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As the mother church of the Shingon sect in Hawaii, the Hawaii Shingon Mission is one of the most highly decorated temples in the islands. Built in a “Japanese Design Style,” the Hawaii Shingon Mission follows classic lines of Japanese Buddhist temples, with some characteristics unique to Hawaii. Its raised platform base with low railings, a lanai or engawa that surrounds the temple on three sides, and a prominent protruding cusped gable entrance are typical features of this building type in Hawaii. The Hawaii Shingon Mission is significant as one of only seven missions remaining in this style of architecture in Hawaii. Although it was altered significantly in 1978 and a major addition was built in 1992, the roof and its original carvings form the framework of its character and the interior furnishings brought from Japan maintain a major part of its significance. The building remains highly reflective of the Japanese presence in Hawaii.
This list of Hawaii’s historic properties is provided as a public service by Historic Hawaii Foundation. It is not the official list of properties designated on the Hawaii State Register of Historic Places. For official designations and determinations of eligibility, contact the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources of the State of Hawaii at 808-692-8015.