- Written by: Rev. Ryoko Osa
Statement of opposition to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Bishop Wataru Kigoshi
Chief Administrator, Shinshū Ōtani-ha
March 1, 2022
We, the Shinshū Ōtani-ha, hereby express our opposition to any use of armed force, such as what we have seen in the military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. At the same time, we sincerely wish this conflict ends and that peace returns, especially for the innocent victims who have been plunged into the depths of fear and sorrow.
Our organization has a negative history of blindly following the policy of the Japanese government during World War II, voluntarily cooperating with the war by pushing many people to the battlefields. We, as Buddhists who have sincerely repented the mistakes we made in wartime, officially adopted in 1995 a “No-more-war Resolution.” Through this resolution, we made a pledge “to disavow all acts of military aggression” and “to work together with all peoples toward realizing a happy and peaceful international community that no longer permits war, transcending all ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and religious differences.”
In our world today, many people in different countries and regions also have suffered from military conflicts and oppression, such as the people in Myanmar. Now, we once again strongly state our opposition to all acts of military aggression and express our dearest hope we can achieve world peace as soon as possible.
- Written by: Rev. Ryoko Osa
HIGASHI HONGANJI NORTH AMERICA DISTRICT GREETINGS
Best wishes for a very Happy New Year. I hope that 2022 will be a wonderful year for all of you and your families. On behalf of our staff, Revs. Ryoko Osa, Tomoyuki Hasegawa, and Kensho Goto, I thank you for your heartfelt support and guidance during the previous year.
Around this time last year, the covid-19 vaccines were becoming available and most of us were thinking that by the time most Americans were vaccinated, we would be able to return to a more normal lifestyle. However, by summer, we were faced with the delta variant, and like 2020, last year was another challenging year for all of us. Even though we haven’t been able to gather together in person for a long time, we have been able to maintain many of our programs by relying on available technology.
We had a seminar with Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto as our speaker in April, we hosted the MayWeGather memorial service at the Betsuin on May 4, a seminar with speaker Dr. Aaron Profitt in June, Dharma Seeds retreats in March and in October, and began the lecture series on Introduction to Modern Shin Teachers with Rev. Patti Nakai as speaker that began in October and will go on for 7 more sessions this year. Nearly 50 members of our temples have been joining in on a popular topic. We were also invited to participate in a SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals) and Buddhism session in December.
The Shinshu Center of America headquartered at our office at the L.A. Betsuin entity continues to publish books as well as to plan study opportunities as well. Please take a look at the books that are available (https://shinshucenteramerica.org).
The efforts of our North America District, Shinshu Center of America, and of our temples depend on the encouragement we receive from all of you. We thank you for continued support and hope that we will be able to physically gather together soon to deepen our understanding of the teaching of the nenbutsu.
In the Spring of 2023, the 800th Celebration of the Birthday of Shinran Shōnin and the 800th Anniversary of the Establishment of Jōdo Shinshū will take place at our mother temple in Kyoto with the theme, “Namu Amida Butsu – To Discover the Meaning of Being Born as Human Beings.” We will eventually have own district celebration some time after that.
Thank you for your continued support of our district. Stay safe and healthy. Best wishes for a wonderful 2022.