Namu Amida Butsu

HONPA HONGWANJI MISSION OF HAWAII, sometimes called "Hawaii Kyodan," was founded on March 1889. So the year 2019 marks the 130th Anniversary of the Hawaii Kyodan.

Bishop Eric Matsumoto, at the State Board of Directors’ meeting, extended his sincere gratitude and appreciation to all Hawaii Kyodan members for reaching this wonderful milestone and for sincerely sharing Amida Buddha’s great spiritual assessment with their community.

At the Sanmu (Bishop’s Advisory Committee) and Kanji (Chair of District Ministers’ Association) meeting, Bishop Matsumoto asked the chairs of the five districts if they would take the initiative to observe the anniversary that will be unique and special for their district because although holding a special function on Oahu, as a statewide observance, would be praiseworthy, it may provide several obstacles, such as financing the observance, coordinating manpower, providing transportation, seeking registration, hotel rooms, airfare, etc.

The Maui Hongwanji Ministers’ Association discussed the issue and accepted the challenge of the Bishop. However, even with the ministers’ support, the anniversary could not be held without the support of the Maui Hongwanji Council. So, the Maui Hongwanji Ministers’ Association took its wishes to the Council. There were some questions; however, they agreed to support the project.

The Council has created a unique and local type of program in which members will celebrate Maui’s Kyodan history with its members. They decided to make a short video presentation for the Island of Maui showcasing the four temples and its members. They believe it is a unique idea, and the Kyodan will learn the history of the Maui’s Hongwanji temples. They want more temple members and friends to participate and be recognized for their contribution to the success of the Hawaii Kyodan.

Commemoration Service set for Wailuku Hongwanji on September 8th

Officially, the Maui District of the Hawaii Kyodan will celebrate its 130th Anniversary Commemoration Service at the Wailuku Hongwanji Buddhist Temple on September 8 at 9:00 a.m. with all of Maui’s Nembutsu sangha. The Council will call on Bishop Eric Matsumoto to be the officiant, along with the four Maui ministers who will be assisting with this special services.

Committee memb ers spent many hours to complete this project. The theme of the video is “Otera no tameni.” How did the committee come up with this theme? They selected the slogan from the Isseis who often said, "Kodomo no tameni." The translation of this phrase is as follows: "For the sake of the children."

Many temple members, especially old timers, used a similar slogan, such as "Otera no tameni.” For the sake of the temple and supported our temples with their sincere selfless dedication. Our wonderful Nembutsu followers spent their precious time attending temple activities, repairing temple facilities, supporting fundraising projects, collecting dues, and so on. Their support made Maui Hongwanji temples a wonderful and true spiritual home.

I heard a story from a person who moved to Hawaii from the mainland and told me, "Sensei, as you may know, I sometimes compare temples on Maui with temples on the mainland, Canada, and South America. Those temples are huge distances apart. The distance between some temples is about 50 to 100 miles apart. If we wanted to attend the temple services, we had to drive at least a half hour to one hour to reach the temple for Sunday Services and participate in the activities. However, even if it were an hour of driving, many of us Nembutsu followers were happy to attend the services and receive the spiritual guidance and gratitude through the temple services and socializing with other members. I believe our children and grandchildren were receiving their ancestors’ spiritual guidance through temple functions. I am happy to see the younger generations continuing to support their temple, activities, and culture. So, participating in the services is truly worthwhile for all of us."

I firmly believe that listening to Buddha’s Dharma we are building the foundation. This will enable us to rejoice in the happiness with others and build a great and peaceful place (society or community).

In his teachings, the Buddha said, "In the land where the true teaching prevails, every dweller has a pure and tranquil mind. Indeed, Buddha’s compassion untiringly benefits all people and His shining spirit exorcizes all impurities from their minds. A pure mind soon becomes a deep mind, a mind that commensurates with the Noble Path, a mind that loves to give, a mind that loves to keep the precepts, an enduring mind, a zealous mind, a calm mind, a wise mind, a compassionate mind, a mind that leads people to Enlightenment by many and skillful means. Thus shall the Buddha’s Land be built." (The Teaching of the Buddha, building a Buddha Land, p. 496)

Like this passage above, may we all participate in our Maui district Hawaii Kyodan’s 130th Anniversary Commemoration Service and rejoice in the spiritual joy and happiness with others through the great guidance of the Nembutsu and pass this wonderful legacy to our children and grandchildren.