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Hundreds attend COVID-modified New Year’s Shinto blessing


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    NUUANU, Hawaii (KITV) — Hundreds received a New Year’s blessing at Daijingu Temple of Hawaii n Nu’uanu on Friday morning. KITV4’s Diane Ako was part of the ceremony – dressed as a “miko” or traditional priestess – helping sweep out the bad luck, and hopefully welcome in good fortune for 2021.

Reverend Akihiro Okada thanked the people who braved the slightly inclement weather and the pandemic to come out, and noted that they must really be interested in boosting their luck in the new year. “They have a lot of spirit. I can’t believe people are still coming with this difficult situation,” he said.

The tradition this was modified this year due to because of COVID-19 restrictions. About 600 people participated between midnight and 4:30 p.m. on Friday, according to temple owner/ event organizer Kazuko Imai, who says that’s a drop of about 80% compared to last year.

If you missed the January 1 public event, you can schedule a blessing. Go to the temple’s website to contact them.

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