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Barbecuing at Hawaii Council of Jodo Mission 42nd Biennial Convention.


Barbecuing with Kenneth Matsusugu at Hawaii Council of Jodo Mission 42nd Biennial Convention

Barbecuing with Kenneth Matsusugu at Hawaii Council of Jodo Mission 42nd Biennial Convention

Here, Kenneth Matsusugu and I were cooking chicken, steaks, and buttered corn for the Hawaii Council of Jodo Mission 42nd Biennial Convention, the statewide organization of Jodo Mission in Hawaii, which was held at Jodo Mission of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii from Fri. Sept. 20 to Sun. Sept. 22. Kenneth was the former president of Haleiwa Jodo Mission for many years. We had a great talk about his life and career in the army and as a civil engineer. 😊

The delegates of the convention updated its bylaws, elected a new Bishop, presented its budget, and other matters. My great grandparents and grandparents were active members of Jodo Mission in Hawaii. I hope they’re happy to see me contributing to this organization. I’ve been a board member of Jodo Mission of Hawaii (Betsuin or headquarters in Hawaii) since 2006, taking my Grandma Bessie Karamatsu’s seat after her passing and president since 2011. I’ve been a delegate to the Hawaii Council of Jodo Mission since about 2011. ❤

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Obon Services at Jodo Mission of Hawaii on Juky, 12, 2019.


I attended the Jodo Shu Hawaii obon services on July 12, 2019 with my dad, mom, and younger sister Lara.

#obon #obonservices #jodomissionofhawaii #jodoshuhawaii #family #familytime #lovedones #mindful #mindfulness #gratitude #grateful #thankful #ancestors #oahu #honolulu #hawaii #hawaiilife

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Services for Jodo Shu Hawaii’s 125th Anniversary in Hawaii on the morning of Sunday June 9, 2019.


Services for Jodo Shu Hawaii’s 125th Anniversary in Hawaii on the morning of Sunday June 9, 2019.

#jodoshuhawaii #jodomissionofhawaii #jodoshuhawaii #jodoshu #jodomission #buddhism #buddhist #oahu #honolulu #hawaii #culture #hawaiilife #hawaiievents #mindfulness #mindful #gratitude #grateful

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Condolence Speech for Bishop Yubun Narashiba


Condolence Speech for Bishop Yubun Narashiba

Bishop Yubun Narashiba had a huge presence at Jodo Mission of Hawaii. Huge presence. On March 3, 1985, he became a reverend here at the Betsuin.  On September 1, 1987, he was assigned to Koloa Jodo Mission in Kauai. He returned back here at the Betsuin on November 1, 1997.  Bishop Narashiba served as our temple’s religious leader and a member of our board of directors.  He was also serving as Bishop of the Hawaii Council of Jodo Missions since September 16, 2017, the religious leader of our statewide organization.  This last go around was Bishop Narshiba’s second stint as our Bishop since he was also Bishop from September 1999 to September 2003.

I’ve known of Bishop Narashiba since I was a boy coming here at Jodo Mission of Hawaii with my grandpa Maurice Karamatsu, grandma Bessie Karamatsu and my immediate family. I became closer with him as a young adult after I became a member of the Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s Board of Directors in 2006 as First Vice President, taking my grandma Bessie Karamatsu’s board seat after her passing that year. I got to work even closer with Bishop Narashiba after I became president of this organization in January of 2011.

What was really impressive about Bishop Narashiba was his ability to do so many things from religious services, welcoming members and guests, office and administrative work, handiwork to fix minor repairs on our premises, labor work by helpings us set up and breaking down our otoba for obon service and our yagura for bon dance, traveling to Japan to for training or to meet with leadership at Jodo Shu headquarters, representing our organization at the Hawaii Buddhist Council with leaders of other sects of Buddhism, and attending community events.

Like many of you, it’s hard to believe Bishop Yubun Narashiba passed away.  He was still young, and it happened so suddenly.  I feel like he’s going to step up to the podium right now and speak to us with his warm smile.  In many ways, he’s still with us because he left such a wonderful impression on us.  He lived with compassion, empathy, the Eightfold Path, and all the Buddhist teachings.  He lived it.  Besides being with us spiritually, his legacy is also all around us. When you see all the wonderful improvements of our temple, social hall, and apartment building, think of Bishop Narashiba. He played a large role in fixing and beautifying our facilities.

Bishop Narashiba lived by example through his love and compassion.  We are so lucky to have experienced the time we had with him.

Bishop Narashiba, thank you so much for being a part of our lives.  Aloha.

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2018 Jodo Mission of Hawaii Bon Dance


Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s bon dance is today Friday August 17 and tomorrow Saturday August 18, 2018 from 4:30 PM to 9:30 PM. Food booths starts at 4:30 PM, Jizo bon prayer is at 5:45 PM, Taiko performance by Dragon Beat is at 6:00 PM, and bon dancing begins at 6:30 PM. Jodo Mission of Hawaii is located at 1429 Makiki Street, Honolulu, Hawaii.

#jodomissionofhawaii #jodoshuhawaii #jodomission #jodoshu #bondance #obon #buddhism #honolulu #hawaii #event #events #food #dance #japaneseculture #culture

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2018 Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s Bon Dance


Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s bon dance is today Friday August 17 and tomorrow Saturday August 18, 2018 from 4:30 PM to 9:30 PM. Food booths starts at 4:30 PM, Jizo bon prayer is at 5:45 PM, Taiko performance by Dragon Beat is at 6:00 PM, and bon dancing begins at 6:30 PM. Jodo Mission of Hawaii is located at 1429 Makiki Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814.

Here, I’m with Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro at Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s bon dance in 2012.

 

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#jodomissionofhawaii #jodoshuhawaii #jodomission #jodoshu #bondance #obon #buddhism #honolulu #hawaii

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Jodo Shu Hawaii Otoba


This morning of Sunday July 1, 2018 we put up the Otoba for obon services for Jodo Mission of Hawaii, which are wooden boards with names of all the former members and their families who passed away. I’ve been serving on the board of directors since 2006, and as president since 2011.

#jodomissionofhawaii #jodoshuhawaii #jodomission #jodoshu #obon #obon #honolulu #hawaii

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2018 Jodo Shu Fujinkai Service, Annual Membership Meeting, and New Year’s Party.


I offered incense during the service and made a speech as President of Jodo Mission of Hawaii at the Fujinkai annual general membership meeting today, Sunday February 25, 2018. After we had a New Year’s party with food, memory games, bingo, and recognition of members who are 80 years old and above. It was a nice time!

#jodomissionofhawaii #jodoshuhawaii #jodomission #jodoshu #fujinkai #service #meeting #newyearparty #food #mindfulness #gratitude #thankful #happy

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2018 Jodo Shu Hawaii President’s Speech, General Membership Meeting, and New Year’s Party.


I’ve been on the board of directors of Jodo Mission of Hawaii since 2006, taking the seat of my grandmother Bessie Karamatsu after her passing that year, serving as the 1st Vice President.  Since 2011, I’ve been serving as the organization’s president.  On Sunday January 28, 2018, I chaired Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s General Membership meeting and ended it with my annual speech, most of which is below, though I free-styled a chunk of my speech:

“Happy New Year everyone!

2017 was a year of rebuilding and repainting our infrastructure. We’ve repaired cracks and breakage on our temple, and painted a new coat of cherry blossom pink on our uniquely designed temple, a beautiful landmark in Honolulu, Hawaii. For the first quarter of 2018, we will continue the repairs and maintenance by rebuilding our copper awning on the Diamond Head end of our temple. We’ve requested the company involved with the awning to board off the construction area so that our members can continue to visit the niches of their loved ones. Also, we will be repairing and repainting our apartment building.

Please join us in this year’s obon services and bon dance, bazaar, mochi-making and sales, monthly services, guest speakers, and other activities. Feel free to invite family, friends, and acquaintances to our events as well. We are very lucky to have you.

In Buddhism, a positive mindset and nonattachment is critical to having a positive life as reflected in the Eightfold Path’s “Right Thought.” How we think will determine our actions. Too often we blow out of proportion what we perceive as problems with excessive worry and sadness, or worse, anger. A person with a positive mindset sees problems as challenges, opportunity, and change. Focus on what we can control, rather what we can’t control. If no can, no can – detach, evolve, and go back on the offense for other opportunities, and everyday say “thank you” for every good thing in your live, the beautiful nature around us, and our loved ones here and those who passed away for being a part of our lives.

“Nonattachment” is an area that can be challenging to practice. Our suffering can arise from our attachments to people and things. When we break up with a significant other or face the death of someone we love, it’s heartbreaking. We can still love people and things even when they’re no longer with us, but not be attached to the darkness of our desires that makes us yearn for them that can cause depression, anger, and the downfall of our health and relationships. The energy of our loved ones who passed away have never been taken away from us, and the same goes for the love and lessons we’ve learned from a difficult break-up.

Buddhism teaches us the importance of being in the middle, that calm and peaceful zone. What brings us great joy can quickly bring us great sadness when we lose what brought us joy. What makes us angry can lead us to the darkness of moodiness, hatred, and even revenge. We can be aware of our feelings, but constantly be awakened as Buddhists and practice our Right Thoughts and avoid attaching ourselves to the darkness. In order to help others we must be at peace within ourselves. Just like in an aircraft emergency, we have to put our oxygen masks on ourselves before we can help others.

Buddhism is a way of life. Our practice sends positive energy to others and the universe. Just as we just prayed to those who passed away with Reverend Nakano. I’ve had enough supernatural experiences to know there is something beyond this physical world. Thus, our soul that’s filled with compassion, empathy, and love will never die, but transcend through all realms to make our universe more peaceful.”

Below are pictures from the 2018 Jodo Shu Hawaii New Year’s Party:

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#jodomissionofhawaii #jodoshuhawaii #jodomission #jodoshu #buddhism #buddhist #speech #2018 #generalmembershipmeeting #peace #innerpeace #eightfoldpath #rightthought

 

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My 2018 Jodo Mission of Hawaii President’s Message


Below is my Jodo Mission of Hawaii President’s message printed in our January 2018 bulletin:

Dear Members,

Thank you for your support and for attending Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s services, Bon dance, mochi-making, and other events.  In the last quarter of 2017, we have repaired and painted our temple and begun repairing and painting our apartment buildings. We are happy on how beautiful it looks!

One of my wishes for you in 2018 and for the rest of your existence is to have peace and happiness within yourself, so that you can share your peace and happiness with others. In our Buddhist practice, we work daily on the Noble Eightfold Path of
Right Understanding, Right Purpose, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Endeavor, Right Thought, and Right Mediation.  A practice that’s mentioned in Buddhist scripture that has helped me tremendously is gratitude.  Everyday, from the moment we wake up, we can be thankful for what we have such as the cozy bed that we just slept in; taste of hot green tea; orange glow of the morning sun; useful kitchenware we use to make our tasty breakfast; and a quiet self-reflection or meditation.  Start the morning with this peaceful gratitude practice, and you will power through the day with more gratitude and push through difficult situations with a balanced soul.

Have a great 2018!

With Warmest Aloha,

 

Jon Riki Karamatsu

President of Jodo Mission of Hawaii

#buddhism #buddhist #peace #innerpeace #love #mindfulness #gratitude #eightfoldpath #jodomissionofhawaii #jodomission #jodoshuhawaii #jodoshu #2018 #2018message #bulletin

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Jodo Shu Hawaii Fujinkai’s “Thank You” Party on Sunday November 19, 2017


Had fun at Jodo Shu Hawaii Fujinkai’s “Thank You” party on Sunday November 19, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii. We played a memory game for 22 things in a box, Jan Ken Po and grab bag drawing. For lunch we had dim sum – Chinese food.

#jodomission #jodoshu #jodomissionofhawaii #jodoshuhawaii #fujinkai #buddhism #party #honolulu #hawaii

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Progress of Concrete Repairs & Painting for Jodo Mission of Hawaii.


At 9:00 A.M. Hawaii Standard Time on Saturday November 18, 2017, we, the board of directors of Jodo Mission of Hawaii inspected the concrete repairs and painting of our temple at Honolulu, Hawaii with a manager of Eko Painting & Concrete just before our first progression payment. Gaining ground. We’re happy with the progress!!!

#jodomissionofhawaii #jodoshuhawaii #jodomission #jodoshu #concreterepairs
#painting #contractors #honolulu #hawaii

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Jodo Mission of Hawaii Luncheon Celebrating Kanreki Birthdays and New Bishop


Jodo Mission of Hawaii luncheon celebrating Kanreki birthdays and newly elected Bishop Yubun Narashiba who is serving as Bishop for the 2nd time on Sunday November 12, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

#jodomissionofhawaii #jodoshuhawaii #jodomission #jodoshu #bishop #kanreki #honolulu #hawaii 

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We can spread peace with simple acts of kindness


I’m feeling much happier today, September 18, 2017 after feeling anxiety in my personal life and career for the past 11 days or so.  At 8:00 A.M., I had the first part of my annual physical at the hospital.  Throughout the morning, I was texting my business partners in a different time zone/country.  Then at 10:00 A.M., I took the minutes of the Hawaii Buddhist Council (Higashi Hongwanji, Mission of Hawaii, honda Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, Jodo Mission of Hawaii, Koyasan Shingon Mission of Hawaii, Nichiren Mission of Hawaii, Soto Mission of Hawaii, and Tendai Mission of Hawaii) as it Secretary for 2017.  After the meeting, Jodo Mission of Hawaii Bishop Emeritus Gensho Hara gave me a gift.  Next, I reviewed and signed an EPA review for the repair and maintenance that we are contracting a Hawaii company to repair and repaint our buildings for Jodo Mission of Hawaii.  Also, I reviewed a trust from a deceased member of Jodo Mission of Hawaii who was the secretary for my political influencer, Governor John A. Burns, and she had left some money for our organization.

When I returned home, I received a couple of good news from my business partner who I was texting in the morning in regards to traction for our project.  Then I opened my gift from Bishop Gensho Hara, and was so delighted to see this glass display of Buddha.  As President of Jodo Mission of Hawaii for 7 years, I was fortunate to have worked with Bishop Hara who served as Bishop for 8 years.  He has shared with my so many teachings of compassion, and touching stories of people who have come to his temple at Lahaina, Maui from different walks of life and with diverse ethnicities.  They sought refuge from life’s problems, and prayed/meditated for strength to attain inner peace.  One 30-something-year-old Vietnamese woman prayed everyday at about 5 A.M. before the large statue of Buddha at his temple, and she’s now becoming a leader of Buddhism on the U.S. mainland.  A middle-aged Caucasian male who was a U.S. military veteran of the Vietnam War would visit him, enjoying the rice that Bishop Hara’s wife made.  He was sad with the passing of his wife a couple of years ago, and ended up shooting himself to death.  It’s these touching stories that taught me the importance of love, compassion, empathy, mindfulness, and gratitude.  When I told Bishop Hara that someday, after I make money, I can do more, he would gently shake his head with a slight smile – I understood his gesture, that even our simple acts of kindness can go very far to touch another’s soul.  We can spread peace, even without money.

#peace #innerpeace #compassion #empathy #love #mindfulness #gratitude #aloha #buddhism #jodoshuhawaii #jodomissionofhawaii #jodoshu #jodomission

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Bishop Gensho Hara and I at the Hawaii Council of Jodo Missions 41st Biennial Convention

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2017 Jodo Mission of Hawaii Bon Dance


Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s Bon Dance on Saturday August 18 and 19, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii was a success.  It feels so good to support culture and tradition that make Hawaii and our country so unique for all to enjoy! I’m honored to serve as President of Jodo Mission of Hawaii for the past 7 years and board member for the past 12 years.

The food was great with barbecue sticks, saimin, gyoza, chili and rice, andagi (Okinawan donuts), shave ice, and more. The dancers and taiko did performed well. I’m sure our ancestors are happy.

Mahalo to everyone who volunteered, and to all who came to enjoy the festivities! See you next year and may peace be with you and all those you touch.

#jodomissionofhawaii #jodomission #jodoshuhawaii #jodoshu #buddhism #obon #obonservices #bondance #honolulu #hawaii #ancestors #gratitude

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Last Day for Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s Bon Dance.


Last day for Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s Bon Dance is today, Saturday August 19, 2017 from 6:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. at 1429 Maliki Street, Honolulu, Hawaii; food booths open from 4:30 P.M. The office number is 808-949-3995.

#jodomissionofhawaii #jodomission #jodoshuhawaii #jodoshu #buddhism #obon #obonservices #bondance #honolulu #hawaii #ancestors #gratitude

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The Jodo Mission of Hawaii Bon Dance will be today August 18 and tomorrow August 19, 2017 from 6:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. – Food starts at 4:30 P.M.


The Jodo Mission of Hawaii Bon Dance will be today August 18 and tomorrow 19, 2017 from 6:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. at 1429 Maliki Street, Honolulu, Hawaii; food booths open 4:30 P.M. for both nights, with Jizo bon prayer service at 5:45 P.M. on August 18, 2017. The office number is 808-949-3995.

#jodomissionofhawaii #jodomission #jodoshuhawaii #jodoshu #obon #obonservices #bondance #honolulu #hawaii #ancestors #gratitude

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Bon Dance at Jodo Mission of Hawaii on August 18 and 19.


We put up the yagura for the Bon Dance at Jodo Mission of Hawaii on Sunday August 13, 2017 from 8:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M., followed by a lunch. The Jodo Mission of Hawaii Bon Dance will be on August 18 and 19, 2017 from 6:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. at 1429 Maliki Street, Honolulu, Hawaii; food booths open 4:30 P.M. for both nights, with Jizo bon prayer service at 5:45 P.M. on August 18, 2017. The office number is 808-949-3995.

#jodomissionofhawaii #jodomission #jodoshuhawaii #jodoshu #obon #obonservices #bondance #honolulu #hawaii #ancestors #gratitude

 

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2017 Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s Obon Services


I attended Jodo Mission of Hawaii’s Obon Services for all of our ancestors on July 23, 2017 with my parents and younger sister Lara. We also prayed to the souls suffering.

The wooden plank with my family name is our Karamatsu family otoba for my grandpa Maurice Karamatsu and grandma Bessie Karamatsu, great grandpa Yutaro Karamatsu and great grandma Shima Karamatsu (immigrated to Hawaii, United States from Yamaguchi, Japan sometime in the 1890s), and ancestors for obon services at Jodo Mission of Hawaii on July 23, 2017.
After the service, there was a nice taiko performance by Dragon Beat, a tenant at Jodo Mission of Hawaii.

#jodomission #jodomissionofhawaii #jodoshu #jodoshuhawaii #obon #obonservices #honolulu #hawaii

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Otoba Set-up for Jodo Mission of Hawaii 


I did some volunteer work to put up the otoba for obon for Jodo Mission of Hawaii on July 9, 2018 from 8:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. We always pray to our ancestors, but obon is a time when we have special services and bon dance to celebrate our ancestors. The long white cloth is connecting the temple with our otoba or wooden plank with ancestor family names. I will chair the Board of Directors meeting at 11:45 A.M., which is part of my duties as President.

#jodomission #jodomissionofhawaii #jodoshu #jodoshuhawaii #otoba #obon #buddhism #ancestors #lovedones #gratitude #mindfulness #peace

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Achala 


A sculpture of Achala or the immovable one that I got from our Jodo Shu Hawaii bazaar some years ago that’s on the wall facing my home’s entrance. Achala bears a straight sword in his right hand, and a lariat or noose in his left hand. He uses his sword to cut through ignorance and his noose to reign in those who block the path to enlightenment. I read somewhere that he sacrifices himself from attaining Buddhahood in order to clear the path of enlightenment from evil so we can pursue enlightenment and become Bodhisattvas and ultimately, Buddhas. 

#achala #buddhism #bodhisattvas #bodhisattva #bodhisattvas #buddhas #buddha #buddhas #budhahood #jodoshu #jodomission #jodoshuhawaii #jodomissionofhawaii #enlightenment #love #compassion #mindfulness #peace #waikele #oahu #hawaii #happy #happiness

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