There is no priest living at San Francisco Nichiren-ji temple, but every year priests arrive from Myoju-ji in Setagaya, Tokyo in spring, summer and fall for important Buddhist seasonal celebrations in service for the faithful. This time Abbot Miyoshi’s wife and Rev. Sonoda – both from Myoju-ji – visited the temple in early April, which coincided with Hanamatsuri (Buddha’s birthday).
As we are renting the tea room from the temple and Myoju-ji has been kind to us, we invited them for tea to show our gratitude. Mrs. N, a friend of theirs who teaches tea in Tokyo, and another tea teacher, were also guests for the tea.
Myoju-ji originally started as Myokan-ji in 1631, almost 400 years ago. It is a well-established Hokke sect temple with long and rich history. Before, during and after the war, Archbishop Nitten Ishida, who established San Francisco Nichiren-ji temple, had deep ties with Myoju-ji. (Abbot Miyoshi’s father was a brother of Archbishop Ishida’s. Abbot Miyoshi is a nephew of Archbishop Ishida’s.) For historical details of Myoji-ji, please see here. (Japanese only)
Bamboo vase from a bamboo harvested at Myoju-ji