1 WHEEL OF DHARMA Official Publication of the Buddhist Churches of America 1710 Octavia Street, San Francisco, CA VOLUME 37 DECEMBER 2011 ISSUE 12 Letter by Tom Nishikawa BCA Fundraising Committee, San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Dear Dharma Friends: As we approach the new year, 2012, we have much to be grateful for. The Jodo Shinshu Center JSC in Berkeley, CA has been all that we could have imagined it would be. One might think that the JSC is just brick and mortar but it is much, much more than that. It is the facility, in the form of the Institute of Buddhist Studies IBS, that nurtures and develops ministers to propagate our Jodo Shinshu religious Executive Committee Message By Susan Bottari, San Mateo Buddhist Temple BCA Vice President I Give to The BCA Because.. I have the opportunity to further my understanding of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism through various seminars, programs and conferences held at the Jodo Shinshu Center the hub of educational activities I have the opportunity to meet and interact with other Jodo Shinshu followers within and outside the BCA I have the opportunity to work with groups of enthusiastic and committed youth who create their own programs so they themselves can deepen their awareness and appreciation of their chosen religion. Here are testimonials from a few individuals within the BCA who have benefited by our donations: BCA has provided me with many opportunities to explore Jodo Shinshu Buddhism as a young adult. I have been able to travel to California for various retreats and seminars and to Hawaii in the summer of 2008 to share my experience as a participant of YAC and YMA programs. My involvement in these programs has also motivated me to actively participate at my temple as a member of the board. As a participant of YAC and YMA programs I feel lucky and grateful to have had experiences sharing the Dharma with friends, ministers, and Socho Ogui thanks to the efforts of BCA Kelsey Asato, White River Buddhist Temple I support the Debt Relief because I truly feel the Jodo Continued on Page 6 tradition. Just a few years back, one of the big BCA concerns was the lack of trained, English speaking ministers for our many temples. The IBS now has a record number of seminarian on the ministerial track! What a great positive change from our past. Not only are we training new ministers but also IBS programs have reinvigorated some of our resident ministers with various on-going training to improve their skills. The JSC also hosts the training of prospective minister coming from Japan to sharpen their English skills as well as understanding our American society and ways. The JSC is also the home of the Center for Buddhist Education CBE. The CBE hosts many seminars, programs, lectures and retreats to bring our lay membership closer to Shin Buddhism. Lay, and especially the youth, are invigorated, rededicated and reaffirmed with the teachings of Shinran Shonin. One only has to ask anyone who has visited the JSC to see and experience the many activities held there to get a true picture of what the JSC really is. What happens within the walls of the JSC is truly amazing. People learn about the dharma and specifically the teaching of Shinran. They connect with fellow travelers, they experience the joy of what it means to be a Shin Buddhist. It is a magical experience that almost defies explanation. The Minister s Assistant Program MAP Continued on Page 5 Dramatic Growth of American Buddhism: An Overview Part 2 If we add up all three groups Buddhists, nightstand Buddhists, and those strongly influenced by Buddhism, they amount to about thirty million people in America. By Dr. Kenneth K. Tanaka Musashino University Three Periods in History Let me now paint a quick picture of Buddhist development in the United States, which can be divided into three periods. First period. The first period began in 1844 when a chapter from the Lotus Sutra was translated from French into English, and in the same year Professor Edward Salisbury of Yale University delivered the first comprehensive paper on Buddhism at the annual conference of the American Oriental Society. In the world of American literature, such eminent figures as Ralph Emerson, Walt Whitman, and Henry Thoreau were attracted to and made positive references to Asian religions and Buddhism. Soon more Americans became interested in Buddhism, such as Henry Steel Olcott and Paul Carus Both of them devoted their lives to propagating Buddhism. Carus produced numerous publications through his Open Court publishing house, while Olcott, a Theosophist, traveled to Sri Lanka and became a Buddhist in He later contributed to the revival of Buddhism in that country. An epoch-making event was the World s Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in It was an Continued on Page 6 Jodo Shinshu Center s 5th Anniversary to be held Dear BCA Temple Members and Friends: You are invited to attend a 5th Year Anniversary Commemorative event at the Jodo Shinshu Center on Sunday, Dec. 4, The first five years of operation was challenging for all of the Jodo Shinshu Center staff. We ve come a long ways in establishing our respective depart- ment programs, and we are prepared to meet today and tomorrows fellow travelers and fellow seekers. We realize the distance and time may not make your attendance possible but we wanted to thank you all for your past and present support. The Jodo Shinshu Center 5th Anniversary Commemorative Event Date: Sunday, Dec. 4th :00AM 3:00PM BCA Debt Relief Congratulations we have raised just over $630,000 to date. Thanks to all of you who have made your donation to the BCA Debt Relief fund! We made a $500,000 principle payment on our loan with California Bank & Trust at the end of August and were able to reduce our monthly payment from $19,902 to $16,658. We are hoping to be able to make another $500,000 payment by the end of this year. 11:00AM: Commemorative Service: KODO 12:00PM: Reception Lobby 1:30PM 3:00PM: Building Construction Commemorative Plaque Displays, & Tour of Facility Book Talk Gassho, Glenn Kameda Facility Manager Let s see if we can raise another $370,000 by the end of the year so we can reduce the principle and our monthly payments again. If you have not made your donation yet it is not too late! Every dollar is important in reaching our goal of paying off the Bank debt. Your support is greatly appreciated. Donations may be sent to: BCA HQ 1710 Octavia Street San Francisco, CA Attn: BCA Debt Relief SAVE THE DATE: 2012 BCA NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETING SACRAMENTO, CA. FEB. 22, 2012 JSC Fundraiser golf tournament Feb. 23; Ministers Association General Meeting, Feb ; National Council meeting followed by Eitaikyo Service and closing banquet on Feb. 25.
2 Foot steps; be mindful what people have left for us. By Rev. Kazuaki Nakata Ekoji Buddhist Temple Hi everyone, Thanks for reading my article. I came to the United States from Japan in 2003 to begin serving as a Kaikyoshi minister with the Buddhist Churches of America. Today the BCA s membership is ethnically more diverse, but as most of you know, our sangha was started by Japanese immigrants in the 1890s. I really did not know anything about Japanese American history until I selected the subject of The history of the BCA and Japanese Americans as the topic for my graduation thesis. Even though I was an undergraduate majoring in Shin Buddhism, I decided to do research on the BCA and Japanese Americans from a historical and sociological perspective especially in relationship to the WWII internment camp experience. There is virtually no mention of the history of Japanese in America in the Japanese education system. Students in Japan do not have much occasion to learn about Japanese Americans, the reason being that the experience of persons of Japanese ancestry born and raised in America is not Japanese. Since coming to America I have continued my personal research on the camps, and when my scheduled allowed, I ve made visits to the actual camp sites such as Manzanar, Amache-Granada, Topaz, Poston, Gila and Flagstaff. Since the Gila and Flagstaff sites are currently located on Native American reservation land, I was required to have special permission to visit those locations. In late September of this year I spent four days traveling to Arkansas for fieldwork at the Jerome and Rohwer internment camp sites. Currently, I am living in Virginia near Washington, D.C. Do you know how far it is from Virginia to Arkansas? Driving through Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi to reach Arkansas took me two days! I would like to share several pictures. While in 1944, the population of Jerome was 8,400 people, most of who were there by government decree, but today there are only 46 people residing there. During this visit I realized that there were always railroad tracks near the camp sites. I am not sure why this was the case. At the Jerome camp site there were several fish farms. Some of larger ponds are still filled with water. I stood in front of one of the ponds, and closed my eyes in meditation imagining the internees living Continued on Page 6 Berkeley Buddhist Temple Centennial O ver 300 people gathered on Oct. 22 to commemorate A Century of Gratitude and Joy at the Berkeley Buddhist Temple. The event culminated a three-year project highlighted by many temple improvements, a centennial lecture series, and a temple history project that included interviews with members, a historical photo display and a commemorative booklet. In addition, a Founders Rock and new statue of Shinran Shōnin were dedicated at the temple. The Commemorative Service began as a procession of ministers, led by Socho Koshin Ogui, entered the hondō to the accompaniment of the No. California Gagaku Group. Three families, representing all generations of the temple s members, then brought offer- ings of candle light, flowers and fruit to adorn the onajin. The entire congregation, consisting of Bay District temple ministers and representatives, former Berkeley ministers, guests and temple members, chanted Sanbujō as they scattered colorful flower petals made for the occasion by the students of the Dharma School. Following Socho Ogui s offering of the hyōbyakumon, sutra chanting, and oshōkō by representatives, the Berkeley Sangha Singers led the congregation in a rousing rendition of the gatha, Arigato. Commemorative and congratulatory messages were then offered by Rev. David Matsumoto, the temple s resident minister, and Socho Ogui. The service ended with the singing of Ondokusan and words of acknowledgment by By Hiroko Tsuda Buddhist Church of Sacramento O Members of the Sacramento BWA with Socho Koshin and Mrs. Mayumi Ogui. From left to right: first row, Tokie Sunahara; second row: Sachiko Nodohara, Midori Ito, Hiroko Tsuda, Molly Kimura, Mayumi Ogui, Socho Koshin Ogui; third row: Virginia Uchida, Alice Kataoka, Lynn Kurahara, Fusako Takahashi, and Mary Ann Miyao. believes helped her to receive this award. She stated that her Oral History book is not only at the California State University Sacramento CSUS Japanese American Archival Collection JAAC, but was placed in the Japan NHK archives, also. Following her remarks many well-wishers presented her with Robert Noguchi Campaign BCA The 21st Century to End on Dec. 31 At this year s BCA National Council meeting, it was decided to terminate Campaign BCA The 21st Century at the end of BCA leadership has decided to take the organization in different direction, one that eliminates the need for a fundraising professional on-staff. I will be available to assist donors and members until Dec. 31, It s been my honor and pleasure to serve the temples, ministers and members, and to meet and personally thank so many dedicated supporters throughout the BCA. To date, we ve raised over $19.4 million, established the beautiful Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley, and funded several programs and endowments for the BCA. Much has been accomplished over the past 8 ½ years! To all the members, ministers and friends, I thank you for your support! Namu Amida Butsu. Gassho, Robert Noguchi BCA Fundraising manager Photo credit Suzie Sakuma Dr. Art Nishimura, the temple s co-president. A Centennial Banquet was later held in the ballroom of the Oakland Marriot City Center. The luncheon featured a slide show of the temple s 100 year history, a peace quilt raffle by the Berkeley Buddhist Women s Association, the performance of The Same Tree, a play and songs composed by Dii Lewis, and a sing-along led by the Sangha Singers. Centennial Committee co-chairs Emiko Katsumoto and Judy Kono brought the day to a close by thanking all of their committee members, temple members and supporters, who contributed to a wonderful and joyful celebration. Molly Miyako Kimura Receives Japan Foreign Minister s Commendation n a beautiful Nov. 8 autumn day in the city of San Francisco at a Conferment Ceremony, Consul General Hiroshi Inomata conferred upon Ms. Molly Miyako Kimura the Japan Foreign Minister s Commendation. Consul for Intergovernmental Affairs, Mr. Takemichi Nagaoka served as the Master of Ceremony. Following the Conferment Ceremony, Consul General and Mrs. Inomata and their staff hosted a fine reception, which was enjoyed by all in attendance. Molly thanked everyone for attending this ceremony and reception. She thanked her late husband, Kazuo for his support. She declared that this was the highest recognition that she has ever received. She expressed her gratitude to the Florin JACL and its initiating the Oral History Project, which she DECEMBER 2011 Campaign Report PAGE 2 WHEEL OF DHARMA floral bouquets; overseas congratulatory messages were read; congratulatory speeches were given; and the ceremony concluded with a resounding toast to Molly s success. She had spent a life-time of promoting peaceful international relationships between Japan and U.S., while imparting the essence and beauty of the Japanese culture. Presenting floral bouquets were: Mr. Koso Nodohara, Hiroshima Nikkeijin-kai treasurer; Mrs. Virginia Uchida, Ikenobo Tachibana Club Student; Ms. Mary Ann Miyao, Senator Lions Club president; Mrs. Lynn Kurahara, Sacramento Buddhist Women s Association president; and Mr. Ralph Sugimoto, Sacramento Matsuyama Sister City Corporation president. Molly had received professional names from the following masters who sent their congratulatory messages from Japan: Forty-fifth Headmaster Sen ei Ikenobo; Second Headmaster of Chikuzen Biwa, Kyokushu Tachibana; and Creator of Yoshikawa School of Sand Painting, Kashu Yoshikawa. The Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki of Hiroshima Prefecture wrote an eloquent congratulatory letter. He praised her for all the work that she has done to Continued on Page 6 We gratefully acknowledge contributions to the Wheel of Dharma by the following donors: Spokane Buddhist Church... $60 Robert Nishimura, San Jose... $25 Wheel of Dharma USPS Official Publication of the Buddhist Churches of America 1710 Octavia Street San Francisco, CA Tel.: Fax: or Wheel of Dharma USPS is published monthly by Buddhist Churches of America, 1710 Octavia St., San Francisco, CA Periodicals Postage Paid at San Francisco, CA, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to WHEEL OF DHARMA, 1710 Octavia St., San Francisco, CA Subscription free to BCA members; $12.00 annual subscription for nonmembers. Submission Guidelines: We recommend a length of approximately 800-1,000 words, typed, single-spaced. Longer submissions will be rejected or, if accepted, split into multiple parts. 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WHEEL OF DHARMA POLICY HARDCOPY PUBLICATION LICENSE: Authors who submit articles for publication in the Wheel of Dharma WOD thereby grant WOD a royalty-free non-exclusive paid up license, worldwide, in perpetuity and in all media the License to use, edit and republish the articles and to grant sublicenses to any 3rd party to do so on the same terms. WOD grants 3rd parties an identical License to republish its articles so long as the articles is republished in its entirety, without edit, providing credit to the WOD and the Buddhist Churches of America. ONLINE PUBLICATION LICENSE: Authors who submit articles for publication in the Wheel of Dharma online WOD thereby grant WOD a royalty-free non-exclusive paid up license, worldwide, in perpetuity and in all media the License to use, edit and republish the articles and to grant sublicenses to any 3rd party to do so on the same terms. WOD grants 3rd parties an identical License to republish only the first three paragraphs of any article, without edit, providing credit to the WOD and the Buddhist Churches of America including a hyperlink to the article in the WOD. English Editor: Rev. Ron Kobata Japanese Editor: Rev. Kodo Umezu Print Production: Jeffrey Kimoto
3 DECEMBER 2011 WHEEL OF DHARMA PAGE 3 Ministers Continuing Education Ten BCA ministers took part in the October MCE session designed especially for ministers from Japan. Front row left to right: Rev. Kodo Umezu, Socho Koshin Ogui, and Rev. LaVerne Sasaki emeritus. Middle row l. to r.: Rev. Kazuaki Nakata Ekoji, Rev. Tatsuya Aoki Canada, Rev. Yuki Sugahara Florin, Rev. Katsuya Kusunoki Lodi, Rev. Shousei Hanayama Watsonville, Rev. Ryuta Furumoto San Mateo, and Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara Hongwanji. Back row l. to r.: Rev. Henry Adams Oxnard, Rev. Kojo Kakihara Tacoma, Rev. Yushi Mukojima San Diego, and Rev. Koho Takata Arizona. Anyone can expect challenges when relocating to another country. It is not easy to be a minister in a culture different from the one in which you were raised. To help address this situation, CBE s Ministers Continuing Education MCE program holds sessions specifically for BCA ministers from Japan. Working together under the guidance of Rev. Umezu, the ministers are able to learn how to take on the cultural challenges they may encounter in America. Socho Koshin Ogui spent time with the reverends after the opening service. The next day, each gave a Dharma message in English and received feedback from CBE and JSC staff. Sessions with Rev. Koji Sahara of the Sycamore Congregational United Church of Christ in El Cerrito, and Dr. Don Drummond of Ryukoku University Berkeley Campus RUBeC helped educate the ministers about Christianity. Rev. Dr. William Masuda Palo Alto and Ms. Edythe Vassall CBE discussed other aspects of American culture with the group. Rev. Tatsuya Aoki of the Vancouver Buddhist Temple Canada joined the BCA ministers for part of the seminar. Rev. Kuwahara noted, This is a great occasion to deepen our friendship. We can exchange our opinions and thoughts, and we can get great insights from one another. MCE ministers have shared their chanting skills by uploading videos of Junirai and Shoshinge on the Vimeo website. Go to to view the videos. These recordings were made on March 29 and October 24, December 2011 News and Highlights Thank You Rev. Kodo Umezu, CBE Director We are extremely fortunate to be able to receive the profound Nembutsu teaching from our predecessors. It is our privilege and joy to share it with all those who come to hear it. Okagesama de, we have established substantial core programs, even with our limited staff. As we enter our fourth year of programs, I would like to keep two things in mind; one is to go back to basics, and the other is to keep everything simple. Buddha: We need to remind ourselves that we are here to take refuge in the Three Treasures. The first and the foremost Treasure is the Buddha. Everyone without exception, together, needs to look up to the ever abiding Light of Wisdom called Amida Buddha. Dharma: We need to encourage each other to deepen our understanding and appreciation of the Nembutsu teaching by creating more opportunities for everyone. By internalizing the true essence of the teaching, we should be able to share it using everyday language. Sangha: We need to create a community Sangha that can welcome all those who would like to hear the teaching. As we come to the end of 2011, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and guidance. I look forward to working with you in the coming year. I wish you a very happy, meaningful In gassho. CBE 2012 Tentative Calendar of Events January - June January 15: Ho-onko Services March 2-4: TechnoBuddha Conference: Who Am I? March 22-25: Minister s Assistant Program MAP II & II-T March 29-April 10: CBE 2012 Japan Tour see ad below April 10-13: International Hongwanji Overseas Propagation Exchange IHOPE April 19-22: Minister s Assistant Program MAP I & III April 28-May 4: Seminar for Temple Leaders May 4-6: Crossing Over to Jodo Shinshu Buddhism: Jodo Shinshu 101 May 12: Japanese Seminar June 22-23: Women s Seminar Dates and programming subject to change Holiday Gift Idea! Itadakimasu Aprons $20 Donation Checks payable to BCA-CBE Contact: Ph: Please add $2 per apron for shipping. Proceeds benefit Buddhist Churches of America CENTER FOR BUDDHIST EDUCATION Thank you for your support! CBE Educational Japan Tour: March 29-April 10, 2012* Step back into history as we visit Kagoshima. We will visit sites of the Kakure Nembutsu underground movement from the samurai era when the Nembutsu teaching was banned, and peace memorials and other sites at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We will spend four days in Kyoto and attend 751st Shinran Shonin memorial services on April 8 at the Nishi Hongwanji. If you are interested in this tour, please contact Judy Kono at , by or Mieko Ogata of JTB at , or by at *This tour was originally planned for April, 2011 but had to be rescheduled due to the East Japan Earthquake of March 11, CBE ONLINE: Get all the details on upcoming CBE events, download flyers and registration forms or register online. Find Dharma school lesson plans. Get Buddhist education and caregiver resources from the recent Baby Boomers seminar. For all this and more, visit and click on the CBE link. Dharma School Teachers, Temple Leaders, YAC, YBA, College YBA: ALL ARE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND! The Institute of Buddhist Studies and Center for Buddhist Education present: Winter Pacific Seminar 21 st Century A Life of Shinjin Saturday, January 28, :30 am - 5:00 pm Los Angeles Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple Nishi Betsuin 815 East First Street, Los Angeles, California Reverend Dr. David Matsumoto, keynote speaker with panelists Rev. Yushi Mukojima, Rev. Patricia Usuki, Rev. Henry Adams, and Rev. John Iwohara Registration donation of $20 includes lunch $10 student discount Deadline: January 15, 2012 Please make checks payable to CBE and mail to CBE, 2140 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA For details and online registration, visit: Hosted by the BCA Southern District Ministers Association Additional FREE Dharma Session: Friday, January 27, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm at the Gardena Buddhist Church 1517 West 166th Street, Gardena, California Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto English and Rev. Kodo Umezu Japanese Center for Buddhist Education 2140 Durant Avenue Berkeley, CA Phone:
4 PAGE 4 WHEEL OF DHARMA DECEMBER 2011 Buddhist Temple of San Diego Commemorates 85th Anniversary By Ralph Honda, Chairman Buddhist Temple of San Diego T he year 1926 was memorable. In Japan, the Showa Period began when Hirohito was crowed emperor. The St. Louis Cardinals won baseball s World Series. Silent film star Rudolph Valentino died. And, the Buddhist Church of San Diego opened its doors for the first time. On Sunday, October 16, 2011, the temple commemorated 85 years with a celebration. It included 41 Sangha members who received their Buddhist names in a Kieshiki Affirmation ceremony conducted by Socho Koshin Ogui. Visitors came from as far away as Central California to be a part of the temple s low key celebration. For Midori Koga formerly Koba of Parlier and her family, it was important for the native San Diegan to be in her hometown for the occasion. This was a very wonderful event. I m glad that I was able to attend, Midori said. Activities began on Saturday, Oct. 15 with a BEC-sponsored lecture featuring Socho Ogui speaking to an audience of around 40 on the topic Shin Buddhism as a Major Religious Tradition in America. Later that evening, the temple hosted a welcome dinner for Socho and Mrs. Ogui at the Spaghetti Factory in the Gaslamp Quarter. Sunday morning began with individuals participating in the Kieshiki ceremony. Of the 41 recipients, the youngest was two-year-old Abigail Okita. The eldest was 90-year-old soon to be 91 Umeko Kawamoto. I was five years old when the temple was established, Umeko reminisced. It is nice that I am able to be a part of the commemoration and receive my Buddhist name. A contingent of 20 young Dharma School children marched in an O Chigo procession signaling the start of the anniversary service. Scouts, Trevor Muraoka, Sean Tokunaga and Chad Sasaki led the ministers and O Chigo into the hondo. Along with Socho Ogui, resident minister Rev. Yushi Mukojima, retired ministers Rev. Akira Hata and Rev. Jim Yanagihara, former resident minister Rev. Akio Miyaji, and temple president Michael Kinoshita were part of the procession. Service chairman Peter Masuda opened with remarks explaining the meaning the O Chigo parade and the colorful costumes that the young children were dressed in. Many attendees who packed the hondo, witnessed for the first time, Jodo Shinshu rituals that are conducted only at special religious events. Rev. Mukojima gave a congratulatory message to the Sangha. Socho Ogui addressed the Dharma School and adults with two meaningful messages. At the end of the service, Rev. Mukojima and Socho Ogui personally thanked each individual for their attendance. Following the service, approximately 215 people crowded into the Annex Hall for the celebratory luncheon. The program included entertainment from the BTSD taiko group and the Dharma School Pre-School and Kindergarten classes. Rev. and Mrs. Mukojima, dressed as Our Practice is the Sangha By Rev. Mas Kodani, Senshin Buddhist Temple W hen Jodoshinshu people meet other Buddhists, we are always asked What is your practice? The pat answer is that our everyday life is our practice. A more precise answer would be that our activity in our sangha is our practice. Since our tradition is based on the experience that our ego-centered self can hardly be relied upon to break through the self, it is an awakening to, and reliance on, something other than our ego-self that brings us to this connective awakening. In other words, what we come to understand about Jodoshinshu teachings must be put to the test on a regular basis by interacting with our fellow members of the Sangha our friends and fellow travelers on the Dharma road. Sense and sensibility is here different from logic and reason. We are not simply a thinking machine or a non-thinking machine we are far more complex than that. We were the first Buddhists to part from monasticism. We do not agree that the business of Bodhi awakening requires full-time effort by full-time monks or nuns who commit to a lifetime of study and meditative practices. Such an insistence very often results in Buddhist elitism and arrogance. If I have understood the most abstruse points of Buddhist philosophy and still belittle others or kick my pet when I am frustrated what s the point of it all? The I cannot see itself clearly, and needs a lot of help from friends and enemies alike. It is in a community in which one can be nurtured and grow, and our community is not separated from the rest of the world. And in a place like L.A., where living communities or neighborhoods are a thing of the past, our temple sanghas become more important than before. Without these sanghas, what is the point of raising generations of academics and scholars to tell us what we once were or should have been? Our practice is to participate in services, funerals, memorial services, weddings, dharma schools, seminars, retreats, workshops, flipping chickens and rolling sushi, Bon Odori, arguing, laughing, eating, cleaning up, setting up, visiting hospitals, watching each other grow old as we delight in the young, and, if you are JA, complaining, complaining, complaining all the while. By the way, don t take our constant complaining seriously, it s just our way of exercising to keep us healthy. An active child who comes regularly to a temple of 300 people grows up with that many uncles and aunts, jiichans and baachans, teachers and friends and is what he or she is because of them all. It is not now or never, it is always now. Now to do everything and nothing, succeed and fail, be good and bad, giving and taking away, loving and hating, agitated and calm not either or, but both, at the same time sometimes. Namo is Amidabutsu and Amidabutsu is Namo and yet never the twain shall meet. What a trippy thing Jodoshinshu is. No prayer, no supreme being, no eternal soul, no protective amulets, no lucky or unlucky days or signs, no miracles, no zodiacs, no benedictions, invocations or blessings, and no dogmatic ethics or morals that apply to everyone. And yet we are the ones said to have strayed most from original Buddhism? I think not. And our sanghas are proof of it. Most are astoundingly normal, with a cooperative spirit, good humor, self-effacing, calm in the face of troubles and death. Without a living temple sangha there is no Nembutsu teaching. And a living sangha only requires people to gather and be a community. Big or small, growing or not growing is not the issue. The issue is Is it alive? If it is alive to the mysterious contradiction called life, whether 20 people or 2,000 people, it is a bona fide sangha and the Nembutsu is alive for another generation because that generation saw that it was valued by the generation preceding it - valued for itself, not for the future generations. We tried it for the future generations and it was a colossal failure parents dropping off their kids at the temple for Dharma School while they went off to golf or shop. In effect saying, This is good for you, but when you get to be daddy or mommy s age, you get over it. For us, you do have to be a living part of a living sangha to understand Buddhism, especially Jodoshinshu. Gassho bottles of Ketchup and Mustard respectively, led 10 costumed toddlers onto the stage. The Dharma School children performed dances from the hit group The Wiggles. Socho and Mrs. Ogui joined the group dancing the Hot Potato. Master of ceremonies Ken Muraoka, presented sensei with a framed front page newspaper plate from the March 12 edition of the San Diego Union-Tribune that featured Rev. Mukojima when he conducted a service on March 11 for the Japan tsunami and earthquake victims. Unveiling of donor wall, dedicated to all of the donors who contributed to the temple s New Heights Project, was announced. The donor wall lists over 250 names. The project, that has raised close to $1 million, enabled the construction of an elevator from the ground level to the hondo, connect the main building and second level social hall building with a terrace walkway, refurbished the center onaijin and upgraded office space, the minister s office and conference room. There were many shutterbugs snapping photos and shooting video during the festivities. Photos and videos will be edited into a commemorative DVD that will be presented to each Sangha member. With another milestone attained, one can only imagine what the future holds for the temple as it moves forward towards the century mark. In Gassho SAVE THE DATE 2012 BCA YAC SUMMER RETREAT Sponsored by the Youth Advocacy Committee July 9-15, 2012 Hosted by the Sacramento Betsuin Ages Years Check us out at Other Questions? Contact us! Rev. Patti Oshita, Rev. Peter Inokoji-Kim, Revs. Tim & Carol Castle, Sensei Grace Hatano, Sensei Koichi Mizushima,
5 DECEMBER 2011 WHEEL OF DHARMA PAGE 5 Please Buy My Book By Rev. Jundo Gregory Gibbs Oregon Buddhist Temple I would like to encourage some of the readers of the Wheel of Dharma to consider buying a book of mine that has just come out. The title is Becoming Buddhist, Becoming Buddhas, Liberating All Beings. The Translation Bureau of Ryukoku University has been kind enough to publish this collection of essays for me. It is available at the BCA Buddhist Bookstore, 2140 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704, ; com If you would like to hear me read essays from the volume, answer questions and respond to comments this will be possible at the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 1:30 p.m. The Jodo Shinshu Center, of course, houses the BCA bookstore at 2140 Durant. There are many reasons an author wishes to see his books purchased by friends, acquaintances and even by those, as yet, strangers to him. If it were Steven King or James Patterson we were talking about, part of the motivation would be financial. Actually, I will make no profit on this book. It is one of the first books to be published in Sendai after the tsunami and if there were profits I would give them to the disaster relief effort. Since I get no money why do I want you to buy this book? Well, some authors get a real egocharge out of having other people read, consider and discuss their ideas. Could that be a factor here? You bet! It is really exciting for me to realize that dozens of people are already reading this book. It charms me to know that they/ you are thinking about ideas I have expressed concerning Buddhism, the human condition, the Buddhist imperative to social action etc. It is not a dry academic text. There are articles such as Shakespeare from a Buddhist Perspective, Nietzsche is my Co-Pilot, which may sound demanding, but which are actually quite accessible. Some of the issues I address are serious, such as What is the nature of human subjectivity as presupposed in Pure Land Buddhism. But even such topics as this one are addressed at a level that anyone with a high-school education will be able to follow. Most articles in the collection are only three or four pages long and are, I believe, quite readable by a general audience. My new, first, and so far, only book also addresses concerns such as the problem of suicidal thoughts and urges, the need for love and forgiveness, ethnic diversity in North American Buddhism, anger management and such. There are also articles addressing general religious concerns such as avoiding fanaticism and the basic human need to remain mindful of what is truly important to us. There are, of course, articles exploring basic Buddhist ideas such as interdependence, reverence for life, and the deep Oneness of all life. If you are free on Dec. 4 and in the Bay Area, please consider attending the book reading and signing at the Jodo Shinshu Center at 1:30 p.m. on that day. If you can t make it that day, please consider ordering the book through the BCA Buddhist Bookstore. In any case, thank you for taking the trouble to read this article. Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course 2012 Spring Enrollment Applications Now Accepted The Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course Office is now accepting applications for their spring 2012 enrollment. The popular two-year, computer-based program continues to offer online instruction in the origins and development of Buddhism, Shinran Shonin s life and teaching, sutras and masters of the Pure Land tradition and history of Jodo Shinshu. An excellent opportunity for beginners or for those who have already studied Jodo Shinshu, the program reaches out to people all over the world. Students come from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Malaysia, U.K., Japan, Nepal as well as Hawaii and the BCA. With over 80 students enrolled, the course has much to offer those interested in deepening their understanding of Buddhism and Jodo Shinshu. The course instructors consist of 14 ministers and professors who specialize in the subjects taught. An optional August Workshop at the Jodo Shinshu Center is held every year. For more information, please visit the course website at: Applications may be submitted online through the course website. Deadline: Wednesday, Feb.15, Course starts March 1, Questions may be directed to: Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course Office, 2140 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA Tel: , Nishikawa Continued from Front Page training happens at the JSC as well. Please come and experience it yourself by enrolling in one of the many CBE seminars, lectures and retreats. The JSC is also the homeaway-from-home of our mother temple, the Hongwanji, and the Hongwanji s main seminary Ryukoku University. The JSC hosts many Ryukoku University students during the year on various student exchange programs. Some of these Ryukoku students, in fact, are planning to apply to become BCA kaikyoshi! The JSC has been and continue to be a gathering place for Shin Buddhists as well as Buddhists from other traditions. It keeps us all connected with the many Buddhist traditions that call California home. This wonderful facility, the JSC, was the BCA s Shinran Shonin s 750th Memorial commemorative project. It is going a long way to make Jodo Shinshu a major religious tradition in the United States of America. This is only possible because of the generous support of the many members of the BCA. We are very thankful to those that have given in the past. We now ask that you redouble your efforts to completing the task of owning this facility free and clear. We invite those that have yet to participate in contributing to this most important and truly incredible facility that makes Jodo Shinshu happen. During this holiday season we ask that you open your hearts and make a commitment to the JSC. Earlier this year a plea was made to help retire the bank mortgage. Now is a great opportunity to take advantage of the tax breaks by making your donation before the end of the year. May all beings be happy Namu Amida Butsu Spokane Buddhist Temple to Host 2012 NW Convention The Spokane Buddhist Temple is hosting the 2012 Northwest Buddhist Convention on February 17-19, We are planning workshops, opening and closing services, a banquet, and lots of opportunities to see your dharma friends and meet new ones. We are honored to announce that our keynote speaker is Reverend Marvin Kenju Harada, of the Orange County Buddhist Church. We welcome Buddhists from all over the country and Canada to the convention. It will be held at the historic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane, in Eastern Washington. The hotel has been world famous as one of the grandest hotels in the country since it opened in September of Sadly, it closed in 1985 and was to be demolished. In 2000, it was saved when a local couple purchased the hotel and restored it. The Davenport Hotel stands today as a perfect blend of old and new, respecting the best of what was and embracing the best of what is, as is the Spokane Buddhist Temple. In 1945, with a nucleus of six dedicated Buddhists, the first Sunday service was performed by Reverend Eiyu Terao. A shrine, a gift from the Toppenish Buddhist Church, and a scroll with the inscription Namu Amida Butsu was installed in On October 3, 1948, the statue of Amida Buddha was enshrined and the temple was officially dedicated. The ceremony was officiated by Bishop Enryo Shigefuji. As the temple membership grew, the current site on Perry Street was purchased, and it was dedicated in That Temple was destroyed by an arson fire in The original shrine was saved by firefighters and is still in use in the newly rebuilt church, which was dedicated in Today, the temple is grateful for three Ministers Assistants, who lead services on Sunday under the supervision of Rinban Don Castro of the Seattle Betsuin. The original six Buddhists have grown to over 60, and like the Davenport Hotel, we embrace the best of what was and what is. SAVE THE DATE! - SEE YOU IN SPOKANE IN FEBRUARY! Registration Packets available on our website or by mail Spokane Buddhist Temple, 927 S. Perry Street, Spokane, WA Current & Former White River Buddhist Temple Families & Friends We want you! White River Buddhist Temple is commemorating 100 years on May 19, Help us celebrate! Watch our website or contact for more information or for a registration form.
6 PAGE 6 WHEEL OF DHARMA DECEMBER 2011 Rev. Nakata Continued from Page 2 in this remote area far from their homes relying on the fish from this pond to sustain their everyday life. Wondering about what thoughts they had about their lives in the camp, and their feelings about the future, brought tears to my eyes. The road in this picture was during the camp era one of the main streets of the Jerome site. According to the camp map of the War Relocation Authority, there was a Buddhist Church on the right hand side of this street. I am sure that the Buddhist Church was a light of hope in the camp. As a present minister with the BCA, I asked myself, am I helping my temple to be a place that provides a light of hope? Again, I paused in meditation. Fortunately, I met a nearby resident John who remembers stories about the internment camp at Jerome and shared some with me. I also met a man who was selling milk with his dad at the Jerome camp site. I made a short video of the interview with him. If you are interested, please visit: photo. php?v= About forty minutes from Jerome, there is a small town, called Rowher. In the center of the town, there is a Memorial Cemetery of the Rohwer Relocation Center. I was Dr. Tanaka Continued from Front Page eye-opening encounter for many Americans, who for the first time came face-to-face with the living representatives of Buddhist and other Asian religions, which they had largely imagined to be relics of the past. Instead, Sōen Shaku from Japan, Anāgārika Dharmapāla of Sri Lanka, and others were not only impressive figures but presented Buddhism as a modern religion more in keeping with science than Christianity. After the parliament Dharmapāla made more trips to the United States over the years to lecture on Buddhism, and Shaku sent his disciple D. T. Suzuki to reside in the United States, who went on to make enormous contributions to the understanding of Buddhism, Zen in particular. Second period. Though it overlaps in time with the first period to some extent, the second period refers to Buddhism brought over by Chinese and Japanese immigrants in the second half of the nineteenth century. They established numerous temples, mostly on the West Coast, serving as important centers of their religious and community life. Top photo: Rev. Nakata s threeyear-old daughter Kanon, standing at the Rohwer Memorial Cemetery. Bottom photo: The reverend s friend named John, stands next to a stone depicting the location of the Jerome Relocation Center. especially interested in visiting this cemetery during this trip to Arkansas. Do you know how Rowher is written using Japanese characters kanji? It is 朗 和 in kanji. My first name Kazuaki is written with the characters 和 朗. Yes, when I was doing research on Rohwer I was surprised to discover that my name and Rohwer are written with the same characters, just in reverse order. Anyway, there were some graves of Buddhists who died in camp. According to the information engraved on the grave markers they were of all ages. I don t know what denomination they may have been affiliated with, but I decided to conduct a brief memorial service for those who are interred at this cemetery. My three-year-old daughter Kanon accompanied me on this trip. We chanted Juseige together in front of the Rohwer memorial monument. She joined me in gassho, reciting the Nembutsu, and sang the gatha, OnDokuSan: The debt of gratitude I owe to Amida s great compassion, I will proclaim until my life disintegrates into dust. The debt of gratitude I owe to my Dharma teachers, I will express until my bodily form is finally The Chinese built the first Buddhist temple in 1853 in San Francisco, and more were built throughout the western United States wherever large Chinese communities existed. By the closing years of the nineteenth century, Chinese Buddhist temples began to dwindle in numbers. This was due to the decline in the Chinese population stemming from discriminatory laws that prevented further Chinese immigration, particularly of women. Also, there were very few priests associated with these temples to provide the professional leadership necessary to endure and prosper in the new environment. The group that resuscitated Asian Buddhism was the Japanese, who began to establish temples in large numbers, first in Hawaii and the West Coast states. The Japanese differed from the Chinese in that the headquarters of the various Buddhist denominations sent professional priests as missionaries to the new land. Further, more Japanese women were able to accompany the men, enabling them to start families, which soon led to the need for religious institutions for their American-born children. May Peace and Tranquility Prevail Throughout the World shattered. I hope she will someday understand the significance of why I made this trip. As I was visiting these camp sites, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for the dedication of those Nembutsu followers who persevered through the camp experience. Without their devotion, we might not have the current BCA temples as lights of hope. namo These sets of dynamics allowed the Japanese Buddhists to grow in numbers through the first half of the twentieth century and even into the war years. Ironically, the hostile environment of the larger society contributed to making the temples even more of an important emotional and social center for the immigrants and their children. In fact, the Japanese Buddhists were the only group that managed to prosper and actively keep the torch of Dharma lit throughout the first half of the century in the face of the decline in the number of Chinese Buddhists for reasons previously mentioned and Caucasian Buddhists, whose interest in Buddhism waned, for it came to be perceived as being too pessimistic and not socially active enough for the American mentality. Reprinted with permission from the Buddhist magazine Dharma World, a June, 2011 issue on the dramatic growth of American Buddhism. For more details see org/dharmaworld/dk_home.aspx This is serialized and will continue in the next issue of the Wheel of Dharma. Bottari Continued from Front Page Shinshu Center is our spiritual home - a place to learn about our religion, to grow, to share experiences with others, and to establish relationships with diverse groups Sumi Tanabe, San Jose Buddhist Temple Participating in BCA sponsored YBA events has allowed me to meet friends from all over the Western seaboard, most of which I expect to be close with all my life David Chin, San Mateo Buddhist Temple In the beginning, I had heard about the Jodo Shinshu Center and was curious to see the new structure. I first visited the JSC in 2008 and toured the facility with our ABA group. Seeing the building had an effect on me as I proceeded to attend seminars, lectures, services as well as meetings. Now I feel the importance of this sanctuary and the future of Jodo Shinshu Ken Nakano, Mountain View Buddhist Temple The Buddhist Churches of America BCA is not just a body Kimura Continued from Page 2 promote friendly relationships between Californians and the citizens of Hiroshima. From the Buddhist Churches of America, Socho Ogui related his personal congratulatory remarks; Professor Alice Tom, Dean of English as a Second Language at CSUS thanked Molly for her involvement with the Jinan Sacramento Sister City Corporation. This helped CSUS recruit students from China to the university; Ms. Marielle Tsukamoto, president of Florin JACL and vice chair of the CSUS Library JAAC explained how the preservation of the oral histories such as Molly s is pertinent for the future generations. The students learn about the Japanese culture which has enriched the American culture, and the personal account of the Japanese internment experience; Mrs. Hiroko Tsuda, representing friends, expressed how Molly has been a loyal friend and mentor to many, and, by example, has shown all how to promote goodwill and peaceful international relationships abroad. Mrs. Susanne Kunibe Sharpneck, niece, expressed congratulations in behalf of the family and extended family, and thanked everyone for rejoicing with Molly for her special recognition. The official part of the ceremony was concluded with a toast to Molly led by Mr. Robert Nitrio, member of Sacramento Ikenobo Tachibana Club. Molly was born gifted with multiple talents and interests. She 2012 BCA Calendars are on sale at the BCA Bookstore for $5 each includes shipping and handling. Call the BCA Bookstore at or at bcabookstore.com of policy and budget making individuals or the Bishop. The BCA is YOU and ME, not they, but WE. People often ask What does the BCA do for me? The answer is we receive as much as we give. Over 100 years ago, there were people like you and me, who took the initiative to band together, raise money and build the temples we have today. These people, our founding and sustaining members, donated their time, land, labor and money so their families could continue the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist tradition in America. We are benefiting from their efforts to this day. Let us continue in this tradition. Each one of us should take responsibility to look beyond today and towards the future of the BCA so that our temples can flourish and our membership can thrive. Let us not forsake what our pioneer members sacrificed to provide for us we exist today because of their determination and hard work. I give and will continue to give to the BCA; I believe in the future of Jodo Shinshu in America. concentrated on learning and teaching Jodo Shinshu Buddhism; Ikenobo Ikebana/flower arranging; Biwa/Japanese lute music; and Sunae/Japanese Sand Painting. She received a teacher s certificate in each of the above. In 1994, in Kyoto, she received her Tokudo ordination and was ordained as a Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha minister. She has served as a Dharma School teacher for 30 years and has held positions as superintendent of the Sacramento Betsuin Dharma School, as well as the Northern California District DSTL. She also served as the Sacramento BWA president. For the Sacramento Betsuin Bazaar she has served many years as the Cultural Arts chairperson. For the monthly Shotsuki Hoyo/Monthly Memorial Service, she has served the temple by conducting services in Japanese and English, as requested by Rinban Bob Oshita. Also, Molly has held Howa/Dharma Talks privately in her home for many years. In addition to supporting the church, she has been active in the community. She has served as President of the Sacramento Hiroshima Nikkeijin-kai and the Senators Lions Club. She was a charter member of the Matsuyama Sacramento Sister City Corp., Jinan Sacramento Sister City Corp. and a co-founder of the Sacramento Chapter Ikebana International. Molly is a remarkable and an influential woman. Because of her untiring efforts in passing on Japanese cultural arts to Americans, she has been duly awarded this special recognition.
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