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Obon Tour and Service at Japanese Cemetery

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The BC Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples Federation’s Vancouver Island Obon Cemetery Tour takes place August 11-13, 2017.

Obon is a Buddhist Service to honor ancestors, and respect and express gratitude for life today. As part of their annual service, members from the BC Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Federation have been making an annual pilgrimage to Vancouver Island to visit cemeteries in a number of towns and to honor Japanese Canadian pioneers who lived and died on the Island prior to WWII.

2017 is a significant year, not only because Canada is turning 150 years old, but because it signifies 75 years since the internment of Japanese Canadians. The forcible removal of Canadian citizens from Vancouver Island was the direct cause for many cemeteries being destroyed and desecrated. In 1967, following WWII, as an act of reconciliation, the BC Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples Federation with the National Association of Japanese Canadians and other local organizations gathered the headstones which were scattered at the Cumberland Japanese Canadian Cemetery site; they were brought together to form a central memorial monument. Cemeteries in other towns such as Chemainus and Port Alberni followed suit.

This year marks the 50th Anniversary for the erection of the monument in Cumberland.

A public memorial service will be held at the Cumberland Japanese-Canadian Cemetery located on Union Road on Saturday, August 12th at 10:00 am. All are welcome to attend.

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