Guest Speaker: Rev. Thomas Okano
M.C.: Annette Tashiro
Reverend Thomas Okano, Hoonko Guest Speaker
Reverend Thomas Okano was the first son of Rev. & Mrs. Ryoshin Okano of Pearl City Hongwanji. During WWII, his family spent time in the Crystal City, Texas internment camp.
After graduating from Waipahu High School, and attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he obtained degrees in Sociology and Japanese. He then went to Kyoto and graduated from Ryukoku University with a Master’s degree in Shin Buddhism and three years later obtained a Ph.D. In 1967 he completed Fukuoshi course at Dendo-in.
Reverend Okano returned to Hawaii and served as resident minister of the following
temples: Moiliili Hongwanji, Lihue Hongwanji and Wahiawa Hongwanji before becoming Rimban (Head Minister) at Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin in 1990. Ten years later, he served as the Director of the Buddhist Study Center in Honolulu. In May 2007, Reverend Okano became the 15th Bishop of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii. He retired in 2011 after 43 years of service to the Honpa Hongwanji Missions of Hawaii. Since 2012, he’s volunteered his services to the Buddhist Study Center as their shakuhachi (bamboo flute) teacher.
Reverend Okano and his wife Michiko have a daughter and two sons and four granddaughters