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Opening Remarks

Legislative Assembly (Giseikai) 2019

February 8-9, 2019

Opening remarks at Legislative Assembly from Bishop Eric Matsumoto
Bishop Matsumoto, opening remarks to Leg
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Opening remarks at Legislative Assembly from President Pieper Toyama
Presidents Report 2019 Legislative Assem
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Headquarters Updates, 2019

Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii, Headquarters update, April 2019
2019-04 Honpa Hongwanji HQ Update.pdf
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Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii, Headquarters update, March 2019
2019-03 Honpa Hongwanji HQ Update.pdf
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Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii, Headquarters update, February 2019
2019-02 Honpa Hongwanji HQ Update.pdf
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Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii, Headquarters update, January 2019
New Year's Messages from
Gomonshu Ohtani
Bishop Matsumoto
Pieper Toyama
2018-12 Honpa Hongwanji HQ Update.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 750.9 KB

Messages from Bishop Eric Matsumoto

A Humble Reflection

(following the shootings at the Pittsburgh Synagogue

October 2018)

From the Office of the Bishop

Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, Office of the Bishop, would like to express our loving thoughts and condolences to those who are, directly and indirectly, most affected by the tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania which took 11 precious lives. At this time, let us avail ourselves to All-Inclusive Wisdom and All-Embracing Compassion for guidance and comfort.


In the Smaller Sukhavativyuha Sutra, it mentions the Chaotic period of the Five Defilements in which tainted views, rejection of moral laws and the Law of cause-conditions-and-effect and an increase in anger, greed and ignorance arise, to name a few. Once again, we are made to painfully acknowledge that we live in a world in which confusion and chaos abounds and immense suffering prevails as we must confront the tragedy which struck on October 27, 2018. As we deal with the shock, loss and grief, may we seek guidance in the Wisdom of Enlightenment so that we may all understand the oneness of all Life and may we seek assurance in Unconditional Compassion so that we are motivated to non-violent ways and inspired by the saying from the Dhammapada “Hatred is not overcome by hatred. Hatred is overcome by love. This is an ancient truth.”

On November 1, 2018, a special “Prayers for Pittsburgh” was held at Temple Emanu-El Honolulu to which a very diverse cross section of the community gathered to express sympathy and also show support for the Jewish Community. It was a service to honor those who were killed and also a time to comfort to those most affected according the Rabbi Ken Aronowitz. At the Service, prayers to the Divine were offered, the 11 individuals were dearly remembered and a touching Muslim response was also shared. Amidst the sorrow and sadness, there was also encouragement on how to transition from the grief and loss. As part of the Service, “When I Die” by Merrit Malloy was read. In part, it reads “When I die give what’s left of me away…And when you need me, put your arms around anyone and give them what you need to give me…Love doesn’t die, people do. So when all that’s left of me is love, Give me away.” I was most touched by it. This reading tries to transform the tragic loss of life and its affect into something which helps to positively transform other people’s lives.

A constant theme throughout the evening was hope. That, one day, there would be peace, harmony and contentment for all people. Despite the challenges we face living in samsara we must not give up. Just as Great Compassion or Love has not given up on us, we must have hope. The source of our hope is Wisdom and Compassion and our endeavor towards a more peaceful and harmonious world is our grateful response to that All-Inclusive Wisdom and All-Embracing Compassion.
Namo Amida Butsu/Entrusting in the Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Infinite Light.

In gassho,
Eric Matsumoto, Bishop














From the Office of the Bishop,
Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii

Statement Against the Separation of Families

June 20, 2018


“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

In just a few words, the above, which is found on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, summarizes for many around the world, past, present and future, what America represents, promises, is and should be. As human beings, as people, we all need hope. As a nation, are we going back on our promise to the world? I hope not.

From a Buddhist perspective, both the process and end result are important. The procedure of how matters are handled is as important as the outcome. While the current policies of our nation do not outright deny individuals and families entry into the United States, the procedure must be more compassionate and should not be tearing families apart. The bond between parent(s) and child(ren) is one of the most, if not the most, precious relationships a person can have especially when young. The policy of Zero Tolerance is too extreme. As Americans, I believe, we have pride in that we are a just and fair nation. We may not be perfect, but in our interactions around the globe, we have tried to uphold this standard which is becoming of a world leader.

Our Jodo Shinshu Buddhist tradition has a long history of valuing human life, seeing the importance of relationships including with the natural environment and emphasizing inclusiveness as evidenced by the Great Vows of Amida (Amitabha-Amitayus) Buddha and writings of Shinran Shonin and Rennyo Shonin, our foremost spiritual leaders.

Although the circumstances may have been a little different, I also draw from the past experiences of a segment of our Buddhist membership who, because of their (Japanese) ethnic and national origins, had to unfairly experience separation from family during the last great world war. There was, and for some still remain, so much pain and trauma from the separation. It is a circumstance that should not be repeated for anyone. Is it not one of our basic understandings in America that the family is the backbone of our nation? We need strong individuals and families being guided by universal values to be a better nation and world.

A quote from the Metta Sutra reads, “May all life be happy. May they be joyous and live in safety. All life, whether weak or strong, in high or middle or low realms of existence, small or great, visible or invisible, near or far, born or to be born. May all life be happy. Let none deceive another nor despise any life in any state; Let none by anger or hatred wish harm to another. Even as a mother at the risk of her life watches over and protects her only child, so with a boundless mind should one cherish all life, suffusing love over the entire world, above, below, and all around without limit; so let us cultivate an infinite goodwill toward the whole world.”

As such, with this statement, I express my lament and express my ardent wish that we rescind the Zero Tolerance Policy and its ramifications which result in separating families. May we become a more just, fair and compassionate nation.


Eric Matsumoto, Bishop
Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii



Photo by US Government (U.S. Customs and Border Control) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. source »


Statement on Gun Violence, 3-14-2018
Following the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School
HHMH Statement on Gun Violence_03-14-201
Adobe Acrobat Document 312.4 KB
HHMH Statement on Executive Order on Refugees and Immigrants
From February 2017
HHMH Statement on Executive Order on Ref
Adobe Acrobat Document 179.7 KB
A Humble Request for a Moment of Reflection
August 2016
A humble request for a moment of Reflect
Adobe Acrobat Document 182.5 KB
Buddhist Perspective on Homelessness
October 2016
Buddhist Perspective on Homelessness.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 360.4 KB
Let Us Consider (following the election of 2016)
Let us “Mutually reflect, respect and interact.”
December 2016
Let us consider, December 2016.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 100.2 KB

Headquarters Updates, 2018

Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii, Headquarters update, December 2018
2018-12 Honpa Hongwanji HQ Update.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 750.9 KB
Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii, Headquarters update, November 2018
2018-11 Honpa Hongwanji HQ Update[9909].
Adobe Acrobat Document 713.4 KB
Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii, Headquarters update, August 2018
2018-08 Honpa Hongwanji HQ Update.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 593.9 KB
Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii, Headquarters update, July 2018
2018-07 Honpa Hongwanji HQ Update.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 833.8 KB
Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii, Headquarters update, June 2018
June Headquarters update.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 894.0 KB
Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii, Headquarters update, May 2018
2018-05 Honpa Hongwanji HQ Update.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 617.0 KB
Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii, Headquarters update, March 2018
2018-03 Honpa Hongwanji HQ Update.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 580.8 KB
Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii, Headquarters update, February 2018
2018-02 Headquarters Update.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 752.2 KB
Green Initiaitve Resolution recently passed by Honpa Hongwanji
Interdependence, compassion and wisdom; guidance shared with the world by the Buddha. With these concepts in mind, the recent Legislative Assembly of the Honpa Hongwanji passed a resolution entitled Green Hongwanji Initiative. The purpose of the Green Hongwanji Initiative is to educate, set goals and develop an action plan to help temples and members live in ecological harmony within our communities, State and planet. In an effort to be more ecological and to help all of us remember to “Go Green” please look at the following ideas and help to include them in your home, in our temple and in your place of business. If we all do one small thing consistently, we can indeed make a difference in the world and leave the world better than we found it. Through the Green Hongwanji Initiative, we hope to help do the following:
• Eliminate toxic substances
• Use resources sustainably
• Create green homes & buildings
• Teach environmental literacy and stewardship
Green Initiative Resolution.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 88.8 KB