POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, May 14, 2011
The Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii presented a check for $45,000 to the Japan America Society of Hawaii Tuesday to support relief efforts by the Japanese Red Cross Society following the earthquake and tsunami in March.
"Members of our sangha (congregation) have truly opened their hearts to the people of Japan in this time of crisis," said Blayne Higa, chairman of the Hongwanji's Committee on Social Concerns.
As of Wednesday the temple collected $151,869 in its disaster fund drive, which will continue until the end of August, he said.
Bishop Eric Matsumoto will present a $45,000 check to the Nishi Hongwanji, the mother temple in Kyoto, this weekend. He is leading a Hawaii delegation there to attend 750th memorial commemoration events for Shinran Shonin, founder of Shin Buddhism.
Matsumoto said in a news release, "The people of Japan are also providing us (the rest of the world) with hope as to what is possible even in such extraordinary circumstances as we watch them so bravely, calmly and respectfully face the losses and difficulties and move forward to rebuild."
The hongwanji, at 1727 Pali Highway, is the largest Buddhist denomination in Hawaii. It celebrated its 120th anniversary in Hawaii in 2009, Higa said.