Message from Bishop Eric Matsumoto:
On behalf of the entire Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii especially Headquarters and specifically the Offices of the Bishop and President, I would like to wholeheartedly thank you for your earnest planning, effort and reception of His Eminence Gomonshu Kojun Ohtani on his first Official Visit to Hawaii Kyodan as Gomonshu. I received word that they have safely returned to Japan.
Unfortunately, the Official Entourage was not able to visit all temples throughout the State during their short visit, but it was heart-warming to see so many of you at the temples and sites including lunches and dinners that His Eminence did visit and attend. Aloha and Mahalo to you. Please extend my gratitude and appreciation to others who will not directly receive this thank you.
As your Bishop, and I am sure I can speak for our President Pieper Toyama as well, it was an honor to travel with His Eminence as he visited the Big Island, Maui, Oahu-Honolulu and Kauai. I hope we represented you well and adequately served as hosts and guides. As I traveled I sensed a new energy and direction and am filled with optimism. I hope you feel it too.
Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the HQ Staff including my wife and especially Executive Assistant to the Bishop Rev. T. Umitani for his untiring effort and endeavors including numerous communications with Honzan without which the Visit would not have come to fruition.
Finally, once again, a sincere thank you to all of you in the Districts, Temples, Affiliated Organizations like the Ministers Associations, State Lay Associations, PBA, and BWA to name a few, and also community organizations for warmly receiving His Eminence. It could only happen because we (ministers and lay) worked together as a sangha in harmony. Thank you for responding in gratitude. Mahalo nui loa!
Eric Matsumoto, Bishop
September 18, 2017
We were so fortunate to have Gomonshu Kojun Ohtani visit Kauai on September 11. We were able to greet him before the special ceremony in the temple and listen to his commemorative reading.
Following the ceremony a special dinner in the LHM Social Hall provided entertainment, wonderful food and another opportunity to see and interact with Gomonshu Ohtani. Entertainment was provided by the ukulele players from all three Hongwanji temples, with audience participation in singing two special songs. We were also treated to two dances performed by The Men of the Koi Dynasty group, followed by everyone dancing in a ring to “Tanko Bushi.” Bishop Matsumoto, Gomonshu Ohtani and his entourage, along with Pieper Toyama, all participated in the joyful dancing.
This evening will be a warm memory in our hearts for many years. We were so privileged and honored to be able to share this special time with Gomonshu Ohtani. Thank you to all who helped to plan and prepare for this occasion.
Visit by Gomonshu Kojun Ohtani
Celebration and dinner at Lihue Hongwanji
September 11, 2017