The following remembrance by Mazie Sato Sakoda of Honolulu appeared in a booklet created in 2008 for the 70th anniversary of Jikoen Hongwanji.
My neighborhood playmates and I, a total of about eight children, ages eight years to thirteen, walked every Sunday to Jikoen Temple on Houghtaling Street. It took us fifteen to twenty minutes one way. Jikoen was the only temple open during the war. Our Kalihi Temple was closed.
Jikoen was on the second floor of a two-story building. There were many steps to climb. I remember, too, many sotetsu plants growing on both sides of the steps. The sotetsu has leaves that are like spikes. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful plant that made the temple grounds special and the approach to the temple unique.
After the end of the war, Rev. Jikai Yamasato returned. Dr. Albert Miyasato was a young man then, also returned from Japan. In Rev. Yamasato’s absence, Albert led the Vandana Ti Sarana. Although it was a small branch temple, we learned the same songs and lessons that were taught at the main Honpa Hongwanji Betsuin on Fort Street, now Pali Highway. The leadership of the Yamasato and Miyasato families at the Houghtailing temple will never be forgotten.