THE LIGHT OF THE BUDDHA
Steveston Buddhist Temple
4360 Garry Street Richmond, B.C. V7E 2V2
July 2006

Every Sunday
10:30 am - Dharma Service
11:30 am - Sangha Gathering

JULY 2006
01 (Sat) 6:00 p.m.
02 (Sun) 2:00 p.m.
02 (Sun) 6:00 p.m.
08 (Sat) 4:00 p.m.
09 (Sun) 2:00 p.m.
10 (Mon) 7:30 p.m.
19 (Wed) 11:00 a.m.
23 (Sun) 11:00 a.m.
Pot-luck for Sensei Miyaji
Obon & July Memorial Service (Shotsuki)
Obon Dance
Fraser Valley Temple for Obon, Potluck & Bon Dance
Join us at Vancouver Temple for Obon
July Board Meeting
Nikkei Home Monthly Service
Temple Picnic (with Vancouver and Fraser Valley) at Central Park

AUGUST 2006
06 (Sun) 10:30 a.m.
12 - 13 (Sat - Sun)
13 (Sun) 7:30 p.m.
14 (Mon) 7:30 p.m.
August Memorial Service (Shotsuki)
Vancouver Island Obon Tour
Convention Planning Meeting at temple
August Board Meeting

** Ryukoku Sogo Gakuen High School English Study – July 21(Fri) – August 10(Thur)

Pot Luck on Saturday, July 1st at 6 p.m. at the temple, to welcome Akio Miyaji Sensei of BCA, Orange County Buddhist Church. Everyone is welcome. Please come and join us that evening


“I have them, I have them all…”

For this month’s issue, I will write about a very famous female Nembutsu follower, Mrs. Hisako Nakamura. She was born in November 25, 1897 in Hida Takayama, Gifu prefecture. When she was just three years old, frostbite on her foot developed into gangrene, ultimately resulting in the loss of both her hands and both her legs.

When she was five, her younger brother Eizo was born. During the summer of her seventh year, her father died. During the fall of her eighth year, her mother remarried, and she became a member of the Fujita family. During the spring of her tenth year, her younger brother Eizo, then five years old, was placed in an orphanage, and she would not meet him again until just prior to his death at a young age. When Hisako was twenty years old, she left her hometown of Takayama to become a member of a freak show. She began her life as a “freak” in the city of Nagoya; billed as “Daruma Musume”. “Daruma” is a Japanese traditional red doll which has no arms and no legs.

And “Musume” means a young lady. She performed all over Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and even in Manchuria (Manshu) in China. She said about the freak shows.

“As for my “art”, I did needle work, knitted, and did things such as tying knots. In addition, I did calligraphy.”

She performed just by using her mouth and very short arms without fingers.

Hisako’s brother Eizo died during May of 1920, when he was 20 years old. Her mother also died in the same year in August. These tragedies were very hard events for Hisako, however she had to go forward…

Through her work, she encountered Mr. Nakatani and she married him in 1921. Fortunately, he always looked after her, becoming her arms and legs. Their first daughter, Michiko, was born next year. She was treated well by her husband, but he suddenly passed away. She re-married, but the next husband too passed away, just after she gave birth to her second daughter.

She tried to survive as a popular performer, but she needed help. But her third husband was not a good man. She made a decision to divorce him after she lost her young third daughter through illness. She then met Mr. Nakamura. She married him when she was 37. He looked after her with deep compassion and love. She led a wonderful life until her peaceful death at the age of 72 years.

During her life, she had countless hardships both physically and mentally, which were beyond our imagination. It must have been like “hell”. But fortunately she encountered the Nembutsu teaching through “Tannisho”, which was written by Yuien, quoting his master Shinran Shonin. Through reading the Tannisho, Hisako’s hardship was transformed completely into gratitude for her life. In Japanese, we say Okagesama, expressing gratitude for Amida’s compassionate working. For Hisako, all the people around her helped with deep love and became her hands and feet.

Amida’s compassion made her aware of her parents’ obligations and also other’s obligations. When she was older, Hisako looked back with tears and gratitude on her life and said,

I wish I had a hand with four fingers and a thumb…
Everyone laughed at me shouting, “Hand-less!” “Feet-less!”.
Where are my hands? Where are my feet? Who took them away? I want them back… Please return them!
How clearly I remember the days and nights that I both screamed and cried like that.
But regardless of how I cried, not even a single finger was returned to my body, much less a complete hand or foot.
I wonder if people blessed with two hands and two feet have ever considered what it is like to be without even one hand or one foot? I wonder how many people appreciate their four fingers and thumb, and five toes by saying, “Thank you,” to them?
How many times have I thought about this…

Although she entertained at freak shows for 22 years to look after her family, she never gave up her life as a human being even though people saw her as a “freak”. These are the words that were given to her from her very famous calligraphy teacher.

“Even if you are in a freak show,” he said, “you must be like a lotus growing in a muddy pond. You must develop a spirit that will not allow the mud to stain your spirit; otherwise, you cannot be called a human being.”

The words sustained her.

During her life, she encountered wonderful people who had also lived very hard lives with many handicaps. One of them was Helen Keller. Helen Keller was a great woman who lived in darkness and silence, loved and admired by not only the world of the disabled, but by the entire world itself. She is known in Japan as the “great person of the three heavy sufferings (blindness, deafness, muteness)”. Helen Keller came to Japan in 1937 to give a public talk. Hisako was also blind for a while when she was a child. When the two ladies met Hisako’s body. When her hands came to where Hisako’s hands and legs were supposed to be, she was so surprised she cried.

She kissed Hisako’s cheek and hugged her very gently with tears in her eyes. Hisako presented her a Japanese doll wearing a Kimono that was sewn by Hisako using only her mouth. The two became friends and saw one another two more times in their lives.

As I had mentioned earlier, Hisako experienced many hardships as well as many wonderful things. By receiving the compassionate working of Amida Buddha, Hisako showed us the way to live life to the fullest despite any difficult circumstances that we may face.

It is said that our Buddhism, the Shin Buddhist character is to be humble and accept everything as it is including ourselves. In conclusion, I’d like to share her poem…

have them, I have them all…
A refreshing Autumn morn…
“Please hand me a towel.”
A husband who answers, “Oi,”
A daughter who says, “Hai.”
Brushing my teeth
And then removing my false teeth To clean them further,

And washing my face…
Though short And without fingers,
My round And strong stump of an arm
Does everything for me.
A limb Without a bone.
A soft arm, A short hand.

I have them, I have them, I have them all…
It’s all I need.
What a refreshing Autumn morn

I can’t tell you all about her in such limited space. If you want to know more about it, please read the book about Mr. Nakamura. There is an English translation which our temple will purchase soon.

In Gassho,
Masumi Kikuchi

*Please feel free to contact the office if you wish the minister to visit a hospital or a seniors’ home…

BCC UPDATE JUNE 2006

May 27, 2007 Kelowna Buddhist Temple 75th Anniversary May 13/14 weekend was a very pleasant and happy one as Calgary Sangha celebrated 50th Anniversary with the weather co-operating. There was Open House and reunion at the temple and Banquet Dinner at Blackfoot Inn on Saturday and then Ochigo procession and Commemoration Service at the temple on Sunday. A few surviving chartered members and Rev.& Mrs. Kyojo Ikuta were acknowledged before the guest minister Sasaki Sensei’s Dharma Talk.

BCC president and I attended World Jodo Shinshu Coordinating Council on May 25/26 in Kyoto. Mr. J. Hisanaga who visited Japan for the first time seemed to have enjoyed Kyoto as well as meeting other delegates from Brazil, Hawaii, and BCA. The roof of Founder’s Hall was completed and as the cover being taken down, you can see the new roof next year, although the inner restoration has to be done for a few more years before Shinran Shonin’s 750th Memorial Service in 2011-12. The entire budget of the service will be 260 million dollars.

My Recollection as BCC minister:

As I have been a minister for many years, I have encountered with many presidents across Canada. Generally speaking, temple president is expected to be a dedicated Buddhist as well as showing leadership in the administration of the Sangha. And also he/she has to assist resident minister who can work comfortably in the missionary activities.

As far as I remember, Mr. Masao Terakita was a great president at Lethbridge Buddhist Church during my tenure in1968-70. He was the first person to open the temple door and most likely the last one to close it. He attended all the Sunday services as well as fundraising activities. He was always a top donor and supporter of the temple. Whenever we had guest ministers for special occasions, he and his wife volunteered to entertain them and offered accommodations.

One Sunday morning I woke up to find a huge amount of snow outside and I thought there would be no service for the day. After breakfast, however, I noticed someone working hard to clear the snow on the driveway. It was the president with his bald head steaming by shoveling the snow. I went out to assist him to finish the work. I really appreciated his kindness when his wife told me later that he had got up dark and early to clear his own driveway before coming over to my residence. I found out people in Alberta got used to the big snow, so they eventually can manage themselves to come to Sunday Service on time.

At any rate, I hope the resident minister is the spiritual leader and the president and the board can assist him/her in the missionary activities.

In gassho, namo amidabutsu…
Socho Orai Fujikawa

Coming events:
June 25
June 15 - 29
July 10 - Aug 21
Sept 1 - 3
Sept 12 - 13
Oct 14
Oct 21/22
Oct 28/29
Nov 11/12
Montreal Buddhist Temple 60th Anniversary
Hongwanji Youth Tour led by Aoki Sensei
Ryukoku Summer School in Steveston
13th World Buddhist Women’s Convention
BCC Ministerial Association Seminar in Calgary
BCC Board Meeting at Headquarters
Jodo Shinshu Center Dedication in Berkley
Kamloops Buddhist Temple 60th Anniversary
Alberta and BC Buddhist Convention


THE ENLIGHTENED GARDENS

Steveston as a community is changing. Its rural and suburban character is becoming more urban and dense as each year marches deeper into the twenty-first century. Our neighbours, our friends, our parents and our temple members are down sizing to meet their changing circumstances. They built a home and raised a family, and often had proud front lawns and landscaping reflecting their love of plants and gardening. With the demolition of these houses the Enlightened Gardens that were created are disappearing.

Earlier this spring, plants and shrubs from one of these special gardens were offered to the Steveston Buddhist Temple. It started with three beautiful mature rhododendrons, which were re-planted along the west side of the gymnasium in mid April. As you may all have noticed, these rhododendrons flowered and showed their full colour and true form. If these plants had not been moved and replanted, they would have been plowed under by a bulldozer.

Saving plants cared for by temple members and their families, and replanting them around the temple provides an opportunity to create a Special Enlightened Garden for all of our members. Therefore, if you have plants from your garden or you have sold your house and it may be demolished and you wish to donate the plants, please feel free to offer them to the Temple.

To create the Enlightened Gardens around the Temple, other planting character areas are being examined. The Landscape Committee is considering daffodil beds along the south property line, a row of Sakura along the west property line adjacent to the lane, fukie beds and other tree planting around the site. Members are encouraged to participate. Thanks to some of the dedicated Gate Ball members, the flowerbed along the west property line adjacent to the lane has been beautifully maintained. If you are interested in making a donation to the Formal Tree Planting or Daffodil Beds and receiving recognition for your contribution, please leave your name at the office for the Landscape Committee to get in touch with you or to speak to Larry, Kiyo or Bud. The Enlightened Garden is yours to create. The Landscape Committee looks forward to your comments and participation.

In Gassho, Bud Sakamoto


NOKOTSUDO/COLUMBARIUM UPDATE – Kiyo Domai

Currently We have available 70 niches.
(16 large 14”x 12”x 12”, capacity 4-5 urns. 53 standard 8”x 12”x 12”, capacity 2-3 urns.)

A sprinkler system was recently installed to alleviate concerns raised by several people. The purchase price remains the same but may be increased in the near future.

Cost – Standard $1,200.00 Large $1,800.00 Plus $30.00 for name plates ( Initial inurnment included in purchase price. ) Subsequent ones - $200.00 per inurnment.

Thank you to family members for placing flowers in the Memorial Garden.


GARDEN COMMITTEE – Kiyo Domai

We would like to thank Mrs. Setsuko Yamashita and Mrs. Shizuko Nishi for their donation of shrubs and perennials. Passersby have made positive comments about the garden along the fence. Please feel free to donate plants – Leave your name and phone number with Chizuru-san (604-277-2323 or 604-271-5198 ). Someone will pick them up.


THOUGHTS ON MIYAKAWA SENSEI’S LECTURE

Rev. Miyakawa’s lecture began with a personal declaration from each person in attendance on their spiritual background & on their present faith. In the 30 years I have been coming to the Temple it is the first time anyone has asked me this. I found it to be very enlightening. I was very surprised by the answers. Being an outsider and not having been brought up in a Temple family, I had wrongly assumed that everyone who attended other

than me had always been a Buddhist. It seems this is not the case. The vast majority of people in attendance had tried other Faiths, as well as other Schools of Buddhism before they CHOSE to become Jodo Shin Shu Buddhists. I found this very encouraging.

Rev. Miyakawa presented a time graph showing the time span of the world’s major religions. This also was a first for me. It seems Hinduism, which was Buddha’s original faith is the world’s oldest formal religion at approximately 10,000 years. It is followed by Judaism at approximately 5,000 years. Buddhism, Christianity & Islam are relatively new in comparison. I was surprised by the number of religions, some of which I hadn’t heard of before. It seems mankind needs to believe in something other then its own self.

The other encouraging point I found was Rev. Miyakawa’s explanation of the time it took for Buddhism to spread from country to country. It took approximately 600 years from the time Indian Buddhism was introduced into China until it adapted & became Chinese Buddhism. It also took approximately 600 years for the Chinese Buddhism introduced into Japan to become Japanese Buddhism. We just celebrated our first 100 years of Japanese based Buddhism here in Canada. It will be interesting to see in 500 more years what Canadian Buddhism will be like. It makes me feel that the difficulties we are experience now are just growing pains as the Japanese based Buddhism adapts to its new home.

Written by John Rennie


FUJINKAI NEWS - Hiroko Yoshihara

Observations made at the AGM at Toronto Buddhist Church. Styrofoam was non-existent at the coffee breaks and meals. There were some paper cups available but few or none were used. Toronto members must be commended for their awareness of the environment and expense of waste disposal. Also, the Saturday lunch of udon was prepared and served by the men. This task was accomplished efficiently without assistance from the ladies.

BCCWF topics to be considered. At the 2002 World Buddhist Women’s Convention, several resolutions were passed of which we were unaware. These are similar to the resolutions to hold Dana Day (1965 convention) and Eshinni nikko Service (1978 convention). We have been asked about what we do for Special Care Day, Peace Efforts and Kakushinni Day. Discussion can be held at our mid-year meeting, which is usually scheduled for August or September.

Food Fair, May 28th. Monetary proceeds were similar to last year’s despite cash sales being significantly different. For example, cash sales of teriyaki chicken combo were more than double this year, but cash sales of miscellaneous sushi were down by $925. The total proceeds to be shared with Bukkyokai is $5,124.62. In addition to Fujinkai’s 50%, we will retain the funds from Baiten and donations in lieu of baking.

Garage Sale, June 3. Profit of $467.44 (to be shared with the otera) was achieved. This includes table rentals and our four tables of “stuff”! Even though the earnings are small, we did well if you consider this activity to be one of recycling (good again for the environment) and also a reasonable and fun way of purchasing needed items.


DHARMA REPORT – Steveston Dharma Group

The Dharma group is planning a trip to Seattle to see a Mariner’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays on August 28th. It will be an overnight trip. For those who wish to join us, please let us know. You will have to prepay for the tickets and let us know regarding what you need for accomodaitons.

We hope you will have a wonderful and safe summer.


Flowers for the Nokotsudo Memorial Garden welcome.


July 2006 Newsletter (Nihon-go)

MS Word Version: July 2006 Newsletter

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