In the Hakalau Kuleana, at one time or another, there were at least 7 churches: 4 Buddhist, 2 Christian Protestant, 1 Catholic. While we have extensive information about the Hakalau Jodo Mission and some regarding the Honohina Hongwanji, little is known about the others. Please contact us if you have information and pictures to share!
Hakalau Upper Camp
Hakalau Jodo Mission
There has been a Hakalau Jodo Mission in the same location in Hakalau Upper Camp since 1905. The current Temple and parsonage were built in 1936.
December 6, 1936. Opening Ceremony of the new Jodo Mission building and placing of the buddah. Also celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Jodo Mission and a memorial service for the Jodo Shu founder, and second and third ministers. Note that the new building is in the same location as the previous one. Source: copy of photo currently hanging in the Hakalau Jodo Mission.
Hakalau Lower Camp
On the Hilo side of Hakalau Lower Camp, there was a small Hongwanji, shown in the map below. The Hakalau Christian Chapel is not within the boundaries of the map, but its direction is noted. If you have information about either of these churches, please contact us!
Hakalau Lower Camp Christian Church
The Hakalau Christian Church was a satellite of the church in Honomu. Reverand Sokabe served both congregations.
Bernice Hirai (née Yamagata), who grew up in Hakalau Upper Camp, shared her memories of the Hakalau Christian Church in Memoirs of the Hawai`i Hiroshima Heritage Study Group, 2012, republished here with her permission.
Hakalau Christian Church was a modest, little, old building, a rectangular floor space. Being of the Congregational sect, considered the plainest of the Protestants, everything was bare.
I think the plantation allowed the use of that little plot of land. It was located above the train station, close to the turnstile, a grassy, slopey yard which fronted the church with its corrugated iron roof and 2 x 4 lumber walls. When it rained, the pitter-patter of the raindrops was clearly heard, as there was no ceiling.
There was a verandah with a railing, a favorite spot for the little boys (and girls) to climb, with their respective mothers constantly admonishing them, "Abunai, abunai!"
When you entered, there was just a stark, brown cross at the top of the far end of the wall and a large picture of the Christ Jesus in an oval frame. I used to think He had the kindest eyes and lots of hair; he was the only hakujin in our midst.
Hakalau Lower Camp Buddhist Hongwanji
This small temple was a satellite of the larger Hongwanji in Honomu. Once a month the minister from Honomu would come to Hakalau give a sermon. After the sermon he showed a movie. If you have more information and pictures of the Hakalau Hongwanji, please contact us.
Non-Plantation Lands: Hakalau and Wailea
Most of the maps and pictures currently shown related to Yesterday come from plantation archives. Within the Hakalau Kuleana, there were also private properties such as homesteads, homes and businesses. Very little information has been compiled about the churches on properties not owned by the plantation. Please contact us if you have information and pictures to share.
Hakalau Sacred Heart Church
(aka Hakalau Sacred Heart of Jesus)
Built in 1914, the last mention of this church in the Hawaii Tribune Herald was in 1971. For local residents, this church celebrated masses, special saints days, weddings, funerals and first communions. Please contact us if you have information and pictures to share.
The Last Mention of this Church...that we've found.
Wailea Hawaiian Christian Church
There was much fanfare when the new Hawaiian Christian Church was built in 1922, replacing a 54 year old Hawaiian church. The vacant property is currently owned by Haili Church. Please contact us if you have information and pictures to share.
Honohina Upper Camp
Honohina Hongwanji began in 1899 and developed as the population of sugar plantation workers and their families grew. Initially services were held at a temporary temple, then a small temple was built. In 1916 a larger temple and minister's residence was built, to be replaced 23 years later by a much larger temple. The population diminished with the demise of the sugar industry and the temple was dismantled. In 1969, the Ninole Hongwanji was renamed the Honohina Honwanji and continues to serve the population of the area.