The Higashi Hongwanji temples were built by vows of those who dedicated their lives to the Teaching of Nembutsu (Namu Amida Butsu).



1899:  Responding to requests of the Issei, Rev. Kenryu Yamada arrived on Kauai and started sharing the teaching of Nembutsu.  His successor, Rev. Sueto Sato from Kumamoto, Japan, realized the necessity of building a temple.  With the assistance of lay members, Waimea Higashi Hongwanji (WHH) was build in Waimea, Kauai.  


1911:  Rev. Sueto Sato returned to Japan, and Rev. Hoden Mashima from Kumamoto, Japan, arrived and ministered for the next 17 years.  


1916:  Through the efforts of Rev. Shingo Doi, a temporary temple was established at Kukui Street, on Oahu.  Six months later, the temple was relocated to a new house built between Smith and Maunakea Streets.  The foundation of the Hawaii Betsuin was established with the dedication ceremony of the Honzan (Amida Buddha statue) at this location.

1919:  The Hawaii Betsuin was officially recognized as the Honolulu Fukyojo (Honolulu Mission) by the Honzan (the headquarters in Kyoto, Japan.)  Rev. Tenran Mori was appointed as the resident minister of the Honolulu Fukyojo.  


1920:  Rev. Houn Tamayose arrived in Honolulu; a year later the Moiliili Fukyojo (Moiliili Mission) was purchased on 2591 South King Street.


1922:  The Honolulu Fukyojo was recognized as the Hawaii Betsuin.  Rev. Kanki Izumihara became the first Rinban of Higashi Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii.


1924:  The Kaneohe Fukyojo was established and placed under the jurisdiction of the Hawaii Betsuin.  


1925:  Rev. Tenran Mori took up residency at Moiliili Fukyojo and changed the name to Moiliili Higashi Hongwanji.


1926:  Rev. Chiko Odate was assigned as resident minister of the Hawaii Betsuin.


1928:  Rev. Odate started serving as minister of the WHH.  Rev. Kankai Izuhara started a mission of Jodo Shinshu to a few members in Hilo (Hawaii Bukkyo Kaikan).


1929:  Rev. Kanryo Sekito was assigned as Rinban and Bishop, being the first to hold two positions concurrently.  The WHH and the minister's residence were finally built as its present location.  The Kaneohe Fukyojo was relocated to a portion of its present site on Kea'ahala road.


1932:  The Moiliili Higashi Hongwanji was relocated to Waialae Ave. due to University Avenue expansion.


1936:  Rev. Houn Tamayose moved to the Moilliili temple.


1938:  The Hawaii Betsuin was relocated to 1128 Banyan Street in August.


1939:  The Hawaii Betsuin's constriction was completed, and held its dedication celebration in October, 1939.


1941:  Pearl Harbor was attacked triggering the beginning of World War II.  All resident ministers from Japan were forcibly placed in concentration camps and all religious activities terminated until 1945.


1946:  After the war, Rev. Odate was assigned to Hilo Higashi Hongwanji (HHH).


1948:  Rev. Nobuo Matsumoto arrived from Berkeley Higashi Hongwanji to become the resident minister of the Hawaii Betsuin, being the first minister since the temple closed its doors in 1941.


1950:  Rev. Masamichi Yoshikami arrived and served the WHH for next 16 years.  Rev. Takeo Akegarasu succeeded Rev. Odate as minister.  


1952:  Rev. Matsumoto became the resident minister of the KHH, and Rev. Zuien Inoue was appointed Rinban of the Hawaii Betsuin.


1959:  The Moiliili Honganji Hongwanji purchased the present land area;  1962, the construction of a new temple was completed, and the temple name was changed to Palolo Higashi Hongwanji.  


1960:  A tunami from Chile demolished to Waiakea Town and the HHH.  Its members decided to rebuild a new temple at its present site, 216 Mohouli Street in Hilo. 


1962:  Rev. Shugen Inoue, son of Rev. Zuien Inoue, published the first English service book.


1963:  Rev. Hosen Fukuhara was assigned to the new temple of HHH;  The new temple's construction was completed in 1964.  


1964:  Construction of a new building for the KHH as its present site was completed.


1967:  Rev. Michio Kasuga was assigned to the WHH.


1971:  Rev. Hiroshi Suzuki was assigned to the WHH for next seven years, and transferred to Hilo Higashi Hongwanji.


1973:  The official name of the Palolo Higashi Hongwanji was changed to Palolo Hongwanji.  


1977:  The first Pan Pacific Higashi Hongwanji Dobo Convention was held with the theme, "Shinran, Here and Now" in Honolulu attended by delegates from Japan, Brazil and U.S.


1978:  Rev. Takumi Kitakata arrived in Waimea, Kauai, and served until 1985.  Rev. Horoshi Suzuki was assigned to HHH. 


1979:  A new (and current) location for the Hawaii Betsuin was decided during Bishop Hosen Fukuhara's tenure as Bishop-Rinban.  


1980:  Rev. Kiyomaru Mishima was appointed to the KHH


1983:  The Hawaii Betsuin Dedication Ceremony was held. Rev. Masanori Ogasawara was appointed to the KHH.


1986:  Rev. Hiroshi Kanamaru was assigned to the WHH.  Rev. Shigeru Tanoue was appointed to the KHH. 


1989:  The 4th Annual Pan Pacific Higashi Hongwanji Dobo Convention was held in Hawaii with the theme, "Nembutsu for a Global Era-Now is the Time."


1992:  The Otani Center was built at the Hawai Betsuin under Rinban Jyokan Nakano's tenure.  Rev. Noriaki Fujimori was assigned to the WHH.  Almost upon his arrival, Hurricane Iniki laid waste to the temple;  In 1996, thanks to the generous donations and hard work of members, the temple and minister's resident was totally rebuilt in 1996.  Rev. David Kohara went to Hilo to serve as temple minister, and Rev. Toshinori Kasahara succeeded Rev. Kobata. 


1993:  Rev. Ken Sugawara was appointed to the KHH.


1995:  Rev. Shoko Sakata initiated the first Hoshidan group of Hawaii members to attend the Hoonko services in Kyoto, Japan.


1996:  Rev. Yoshikazu Nakayama was assigned to HHH.


1997:  Rev. Fukashi Yasutake was appointed to the KHH. 


2000:  Rev. Gyoko Saito, recalled from retirement in Newport Beach, California, to become Rinban of the Hawaii Betsuin.  Rev. Kotaro Hayashi was assigned to HHH and served until 2012.  


2008:  10th World Dobo Gathering was held in Hawaii with the theme, "Now, Life is living you."


2016:  Shinran Shonin 750th Memorial Service and the Hawaii Betsuin Cenntenial Service will be held in November.  







Higashi Honganji USA Headquarters of Hawaii


1685 Alaneo Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817 U.S.A.

Phone/Fax: 1-808-531-1231