Throughout the 2,500 years of its history, Buddhism has evolved over the years to meet the spiritual needs of the people. Our Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple is an affiliate of one of the oldest and largest denominations in Japan, the Shinshu Otani-ha with approximately 10,000 temples and 10,000,000 members. It espouses the teachings of Jodo Shinshu (also known as Shin Buddhism, a form of Pure Land Buddhism).

web betsuin 1983     

     It was in 1885 when the first government contract Japanese immigrants were transported to Hawaii.  By 1908 approximately 68,000 immigrants had come to live in Hawaii.  The facts about the labor contract and living conditions in Hawaii were little known to the people in Japan who were planning to come abroad.  Many adverse conditions were in line for these immigrants as they settled in Hawaii:  






The Higashi Hongwanji temples were built by vows of those who dedicated their lives to the Teaching of Nembutsu (Namu Amida Butsu).



1899:  Responding to requests of the Issei, Rev. Kenryu Yamada arrived on Kauai and started sharing the teaching of Nembutsu.  His successor, Rev. Sueto Sato from Kumamoto, Japan, realized the necessity of building a temple.  With the assistance of lay members, Waimea Higashi Hongwanji (WHH) was build in Waimea, Kauai.  


1911:  Rev. Sueto Sato returned to Japan, and Rev. Hoden Mashima from Kumamoto, Japan, arrived and ministered for the next 17 years.  


1916:  Through the efforts of Rev. Shingo Doi, a temporary temple was established at Kukui Street, on Oahu.  Six months later, the temple was relocated to a new house built between Smith and Maunakea Streets.  The foundation of the Hawaii Betsuin was established with the dedication ceremony of the Honzan (Amida Buddha statue) at this location.


Higashi Honganji USA Headquarters of Hawaii


1685 Alaneo Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817 U.S.A.

Phone/Fax: 1-808-531-1231