The board of directors for Jodo Shu Hawaii were installed today, January 23, 2011 in the late morning. I will be serving as its president from 2011-2012. After, we had our New Year’s party where we had Japanese food for lunch, and we played bingo for some prizes. The following was my speech:
Aloha members and guests. I am honored to be serving as your president of Jodo Mission of Hawaii, otherwise referred to as Jodo Shu. I am currently a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu, and a former Hawaii State Representative. I am linked to this great organization through my grandpa Maurice Karamatsu and grandma Bessie Karamatsu who were active members.
Grandpa Maurice Karamatsu served as head of the Buddhist Council, and enjoyed spending time with his friends here, especially Mr. Stephen Kotake and Mr. Robert Shimoda. Mr. Shimoda told me they called themselves in Japanese, the three black birds. They were involved in Buddhism, business, and politics together, but it was Jodo Shu that brought them together. They have all passed away. My grandpa Karamatsu passed away in 1992.
I have always attended Jodo Shu services and events since I was a child, but in the 2000s, I began to participate more frequently with my grandma Bessie Karamatsu. Although she didn’t say it, I could tell my grandma was happy that I showed interest. On May 1, 2006, my grandma Karamatsu passed away, and later that year, I was asked to take over her seat on the Board of Directors of Jodo Mission of Hawaii.
Both of my grandparents have a niche in the back of the church. Many of you have ancestors or friends that were members here as well. As president, I will do my best to continue their legacy. Our board will support Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s services and events that reinforces our efforts for a more peaceful world. We will raise funds so we can maintain our services and facilities. We will network with other people and organizations to further expand Jodo Mission of Hawaii. Finally, and most importantly, together with all of you, we will spread compassion and love to all people we come in contact with.
I wish everyone good health, success in all your endeavors, and happiness and joy in 2011. Thank you.