida Buddha?

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A Buddhist shrine, which may be found in a private home or in a memorial park, typically includes an image of the Buddha. These images are intended to help a Buddhist focus his or her meditations and remember the ideal qualities of the Buddha. One famous statue is the Amida Buddha, found in the Byodo-In Temple in a memorial park on Oahu, Hawaii.

Terminology Amida, the Buddha of Infinite Light, is the combination of two Sanskrit words for the Buddha: “amitabha,” meaning “limitless light,” and “amitayus,” meaning “limitless life.” Amida symbolizes dharma, which refers to the laws of the universe, universal truth, and the teachings of the Buddha. In Shin Buddhism, “Namu Amida Butsu,” or Amida’s name, means “bowing Amida Buddha.”

Historical Background The Amida Buddha in the Oahu Byodo-In Temple was carved by Masuzo Inui, a renowned Japanese sculptor. It was carved in the style of Jocho, who was a revered sculptor who carved a smaller Amida Buddha for the original Byodo-In Temple in Japan. This smaller Amida was carved more than 1,000 years ago. The original work of art created by Masuzo Inui is housed in the Phoenix Hall, which reflects the great artistry of the Byodo-In Temple.

Figure The figure itself is more than nine feet tall. It was initially carved out of wood, and then covered with a cloth. Three applications of gold lacquer were placed on the cloth, and then gold leaf was applied on top of those layers. The gold backdrop behind the Amida Buddha features 52 Boddhisattvas playing musical instruments, dancing, and floating on clouds. Boddhisattvas are enlightened beings.

The Byodo-In Temple, a non-practicing Buddhist temple, is located near the beautiful Ko’olau Mountains. To learn more about visiting the Byodo-In Temple or to make cemetery arrangements, contact the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. You can reach us at (808) 239-8811, or learn more about our rich history by visiting our website.

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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