LETTERS: Assistant minister in Nara Prefecture has roots in San Jose’s J-Town

Editor’s Note: The following comments were posted on www.nichibei.org in response to the article entitled “The process of becoming a better minister,” which was published in the Jan. 1 issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly. Sensei — What a pleasure to read about your ministry and all that you do for your village. I still […]

LETTERS: Bay Area native spreads Buddhism’s message

Editor’s Note: The following comment was posted on www.nichibei.org in response to the article entitled “The process of becoming a better minister,” which was published in the Jan. 1 issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly. Sensei Jeff, My how time flies! Its been over 2 yrs since we’ve communicated. It’s great 2 hear you’re now […]

FANTASTIC VOYAGE: The process of becoming a better minister

Happy New Year! It has been two years since I last wrote, and in that time I finished my Buddhist training and have become an assistant minister in my village. It’s pretty difficult because as I was told: Being a minister is not a job, it’s a lifestyle; there’s no clocking out. But it is […]

Zen living in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. — Aside from running the renown jazz club and Japanese restaurant Yoshi’s in Oakland, Calif., the club’s owners and former married couple Yoshie Akiba and Kaz Kajimura share a uniquely Japanese home in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland. The home, built in the early 1960s next to a great brick Catholic priory, features […]

Nobuko Miyamoto’s creations add to SoCal Bon Odori

LOS ANGELES — Nobuko Miyamoto, singer, dancer and songwriter, has left a significant imprint on the local Obon celebration scene: Several of her songs will be performed by dancers this summer at Bon Odori throughout Southern California. Miyamoto, who danced and acted in the Oscar-winning film “West Side Story” and such Broadway hits as “The […]

Contemporary Bon Odori standardized in SoCal

LOS ANGELES – Summertime is the season for tens of thousands of Nikkei in Southern California to celebrate Obon, a traditional Buddhist event to honor and express gratitude to one’s ancestors for the gift of life. “Obon is the most important festival in the year cycle, it’s remembering the dead,” said the Rev. Masao Kodani […]

Seminar traces roots of Buddhists’ support for LGBTQ rights

BERKELEY, Calif. — In the national dialogue surrounding gay rights, the question “What is the Christian view of homosexuality?” often arises. This can be attributed to that fact that the vast majority of Americans identify as Christian, (some 77 percent according to a Gallup poll). However, in the Japanese Americans community (according to the Pew […]

What Bon Odori is not

Bon Odori in America is Japanese American, not Japanese. Bon Odori is generally not observed at Jodoshinshu temples in Japan. Bon Odori is not “Ondo.” Ondo does not mean dance in the Japanese language, it means to “take the lead” in a cheer or toast, and is a form of music with a single singer […]

Jodo Shinshu Center to hold ‘Being Gay, Being Buddhist’ event

BERKELEY, Calif. — The Jodo Shinshu Center will host a half-day seminar entitled “Being Gay, Being Buddhist” Saturday, June 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Actor and social justice activist George Takei is slated to serve as the keynote speaker, pending his availability. The LGBTQ community and Shin Buddhism seminar will begin with registration […]

Southern California Obons and summer festivals

Valley Japanese Community Center’s Obon festival is on Saturday, June 22 (5-10 p.m.), and Sunday, June 23 (5-9 p.m.), at 8850 Lankershim Blvd., Sun Valley. Bon Odori begins at 7 p.m. Saturday and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. There will be food and entertainment (including the Matsutoyo Kai dance and musical group on Saturday, Los Angeles Matsuri […]

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