Rev. Bert Sumikawa

Sunday Family Service & First Sunday Activity

Today was our first Sunday service after our summer break in August. Our Dharma Talk was given by our resident minister, Rev. Bert Sumikawa. Rev. Sumikawa spoke about importance of perseverance as well as dukkah, commonly translated as suffering.

As announced in the September newsletter, our monthly First Sunday family activity is back by popular demand. Following this morning’s service, we folded large origami cranes for International Peace Day, which we will observe on September 22, 2019. The cranes will be distributed by our Dharma school students to neighborhood businesses in hopes they will display them as part of International Peace Day.

First Sunday Activity: Peace Day Origami Cranes

Obon & Hatsubon Service

We held our annual Obon and Hatsubon service to remember those who came before us. The Hatsubon service marks the first Obon Service for those who passed away in the last year. Obon and Hatsubon families were called up to offer incense while Rev. Sumikawa chanted a sutra. After the offering, Rev. Sumikawa gave a special Obon Dharma Talk, which can be viewed below.

Our July birthdays

Our July birthdays

Sunday Family Service & Remembrance Day

Today’s Dharma Talk was given by Rev. Bert Sumikawa. Rev. Sumikawa shared various ways superstition enters our lives and the difference between it and the true nature of cause-and-effect. For example, in Japan, a male’s 42nd birthday is considered unlucky because the numbers (“4” and “2”) translate into “shi” and “ni,” or death. A yakudoshi party is thrown before the male’s 41st birthday to ward off bad luck. Another example, in the U.S., the number 13 is considered unlucky, so much so that many hotels skip the 13th floor and go from 12 to 14 instead.

We also held our monthly Remembrance Day, where families remembered and offered incense for family, friends, pets, and others who passed away in the month of June.

Sunday Family Service

Today’s Dharma Talk was given by Rev. Bert Sumikawa. Rev. Sumikawa described two types of Buddhism. The first one is based on learning the concepts and theories of Buddhism. It’s around studying the teachings objectively. With the second one, Buddhism is about experiencing the teachings subjectively. One’s self is challenged and negated. This is what Shin Buddhists refer to as shinjin.

To put it another way, the first type is like becoming an expert on food by collecting a library of recipes, while the second is about actually preparing those dishes and tasting them.

We celebrated our June birthdays today. Happy birthday Cynthia and Ron!

Sunday Family Service

For today’s family service, Rev. Sumikawa started by sharing a story, Can I Play Too? by Mo Williams. As today was Mother’s Day, Rev. Sumikawa’s Dharma Talk was about mothers and their unconditional love.

The Dharma School students made flower arrangements using mini vases donated by Irene Nakamoto. After the service, every mother and grandmother were given an arrangement. We also celebrated May birthdays with cupcakes.

Earth Day & Remembrance Day Service


Today was our Earth Day service, with a Dharma Talk by Rev. Bert Sumikawa. Earlier in the morning, before service, the Dharma School held a beach cleanup activity at Kailua Beach.  

Sunday Family Service & Remembrance Day

Rev. Bert Sumikawa gave today’s Dharma Talk at our Sunday Family Service. Today was also our Remembrance Day service for March, which is held on the fourth Sunday of the month. Remembrance Day is an opportunity to remember family, friends, and even pets who’ve gone before us.

As a reminder, no service will be held at Windward Buddhist Temple on Sunday, March 31 and April 7, 2019. On March 31, please join us at the Hawaii Betsuin’s Taste of Hongwanji & Spring Bazaar. We will be selling our famous takuan, mochi cupcakes, and bitter melon namasu.

Sunday Family Service & Remembrance Day

Wrapping up the month in which we remember Martin Luther King, Jr. and we observe Hoonko, Shinran Shonin’s memorial, Rev. Sumikawa shared the 7 masters of Jodo Shinshu. Today was also our Remembrance Day, in which we remembered family and friends who passed before us in the month of January.

Sunday Family Service

Rev. Sumikawa welcomed the new year in our first family service in 2019. It is the year of the pig, the twelfth of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac cycle. It is a year to reflect on the previous 11 years and period of joy and relaxation. He also shared Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii’s theme for 2019, “Embrace Change: Transformation (Walk in Peace).”

We celebrated January birthdays today. One member, Patsy, is celebrating her 95th birthday. Happy birthday!

After refreshments, which included ozoni, we held our monthly First Sunday activity. This month, we made botamochi (ohagi), a Japanese sweet made with glutinous rice, rice and sweet azuki paste.


Sunday Family Service & Remembrance Day

Today marked the second-to-the-last Sunday service in 2018. For today’s Dharma Talk, Rev. Sumikawa spoke about the Christmas holiday and how it’s a time to reflect on the interdependence of all living beings. It is a time to enjoy every family gathering and cherish the time together. We need to embrace each day with appreciation, as every gathering is a once in a lifetime moment, never to be repeated in exactly the same way again.

As today was the fourth Sunday of the month, we started the service with our monthly Remembrance Day. The names of those being remembered for the month of December were called and family members offered incense.

Group Ginger prepared today’s refreshments

Group Ginger prepared today’s refreshments