Guest Speaker: Rev. Alan Urasaki
M.C.: Gerry Ochikubo
Guest Speaker Rev. Alan Urasaki
Rev. Alan Urasaki is a “big island” boy, grew up in Hilo, and graduated Hilo High School in 1979, where he was active in band, recess, and school lunch. He attended Hilo Hongwanji and was a Jr. YBA member. While at UH Manoa, he was active in the Tri-Star College YBA, Moiliili Hongwanji, Buddhist Study Center, and was a founding committee member of the YESS Camp. He graduated with a B.A. in Communications.
Upon attaining a Masters in Educational Administration at UH, he decided to study for the
Jodo Shinshu ministry. He attended the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) in Berkeley,
California in 1989 as a Hongwanji Scholarship student. After receiving a Master of Jodo
Shinshu Studies degree from IBS, and following his ordination in Kyoto, he returned home
to be assigned to the Hawaii Betsuin, and later transferred to Aiea Hongwanji, where he served for 6 years.
After 11 years as a temple minister, Rev. Urasaki resigned in 2002 to accept a position with the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a chaplain. He currently is the Supervisory Chaplain at the Federal Detention Center across from the Honolulu airport. Rev. Urasaki was the first Buddhist chaplain in the Federal Prison system. (Rev. Reynold Fujikawa – from Kailua, joined the Bureau of Prisons, to be the second Buddhist Chaplain.)
Rev. Urasaki is a member of Jikoen temple, and substitutes for Rev. Nishiyama from time to time. As part of his service to the community, he served as the volunteer school chaplain at the Pacific Buddhist Academy from 2005 to 2009. He also served 11 years as a volunteer chaplain with the Honolulu Police Department, and currently volunteers with the State Sheriff’s Division, and the Honolulu Fire Department as a Chaplain.
Rev. Urasaki is married to Cheryl, an elementary school teacher, and has two children, Chase and Kylie, who attend UH. He enjoys, eating, watching Japanese TV shows on KIKU (NOT Korean dramas), and meeting friends on Facebook. He hopes to return to Hongwanji temple ministry when he retires from the prison in a few years.