Bishop Eric Matsumoto paid tribute to Queen Liliʻuokalani at memorial service at Hilo Betsuin on October 30, 2016. The Queen died on November 11, 1917; in the Hongwanji tradition, the memorial is being held a calendar year ahead.
Following an opening reflection and aspiration that all life be happy, the Bishop begins,
To our Honored Guests, Community Friends, and Members of the Hongwanji Sangha,
Aloha and E Komo Mai! Greetings, welcome and thank you for your presence here today!
As the 16th Bishop of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, it is with a heart full of gratitude and admiration that I express my deepest respect for Her Majesty, Queen Lili’uokalani at this very special 100th Memorial Service in her honor. It was 115 years ago, during the time of our 2nd Bishop, Bishop Yemyo Imamura in 1901, that Her Majesty graced the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii with her presence at one of our annual major services, a birthday service in honor of our Sectarian Founder Shinran Shonin, along with Mrs. Mary Mikahala Foster at the Fort Lane Temple in Honolulu.
Perhaps it is hard for us, today, to grasp the significance of her visit and what it meant to the Buddhist community at the time. It was a challenging time for Buddhists when Buddhism was not yet fully accepted in the Islands…