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Obon Tour and Service at Japanese Cemetery

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The BC Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples Federation Obon cemetery tour is visiting the Cumberland Japanese Cemetery on Saturday, August 10 at 10 am. All are welcome to attend the service. The tour is taking place from August 8 to 11, 2019 to cemeteries on Vancouver Island.

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. The Obon tour began in 1978.

During WWII many Japanese-Canadian cemeteries were destroyed and desecrated, including the Cumberland Japanese Cemetery. In 1967, as an act of reconciliation, the BC Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples Federation with the National Association of Japanese Canadians with support from the Cumberland Kiwanis Club, Alderman Bronco Moncrief, and community volunteers gathered the headstones which were scattered at the Cumberland Japanese Canadian Cemetery site; they were brought together to form a central memorial monument and a fence was built around the cemetery with donated logs milled by the local sawmill.

Find our more about the Cumberland Japanese Cemetery and the Cumberland Japanese community.

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