The Wailuku Hongwanji Young Buddhist Association (YBA) was organized by Reverend Tetsuzan Funakura in January 1903. The purpose of organizing the group was to further the interest in the Buddha’s teachings among the younger members. Throughout the years, Reverend Kagetsu Shibata and Reverend Seiya Kai directed the YBA members. Reverend Kai expanded the YBA program to include non-religious activities such as sports, the formation of a concert band and other activities.
Formed in the early 1930s the Wailuku Hongwanji Junior YBA was made up of students from the 8th grade through high school. The Junior YBA members are active participants in temple activities, including obon, Sunday services, and preparing the soba and other refreshments served during the annual New Year’s Eve service. Additionally, the members plan and participate in many community service projects. The Wailuku Hongwanji Junior YBA is part of the Maui United Junior YBA and part of the State Junior YBA organization. The Maui United Junior YBA has hosted the State convention in years past. Former advisors for the Wailuku Hongwanji Junior YBA include Tom Nomura, Grace Taguchi, Lois Taguchi, Joyce Kawahara, and Susan Taketa. The current advisor is Lynn Yamauchi