Laura Ruby Book

DSCF3540Laura Ruby edited an almost 400-page book called, Mo`ili`ili — the Life of a Community (Mo`ili`ili Community Center, 2005). The book provides a massive amount of information about Mo`ili`ili and contains a section on the Wakamiya Inari Shrine (pp. 121-123), including old photographs by Nancy Bannick that show the shrine in the late 1970s. One of the photos shows the fox (kitsune) statue on a stone pedestal. The two pedestals are at the Hawaii Plantation Village, but the foxes are missing.

According to the narrative about tDSCF3541he shrine’s history, there also used to be two lion guardian statues on the shrine grounds in Mo`ili`ili, but the elder Rev. Akizaki donated them to the University of Hawaii at the end of World War II. What happened next makes for an interesting story:


The rock pedestal as it now stands at the Hawaii Plantation Village, without the fox statue.

They [the lions] were stored for many years, then placed in front of Farrington Hall (theater bulding once located on Varney Circle). After they had been cemented in place, history professor Shunzo Sakamaki pointed out that they were backwards. So the lions were broken loose and placed correctly. But since they were not fixed securely in place, pranksters moved the lions and painted them. Today, they are located inside the entrance to Hamilton Library (not outside as traditional guardians). These original lions are smaller than the shrine’s replacement lions obtained after the war [World War II]. Today, neither the foxes nor the lions are displayed at the shrine in Waipahu, only two empty pedestals. (p. 123)


The kitsune or fox statue that used to share the grounds with the Wakamiya Inari Shrine in Mo`ili`ili. Photo in the book taken by Nancy Bannick.

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