The History of Koloa Jodo Mission
In January, 1910(43rd year of Meiji), Reverend Jitsujo Muroyama arrived on Kauai and evaluated several sites on the island, finally setting upon Koloa. In February he established a temporary place of worship in the rented second floor space in the Hongo Family home. This was the genesis of the Koloa Jodo Mission. On March 29 of the same year Rev. Muroyama observed the breaking of the grounds of the Koloa Jodo Mission temple, and on June 25 and 26 he celebrated the installation of the image of Buddha in the new temple. Rev. Muroyama organized the Fujinkai(women’s club), the Young Buddhists’ Association, and Sunday School, then left to establish a new temple on Oahu, the present Haleiwa Jodo Mission.
Subsequently, other resident ministers served at the Koloa Jodo Mission. Rev. Shozan Kato, the sixth resident minister, expanded the Fujinkai and established a Japanese language school. Rev. Shuzui Hino, the sixth resident minister, erected YBA hall and organized the Meisho YBA, and in August 1936, the temple was officially named Koloa Jodo Mission, solidifying the foundation of the mission of the temple.
On Dec.7, 1941, a the onset of the tragic World War II, the seventh resident minister, Rev. Myoshun Hayashi, and other Buddhist priests were arrested by the FBI and detained at the Wailua prison form where most of the ministers were sent to internment camps on the mainland United States. In spite of the unfortunate and trying turn of events, the ministers managed preserve the teachings of Buddha.
After the war, Rev. Hayashi welcomed then-Chief Abbot, the Most Venerable Rev. Shinko Kishi, and celebrated the Goju Soden ceremony, which is a ceremony for affirmation of our faith. Rev. Hayashi dedicated himself to nurturing an ever-expanding circle of the Nembutsu sangha(family).
Later came Rev. Kenjo Urakami, noted for his English translations of Buddhist texts, followed by Rev. Kodo Tanaka, who undertook a number of expansion projects such as the buildings of a new temple, social hall, and parsonage. The gala celebration of the completion of the new temple was observed on November 10, 1985. Rev. Tanaka celebrated another Goju Soden in 1987 before returning to Japan to minister at his home temple. Rev. Yubun Narashiba, (the 17th Bishop of the Hawaii Council of Jodo Missions), followed by Rev. Masatoki Hamada, and at present the Light of Dharma has been passed to Rev. Kosen Ishikawa, who arrived from Honolulu Jodo Shu Betsuin on Dec.1, 1999 as the thirteenth resident minister.