"Some may recall that Wailuku Hongwanji’s original temple was located at the corner of Market and Wells Street. But did you know that during World War II the U.S. military constructed on the grounds next to the temple, a bomb shelter for the neighborhood residents?"

 

1980-2009

During the 1980’s the existing Gakuen classrooms and social hall building was renovated. Reverend Hiromi Kawaji became our twenty-fifth resident minister and he served from 1987 to 1995. Reverend Toyakazu Hagio became the twenty-sixth resident minister and he served from 1995 to 2002. During Reverend Hagio’s time, Wailuku Hongwanji observed its Centennial Commemoration Service. The Centennial projects included renovation of the temple and refurbishing of all altars. Reverend Toshio Murakami became the twenty-seventh resident minister and served from 2002 to 2004.

From 2004, the Reverend Shinkai Murakami became the twenty-eighth resident minister. In 2004, the Kyodan observed its 105th anniversary. Reverend Murakami reorganized the Japanese School curriculum and established the Japanese School Overseas Home-stay Program for Gakuen students. The Gakuen will be using computers for students to learn the Japanese language and have students communicate with the students in Japan. In 2005, the Wailuku Hongwanji Fujinkai Centennial Celebration was held with the acting Bishop Reverend Thomas Okano officiating with the assistance of Reverend Murakami and the Maui Hongwanji ministers. The Wailuku Hongwanji Fujinkai donated a huge electric organ to the Mission as their centennial gift.

On October 17th and 18th 2009, Wailuku Hongwanji observed its 110th Anniversary with Bishop Okano officiating, assisted by Reverend Murakami and the Maui ministers. Reverend Murakami applied to the Mayor of the County of Maui to have October 18, 2009 proclaimed as “Wailuku Hongwanji Day” in Maui. The Office of the Mayor accepted his request and October 18, 2009 was proclaimed at “Wailuku Hongwanji Day” on October 17th at the 110th Anniversary banquet. Additionally, a resolution was received from the Maui County Council in recognition of the Wailuku Hongwanji’s 110th Anniversary.

Separately, a number of projects were proposed by the 110th Anniversary Committee in celebration of the Mission’s anniversary. Some of the 110th Anniversary projects include: expanding the Nokotsu-do (240 extra niches), refurbishing the Nokotsu-do altar, building an elevator for the elderly people to assist in accessing the Nokotsu-do and church, installing a handicap ramp from the Nokotsu-do to the temple, replacing of kitchen floor area, repaving and striping entire court yard, refurbishing the existing restrooms for handicap access, 110th memorial Dharma lecture by Reverend Ronald Kobata of San Francisco Buddhist Church, as well as other projects. The Nokotsu-do expansion was a much anticipated project. The original Nokotsu-do was completed in the 1940’s and there was a need to provide additional niches for the Wailuku Hongwanji members and their families. In relation to the Nokotsu-do improvements and to provide easier access to the temple for church members, an elevator was added to the church building and a ramp was installed. These improvements were greatly appreciated by many of our members.

Additionally, the 110th Anniversary Committee planned a celebration which included the 110th memorial service and a banquet on Saturday, October 17th and a commemoration service and a Keirokai ceremony for temple members over 80 years old on Sunday, October 18th. Entertainment was provided by members of the Wailuku Hongwanji’s affiliate organizations such as the Gakuen, the Nursery School, choir and Judo.

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