Peace Be: Hundreds of Bells Ring for Peace with Special Guest Jake Shimabukuro

Across cultures and centuries, bells have called people to church, children to school, store workers at counters, and spirits to silent attention. At 9 a.m. Wednesday, hundreds of bells from Hawaii and around the world will ring in celebration of Peace Day. A special appearance by ukulele master and peace ambassador Jake Shimabukuro highlights the event.

Ring Your Bell for Peace Day was created in 2020 as a type of joyful gathering online, via Zoom and Facebook Live, to offset public health restrictions. Last year’s event drew some 1,700 bell ringers from across the continent, Canada and Japan. This year, Ukraine will be included – as the Honoka’a Hongwanji Buddhist Temple has helped five Ukrainian families, one of whom recently moved to Hilo.

Anyone, anywhere is welcome to participate, as a group or individually. Sign up at bit.ly/PeaceDay2022. All you need is a phone or computer and a bell. Past events have included a choir of bells of all sizes, from tiny bells to Tibetan meditation bowls, giant temple bells and even water glasses. When they ring together, the sounds become almost harmonic, joyful and soothing.

The opening ceremony includes the pu (conch shell) and oli, “song”, presented by Saint Louis School, a Muslim invocation, begins at 8:30 am. Afterwards, Bishop Eric Matsumoto will lead a minute of silence, in honor of all those who have sacrificed for the realization of peace. At 9:01 a.m., bells will ring from temples, churches, schools, individual homes and community organizations for five minutes. The interfaith participation is very special as the event ends with the blessing of Temple Emanuel.

September 21 has been the International Day of Peace since it was established by the United Nations in 1981. It is also Peace Day in the state, thanks to members of the Hawaiian Federation of Junior Buddhist Youth Associations, who have submitted a resolution to the state. 2007 Legislature, which enacted House Bill 342, a law making Setp. 21 Peace Day in Hawaii.

Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to register by emailing [email protected] or by calling (808) 291-6151. Or go to bit.ly/PeaceDay2022.