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Members Remember — by Hiroko (Wauke) Shimabukuro

The following remembrance by Hiroko (Wauke) Shimabukuro appeared in a booklet created in 2008 for the 70th anniversary of Jikoen Hongwanji.

Rev. and Mrs. Yamasato with two children
Rev. Jikai Yamasato and family

Before the temple on Houghtailing Street was built, we had our services in the Gushikawa Club House that was built on our leased land on Kam IV Road. Services were conducted by Rev. Jikai Yamasato who was in his early 20’s at that time. He was assisted by Miss Goya who lived on School Street near Fort Street. Her father ran a barber shop there. Also Miss Okimoto from Manoa.

We had a pretty large group of mostly teenage girls. We formed a club called the Wakagusa Club. We even had a club song. After the new temple was built, most of the people stopped going because it was too far to walk. I kept going with a few of the kids. I stayed with Rev. Chiro Yosemori until the war started. That was the end of my church going days.

My father, Jiro Wauke, was the original founder of the new temple. He took Rev. Yosemori nightly to get donations to start the temple. Many a night they would go out soliciting, and then come home to our house for a late dinner. Sadly our father passed away in 1949 at age 60. He never got to see the beautiful temple we have now.