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From Houghtailing to the New Site

From Houghtailing to the New Site
A member story by Warren Higa

We needed to find a new location for Jikoen. There was a listing of a lease-land on School Street which was a location favored by most members and Rev. Yamasato, because of its convenience for commuting to the temple. At first the realtor resisted but through our persistence, he relented and gave us a very reasonable settlement.

The next task was to get the loan for the construction. At that time, no bank was willing to agree to a loan when Jikoen did not have any collateral and its land was leased. I then personally met with officials at Central Pacific Bank and with the approval of our board members, guaranteed the payment on our word. Each member personally signed a guarantee. The board members at that time were: Shinsuke Nakamine, Yasuo Gushi, Warren Higa, Yasuo Uezu, Matsuro Nakasone, Mankichi Shimabukuro (Mikiluna Poultry), Chokichi Ige, Gensuke Nakama, and Tokuichi Oshiro. The next task was to level the land. Mr. Shinyu Ige, husband of the late Mrs. Rachel Ige brought a bulldozer and leveled the ground. For the next couple of years, we held carnivals on this site. Then later, we moved to Kapalama School across the street and continued to hold carnivals for the next six-seven years. I remember Mr. Fred Ishikawa (Fred’s Produce) brought his refrigerated trailer filled with produce. We had the best produce sale year after year. I remember sleeping overnight on the carnival grounds to keep watch on the equipment, especially of EK Fernandez.

Finally, in 1964 the new temple construction began.