22 hours ago
Friday, March 4, 2016
I mean no disrespect. Most people wouldn't stop at a cemetery while vacationing on the Big Island, but Aunt Judy was with us and she is like the queen of genealogy so she was interested in every single cemetery we drove by...and we drove by this one twice, so yes, we stopped. She remarked as we parked, "I wonder what kind of cemetery this is." I quietly replied, "Pretty sure it's Japanese." How did I know? Because it looks like the graveyards in Japan. I haven't researched it, but I'm thinking the Big Island is a "Japanese" island. Lana'i was a "Pilipino" island and Oahu is a Heinz 57...Niihau is surely Hawaiian...but something tells me Big Island is Japanese. Anyway, what do I know?
The great thing about the Japanese people is their utmost reverence for their ancestors. I mean, they have butsudans in their living rooms (ancestor shrines complete with fruit, rice, and sake, not to mention photos). And you can see that although this cemetery is old and crumbling, it is still well cared for and regarded with highest respect. We had the chance to eat at Teshima's and they sort of had a butsudan in there for Aunty Fumi who died of breast cancer.