About Us

Mission Statement

Having been awakened to the Compassion of Amida Buddha's Universal Vow (Namo Amida Butsu) and rejoicing in the assurance of Buddhahood, we gratefully endeavor to live a life of service to others.

History

Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin is recognized as a non-profit, tax-exempt, charitable subordinate organization to the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, an ecclesiastical and educational corporation established in Hawaii. Hilo Betsuin’s operations are primarily supported by membership fees, earned service income, rental fees, a charitable contributions from individuals.

The first Buddhist temple ever built in the Hawaiian Islands was erected in Hilo, Hawaii about 130 years ago. That temple, the Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin, originally built on land now known as Mooheau Park, is currently located on about four acres at 398 Kilauea Avenue in Hilo. The temple today is considered a major Hilo landmark and social hub.

Today the temple serves about 500 family members, and has fed thousands of hungry and needy over the years. In addition, Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin contributes thousands of dollars throughout the year to help people recover from natural disasters locally and internationally.

When it was first erected, the temple was a place to practice the Jodo Shinshu religion while filling the Japanese cultural void experienced by the original Japanese immigrants. Throughout history, the temple’s mission and vision has remained: to adore the compassion of Amida Buddha, share the Jodo Shinshu teaching and realize the Sangha (community of the faithful) by gratefully rendering loving service to others.

That service includes the support of critical social outreaches, provision of highly utilized community gathering spaces, sponsorship of community organizations and efforts, provision of cultural education classes, community cultural events, and early education.

Services are held weekly on Sunday with the Family Dharma service beginning at 9:00 a.m. Dharma School classes immediately following the Family Dharma Service.

Ministerial Staff

Rimban Shindo Nishiyama

Dear Members and Friends of Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin,

First of all, as 2020 begins, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to all of you for your dedication and unending devotion to our Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin in many ways throughout

2019. Especially, my deepest appreciation goes to our president, Mr. Arthur Taniguchi, for his leadership, kindness, knowledge, guidance and support. And Mahalo to all Board Members, volunteers and members for their dedication to continue the temple programs and many activities for everyone in our ‘Ohana. Without everyone’s guidance and support, Hilo Betsuin is not able to continue providing the services for our ‘Ohana. I do not have enough words to thank you for your unending dedication to our Hilo Betsuin Sangha, but I just want to say, “Hontouni Arigato Gozaimasu, Okagesamade, and Mahalo.”

As we welcome the New Year 2020, let us have a great, thankful, and peaceful New Year with our family and friends in the name of Amida Buddha, Namo Amida Butsu. Have an enjoyable holiday season and see you at the Family Service on Sundays! A Happy New Year 2020!

Rimban Shindo Nishiyama and Family

Rev. Daido Baba

Happy New Year! Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu.

How did you spend your New Year’s holiday? I hope you have a happy and healthy new year in Amida Buddha’s embrace.

The year 2019 was a tough year for me because of the minister shortage. I don’t clearly remember how I overcame those unexpected

situations. Because of your warm support and understanding, Hilo Betsuin was able to prevail over those difficult times as a team. Fortunately, we got a new minister, Reverend Kamuro last November. Hilo Betsuin’s ministers are trying to create an attractive and comfortable place for all of you. Please tell us “what kind of temple you want to create together.”

Last summer, I visited Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Osaka with the Dharma School students and parents. Of course, we visited the Nishi Hongwanji, our mother temple in Kyoto and attended the morning service at 6:00 a.m. We experienced so many things and had much fun. Thank you for your support of our trip. One thing I want to mention here, is that we visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. We saw the reality of the horror of war and thought that “we should live in peace together.” It was a very meaningful opportunity foreach of us, including me. If you have the chance to visit Nishi Hongwanji and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, please do so at least once in your lifetime.

The reading “Our Pledge” was released by Hawai‘i Kyodan last year. It is Gomonshu Kojun Ohtani’s words and aspiration that he shares with us. We can realize the connection with Amida Buddha as we recite it. As Our Pledge mentions, “just like the Buddha,” we can live each precious moment in that way. Please try to read it every day so that Our Pledge remains in your heart and mind. If you don’t know it, please ask me.

Lastly, I would like to express my deep appreciation to all of you who supported Hilo Betsuin and my family. In the New Year 2020, let us enjoy living each precious moment with the Nembutsu.

Namo Amida Butsu.

Daido Baba

Rev. Joshin Kamuro

Thanks to your help and support, my family and I were able to send off the old year and greet the New Year pleasantly in Hilo on the Big Island. We would like to express our sincere appreciation for welcoming us to Hilo Betsuin, and extend to all of you our New Year greetings.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce my wife and son who moved from Honolulu to Hilo on December 23, 2019. My wife Minako, and our son Yuma, were born and lived in Osaka prefecture. My wife and I met each other for the first time at Ryukoku University in Kyoto. I was a member of the student association and my wife was a member of the sign language club, so we worked together for the hearing

impaired students in order to improve their lives.

Minako went to the Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin Buddhist Seminary in Kyoto, Japan. While she was a student at the Buddhist Seminary, she got pregnant and had our son, Yuma. So our son already had listened to the sutra chanting in her womb during his prenatal period. On the day of her graduation from the Buddhist Seminary, the principal counted our son Yuma, as one of the Buddhist Seminary graduates in his congratulatory speech. After she graduated from the Buddhist Seminary, she was ordained and worked at the Honzan Hongwanji Temple (headquarters in Kyoto) for four years. Minako likes calligraphy and drawing pictures. Yuma, who is in the sixth grade at Waiākea Intermediate School, likes playing

basketball, video games, and violin.

My family and I will grow our roots here. We are looking forward to being part of the Hilo Betsuin Ohana. Let us live together, reciting the Nembutsu in gratitude, and let us together revere the Buddha of Infinite Light and Life. We wish you all the best for your good health and our continuing journey along the Nembutsu path in 2020.

Namo Amida Butsu

Joshin Kamuro