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Ke Akua Pu a Hui Hou (God Bless You and See You Later)

Mona Price
REL133
January 09, 2012
Tim Watson

Ke Akua Pu a Hui Hou (God Bless You and See You Later)

Fuji-san leans back in his chair contemplating while the servants begin clearing the tables and the guests leave. He smiles, “You know there are a wise couple of philosophers from this century in the United States with a very Daoist kind of philosophy. Their philosophy is to ‘Be excellent to each other’ and ‘party on dude’ (Herek, 1989). I believe their names are Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan” [ (Herek, 1989) ]. He leans back in his chair and gives a great belly laugh. Soon he is staring off into the distance; the servants have finished cleaning up and have been dismissed. The crowd is long gone and the only sound is the sound of the ocean waves crashing on the shore. “This was a great idea Ganga.” Fuji-san says, “This place reminds me of home; granted my volcano hasn’t been active for 300 years.” “I love Hawaii,” says Ganga. “I love that it is a combination of all of our cultures.” “It’s your turn to share with us about Shintoism.” Ganga gently reminds him. “Yes.” agrees Huang He, “How does Shintoism play into all of this?” “Ah, yes, Shintoism is very similar to other Old Religions; no one can really remember where it came from or who started it.” Fuji-san starts, “There were islanders who lived in North Japan and immigrants from the East and South East Asia who came together and found that they had enough similar beliefs that they could combine their religions without much trouble.” Do you know where the word ‘Shinto’ comes from; it sounds more Chinese than it does Japanese, at least to me.” Huang He asks. Fuji-san nods, “You are not wrong,” he says. “in fact, thousands of years ago there didn’t seem to be a need to name religions, but when Chinese immigrants came to Japan with their belief system the Japanese people referred to it as ‘the way of the Buddha’ or ‘Butsu-do’ which gradually changed into ‘Buddhism”’ [ (Molloy, 2010, p. 265) ]. Fuji-san continues, “In the same manner, the Chinese people referred to the religion that was practiced in Japan as ‘the way of the gods’ or ‘shen-dao’ which is pronounced as ‘shin-to’ in Japanese” [ (Molloy, 2010, p. 265) ]. “So as the cultures and religions combined in Japan, they eventually came up with a single creation story, would you like to hear it?” A chorus of yes’s comes up from the table.

“’In the beginning there was primeval chaos, which came to be populated by several generations of deities, or spirits, called kami (possibly, “sacred”). Two of these kami— Izanami (“female who invites”) and Izanagi (“male who invites”)—became the cosmic parents who created the first islands of Japan. According to an ancient chronicle, the Kojiki, “Hereupon all the Heavenly Deities commanded the two Deities His Augustness the Male-Who-Invites and Her Augustness the Female-Who-Invites, ordering them to ‘make, consolidate, and give birth to this drifting land.’ Granting to them a heavenly jeweled spear, they deigned to charge them. So the two Deities, standing upon the Floating Bridge of Heaven, pushed down the jeweled spear and stirred [the ocean] with it . . . ; the brine that dripped down from the end of the spear was piled up and became an island”’ [ (Molloy, 2010, p. 266) ]. “That sounds a lot like the Hawaiian Story of Maui,” Says Ganga. “There is a song that tells the story to new generations, it is called Maui ~ Hawaiian Sup'pa Man.” She explains, “The story goes that ‘He fished out the Islands with a magic hook, there would've been...
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