Save the dates

Taiko. Yakisoba. Beer Garden. Music. Martial arts demonstrations. Shaved ice. History on display. Dancing in the streets. Honoring ancestors and friends who have passed. July 16 and July 17, 2016.  Bon Odori. 

The festival is an official Seafair community event held at the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple.

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Four ways to support Seattle Buddhist Temple

1. Open up a Bartell Drugs Community Caring Card and present the card at check-out. Qualifying purchases earn up to 4% as a donation from Bartell to the Temple. There is no additional cost to you, as the donation is part of their community benefit plan.

Simply pick up a registration form that includes our group name and number (forms in temple foyer), complete the registration form and bring to any Bartell Drug store.  If you pick up an in-store registration form include our group name, Seattle Buddhist Church and group # 163944317.  You will be given a B’Caring Card that will need to be registered by phone (800) 931-6258 or the web,

Please keep in mind that qualified purchases do NOT include:  pharmacy prescriptions, alcohol, tobacco, postage stamps, lottery tickets, transportation passes, gift or phone cards.

2. Sign-up for a Fred Meyer Rewards Card and/or if you already have a Fred Meyer Rewards card, link the card to the Seattle Betsuin (ID# 85804). You can do this by following this link: Fred Meyer Community Rewards. You will still earn your Rewards points, fuel points, and rebates, but the added benefit is that Fred Meyer provides a donation as part of their community program to benefit non-profit organizations.

3. Another way to donate to the Temple is to take advantage of Amazon Shop Now, which has a benefit program for non-profit organizations. Click on the link.

4. (New!) You’re ONE CLICK away from supporting Seattle Buddhist Church! The online shopping you do is the ticket. It’s easy! No cards to register and it can mean hundreds of dollars to us. Click this link: eScript Shopping and donate to the Temple!

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Ganjin lives, part 1

My first wife, Linda Luebke, was very impressed by the heroic story of Ganjin. When I was first assigned to Seattle Betsuin in 1986, our two sons were young and Linda became very involved in the Betsuin choir, Dharma School and initiated an annual Buddhist Arts Retreat that lasted for about ten years. Seeing a need for more contemporary children’s gathas, she composed and published “Six Songs for Buddhist Children” in 1990 which included “Ganjin’s Journey.”

For Linda, Ganjin’s selfless missionary spirit is the same spirit that motivated the issei ministers who crossed the sea from Japan to establish what would become the Buddhist Churches of America. For the issei, it was not the ocean journey that was so perilous but what they encountered when they arrived here; they spread the Dharma in the face of racial prejudice, religious intolerance and great economic hardships. The ministers persevered like the words of the gatha,“ Foreign lands, does it matter? Foreign tongues may speak the same thought.”

A few days before she died of pancreatic cancer in December 2013, I went to visit Linda. She had given up her teaching position in Indiana and moved to Milwaukee to be close to her mother and sister. Our two sons Quincy and Ted had taken family leave from their jobs to share a two bedroom apartment with her and, with hospice care, to take care of Linda’s needs. Thankfully, Linda was lucid and able to stay in her apartment
until the last day of her life.

The last time I spoke with her, I said, “You are on Ganjin’s journey now.” I told her I would try to take Quincy and Ted to Ganjin’s temple in Japan and to present her gatha. She smiled and replied,“That would be nice. ”

Eleven months later, in November 2014, I travelled with Quincy and his wife Caitlin to Toshodaiji and was received by the abbot Rev. Chien Ishida who was extremely kind but who didn’t speak any English. With my extremely limited Japanese, I presented Linda’s gatha to him and tried to explain the reason for our visit. Somehow we communicated and, after talking and serving us tea, Rev. Ishida gave us a wonderful tour of the monastery complex. The three of us agreed our visit and the kindness we received were the highlight of our Japan trip.

With our busy, complicated schedules, it was impossible to coordinate a trip for both my sons and their wives and me to visit Japan at the same time. So, once again, I am off to Japan to visit Toshodaiji with my younger son Ted and his wife Hanine. Thanks to the help of our new minister Rev. Sala Sekiya, I was able to make contact with Rev. Taichi Ishida who is the son of the abbot we met last year. I hope I will be able to report on a successful journey in the next newsletter.

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Ganjin Lives, part 2

Arigatai, what a great word! As Rev. Chijun Yakumo wrote in his wonderful book “Thank You: Namo Amida Butsu,” “I believe arigatai is a term that arises naturally when we sense the intricacy of karma in our life and the profundity of the Buddha’s teachings that embraces it.” (page 13)  Arigatai or arigatoo is generally translated into English as “thank you” but literally it has the meaning “difficult to be.”

Only through the pain of loss (for my sons, the loss of their mother to cancer at age 62) did the idea of presenting Linda’s gatha at Ganjin’s home temple arise.

“You have been brought here by profound causes and conditions” were the first words spoken by Patriarch Kosho Ohtani in English at my Tokudo ordination in 1975. Forty years later, in December 2015, even more causes and conditions, some happy, some sad, enabled me to fulfill my commitment to Linda and my sons.

For my sons, presenting the gatha “Ganjin’s Journey” at his home temple and gravesite was both an opportunity to honor their mother and a chance to be introduced to Japan with its ancient and sublime Buddhist culture (not to mention delicious food). My older son remarked after the trip,“When I grew up in the temple, I always saw Buddhism as something small and marginal to American culture. Going to Japan made me realize what a great tradition I grew up in.”

Ganjin, the courageous traveler, is still inspiring journeys. I regard my trips to Japan with my sons in 2014 and 2015 as pilgrimages to Toshodaiji and the Hongwanji. I don’t know if I would have made those two trips if Linda had not passed away and I had not made the promise to her to present her gatha. Looking back, I realize what a precious opportunity my sons and their wives had to spend eleven days together and to share wonderful experiences with memories to last a lifetime. It gave me and my daughters-in-law an opportunity to really get to know each other. So many kind people made the trip possible. Kemi Nakabayashi gave me an improved version of Linda’s gatha so each son was able to present something new. The Hongwanji International Dept. staff accommodated our request for lodging. I could go on and on, “You have been brought here by profound causes and conditions.” Arigatai


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Temple board and cabinet

Current Cabinet (2 year term):

President:        Alan Hoshino
1st VP:              Calvin Terada
2nd VP:            Tyler Moriguchi  (
3rd VP:             Ken Kubota
Recording Secretary:   Craig Nakashima
Corresponding Sec.:    Steph Ojima
Treasurer:        Howard Luke
Auditor 1:         Michael Teramoto
Auditor 2:        Julianne Tosaya
Auditor 3:        Susie Taketa

Current Board:

Chinn, Connie Ozeki-
Groves, Fumi
Habu, Mae Yamasaki-
Hamakami, John
Hamakawa, Ron
Harano, Nelson
Kozai, Art
Mano, Andrea
Nakano, Craig
Nakashima, Eric
Oxrieder, Ann
Scattergood, Dave
Shibata, Dennis
Tanagi, Midori
Tazuma, Grace
Umeda, Sam
Wong, Leanne Nishi-
Yamane, Susie
Yokoyama, Kevin
Zumoto, Donna

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International Ministerial Orientation Program (IMOP) visit to Seattle Betsuin

This weekend two Japanese ministers, Reverends Chikako Tsuyama and Yugo Fujita, will visit us and give Dharma talks in both English and Japanese. Reverends Tsuyama and Fujita are part of the 2015 IMOP class from our mother temple the Nishi Hongwanji in Kyoto Japan. They will each give a 15 minute English language message on Friday evening starting at 7:30pm. On Saturday they along with Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara of the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkley, CA, will deliver a 3 hour Japanese language seminar starting at 9:30am. On Sunday the ministers will participate in our Eitaikyo Muenhoyo service and give both English and Japanese language Dharma talks.

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Growing Up Behind Barbed Wire with Amy & Lilly Kato

Program includes the award winning documentary “Legacy of Heart Mountain” and personal reflections of Amy and Lilly Kato.
Sunday, Sept 20th, 12:30-2:00pm, at the White River Buddhist Temple, 3625 Auburn Way N., Auburn, WA 98002.

heart mountain

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Buddhist study group meets March 12

The next meeting of the Buddhist Study Group will take place on March 12.   The book for this month is Ken Tanaka’s “Buddhism on Air, which is described this way in the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) bookstore blurb.  This latest publication from Dr. Tanaka offers a unique collection of talks and interviews with noted Buddhist teachers and scholars, originally designed for TV presentation.  A variety of topics are discussed related to Buddhism today, including its teachings, practices, and culture, as well as art, songs and humor. 

Please contact Rinban Castro if you are interested in purchasing a copy.  The cost is $13.50. Also available from BCA bookstore. See link above.

The meeting will take place in the Memorial Hall from 9:30-11:30am.  There will be a brown bag lunch afterwards.  There is no cost to attend.



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Change in Sunday meditation time

Starting Sunday, May 31, the weekly meditation session is moving from an 8:45 a.m. start time to a 10:55 a.m. start time. Immediately following the regular 10 a.m. Sunday English-language service, anyone interested in meditation will meet in the room to the left of the foyer  — as you enter the temple — and we will walk together to 1441 S. Main street (the second house east of the temple.) Meditation will end at 11:30.



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Northwest District Buddhist Convention highlights

Links to video taken at the NW District Buddhist Convention on February 14th, 2015.

Rev. Harry Bridge’s keynote address

A collection of convention videos courtesy of White River Buddhist Temple.

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