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Members Remember — Raymond Onishi

The following remembrance by Raymond Onishi appeared in a booklet created in 2008 for the 70th anniversary of Jikoen Hongwanji.

Rev. Chiro Yosemori
Rev. Chiro Yosemori

Sixty-seven years ago, I entered the world behind the Jikoen Temple that was located at that time on Houghtailing Street. One of the founding ministers, Chiro Yosemori, the father of the former Bishop Chikai Yosemori, gave me my middle name. This was the beginning of the relationship with the Hongwanji family and specifically Jikoen. If I remember correctly, the Rev. Jikai Yamasato was the only minister of the temple during the existence of the Houghtailing location.

Many of the early remembrances of Jikoen were mainly tied to the Sunday school where I was a captive student. The daughters of the Miyasato family were my Sunday school teachers and I must have had a perfect attendance record for if I did not show up for services they would come and get me.

I attended Sunday School and participated in the service by offering flowers and incense. I even remember playing baseball for Jikoen in the Sunday School league of the Honolulu district. It was a mixed league and some of the girls were better than the boys. This was where I first learned about Amida Buddha and Sakyamuni Buddha and the Jodo Shinshu sect which served me well during my life.

The eventual relocation of Jikoen to its current location ended my childhood connection with Jikoen until I became a Dharma school teacher at Hawaii Betsuin and met many of my old and new friends from Jikoen.