The Awesome Foundation grant for the Mōʻiliʻili Japanese Cemetery Beautufication Project has been … Awesome! It provided the impetus and the start-up funds for a community-wide participation that has been highly visible in the media, and well appreciated by the families having gravesites and neighbors. Families and other caring people have given generously of monetary donations and their time and labor.
We have created a strong and attractive 556 foot native-stone wall, stone bench seating, washing stones for cleaning vases and arranging flowers, and lovely garden spots throughout. There is gravel throughout the cemetery to forestall erosion, increasing safety of footing, and which is also very attractive. The many plumerias, manila palms, and desert roses which we planted are flourishing, and they are beginning to provide welcome shade and color. There is even a small community vegetable garden.
We are so grateful for all the over 100 volunteers who have, in recent rains, come out to complete the spreading of the gravel. We will encourage the service groups from Kaimuki High School and Iolani School, as well as the Young Structural Engineers group, to continue to come out and maintain the beauty of the improved cemetery by removing fallen branches, leaves, and rubbish. We will also continue to translate the biographical data on the tombs from Japanese to English placing all on the moiliili.net website, so that family information can be easily read.
We see the results of our more than 2 years of beautification work—families have been bringing many more flowers on special days and obon and many community neighbors are enjoying the park-garden.
Funded by Oahu, HI (April 2016)