May 29, 2006
Toro Nagashi
Click above to play the embedded video, or see below for more options.
Toro nagashi, or lantern offering, is a traditional Buddhist rite that honors the dead. In Hawaii, a special ceremony combines toro nagashi with Memorial Day observances. Paper lanterns and candles are placed on small wooden boats that bear blessings and messages, and they are released at sunset at Magic Island. It's a breathtaking sight. This year, we entered the names of my grandmothers. Irene Caitano Henderson on my mother's side, and Hanako Ozawa on my father's side.

The audio accompanying this video includes a Hawaiian chant for King Kalakaua by Nalani Olds and an `ukulele rendition of "Ave Maria" by Jake Shimabukuro.

You can also view this video at YouTube, Blip.TV, or Google Video. Directly download the above Quicktime movie (240x180/37MB) file, a larger version (320x240/285MB), or the iPod-optimized file (MP4/31MB) here, courtesy the Internet Archive. The MP4 served up in the feed is here.

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Posted by Ryan at 11:01 PM


Aloha Ryan, awesome footage! I truely enjoy watching the lanterns released into the water as the sun sets over beautiful Hawaii. It is a calm and relaxing experience in which the mind, body and soul take a visit to a more spiritual and wonderful place. This year was even more special to me since I had a lantern released with my father's name on it in his memory. Thanks again for the wonderful view.
Posted by: V.Brown at May 30, 2006 3:14 AM

Chicken skin... Mahalo, Lynn
Posted by: Lynn Vasquez at May 30, 2006 8:45 PM

Mahalo Ryan. I was hoping you would be here. Rox
Posted by: rox at May 30, 2006 10:57 PM

I loved this beautiful video. I am working on my own home footage and I really love the editing job you did on this. Great job.
Posted by: Paige at June 2, 2006 3:02 AM

Just want to say that i played taiko that day and im sure that your grandmothers are happy. with gassho.
Posted by: Keita or Anthony at June 4, 2006 10:35 PM

Many thanks for all these great videoblog entries. We are visiting our friend on Oahu in a week or so and your videos have been a great introduction to the island. Heck, you could make a whole business out of video tours of various places so folks could get a better idea of what they might like to visit when they come to the islands. Thanks again! Douglas
Posted by: Douglas E. Welch at June 8, 2006 9:07 AM

E kala mai! Comments on this entry have been disabled due to overwhelming abuse by spammers. Please click through to one of the video hosting services linked above to leave a public response, or feel free to send me an e-mail. Mahalo!

© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: [ PGP ] · Created: 7 April 2005 · Last Modified: 24 August 2009