Buddhist Sangha Enlightening West Oahu For 11 Years

Alana Folen
Wednesday - April 14, 2010
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The Rev. Bert M. Sumikawa leads service for Kapolei Buddhist Sangha members every Sunday in space at American Renaissance Academy. Photo from Tamie Richardson.

After a brief relocation to Ewa in 2001, the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii’s Kapolei Buddhist Sangha temple has returned to its roots in Kapolei, with Bert M. Sumikawa serving as reverend.

“We wanted to be closer to the Kapolei area,” Sumikawa explained of the move back in 2008. “We were using the facilities at Ewa Hongwanji, sharing the temple for activities.

“Finally, after much searching, we were fortunate to be able to rent space at American Renaissance Academy.”

The sangha was first established by Rev. Henry Tanaka in 1999 as a way for those interested in Buddha Dharma to practice and become more familiar with it.


“We usually start with homages to the Buddha,” Sumikawa said,“followed by singing of a gatha (Buddhist hymn), offering of incense by the congregation, a brief meditation, a sermon by the minister or a Dharma talk by guest ministers or a lay person, then another gatha, a closing aspiration. Members that come are more than willing to ‘walk’you through each step of the way.”

All services are conducted following Hongwanji guidelines and, according to Sumikawa, his temple’s sect - the Jodo Shinshu, or Pure Land sect - is but one of many different Buddhist sects in Hawaii.

“The Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii is the main temple in Hawaii, and we are the fledgling group and affiliate of the main temple,” he explained,

“Until we can grow large enough to become a mission, we have to remain as a sang-ha.”

Services are held at 9:30 a.m. every Sunday at the American Renaissance Academy in Kalaeloa, with a social hour to follow. A children’s Dharma class also is held every other Sunday.

For more information, call 221-9661 or 342-0992, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or visit the Web site at http://www.kapoleibuddhistsangha.com.


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