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Komoden Temple (The Shining Shrine)

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The Shining Shrine
1925. Mamalahoa Hwy., just before mile marker 7, Keopu
  • (Photograph by Augie Salbosa)

Originally an odaishi (community-based temple), this seemingly simple single-wall, gable-roofed building is splendidly detailed. From the carved beams of its modest kōhai (portico), featuring cutout images of a saki cup and two saki bottles, to the naturally unfinished wooden Honden (the space for the Gods) at the rear, the temple is finely embellished. The mitsu tomoe (three-part swirl pattern) in the front gable signifies the eternal circle of life, and the kanji (Japanese logographic writing system) for “longevity” is on the saki cup. The Honden is a type rarely found in Hawaii. The building presently serves as a nondenominational mission under the administration of the Kona Hongwanji.

Writing Credits

Don J. Hibbard


What's Nearby


Don J. Hibbard, "Komoden Temple (The Shining Shrine)", [Kailua-Kona, Hawaii], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Hawaii

Buildings of Hawaii, Don J. Hibbard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011, 252-253.

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