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Furry, feathered friends welcome for blessing

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    Ally Carlyle blesses Eloise Kuni and her service dog, Kuni, in 2016 at the Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine. The annual Chinowa blessing returns today from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Kalihi.

The Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu is once again hosting its annual Chinowa blessing for people and pets from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today in Kalihi.

The Shinto shrine invites people of all faiths along with their leashed or caged pets to partake in the summer blessing, which is steeped in ancient tradition. Pets are considered spiritual creatures that provide unconditional nurturing, according to organizers. At the special blessing, participants may walk through the Chinowa, a large ring that represents renewal and purification, to celebrate and honor their loyal companions.

People have brought their pet cats, dogs, rabbits, roosters and parakeets, but stuffed animals representing a pet are also welcome.

Reservations are not required for the event, which is free and open to the public.

The Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu is at 1239 Olomea St. Additional parking is available at Damien Memorial School, 1401 Houghtailing St., with a free shuttle. The shuttle, however, does not allow pets on board. Organizers recommend that drivers drop off accompanying pets and people first, then park at Damien and take the shuttle. Visit for more information.

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