WALKING THE MIDDLE PATH: USC professor engages hapa identity via Buddhism

If there’s one person besides, perhaps, Naomi Osaka, who has reinvigorated the subject of mixed race in the Japanese diaspora, it’s Duncan Ryūken Williams. Born and raised in Tokyo by his Japanese mother and British father, Williams came to the United States to attend Reed College for his undergraduate work before going on to earn […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Obon traditions and celebrations in Maui, SF

In March 2009, the Rev. Ronald Kobata became minister of the Buddhist Church of San Francisco. Kobata said that it’s “quite an honor” to be a reverend at the first congregation of Buddhist Churches of America, founded in 1898, and to lead a congregation in his hometown — something he said that he never expected […]

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