Bishop Eric Matsumoto was a panelist at the 2016 Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival in a session entitled, “Japanese Buddhist Adaptations for the Future.” The session was one of seven offered at the Buddhism in Hawaii stage emceed by Dr. George Tanabe. Other sessions addressed Buddhist temples in Hawaii, meditation and mindfulness, socially engaged Buddhism, and more. Attendance was excellent.
At the outset of his remarks, Bishop Matsumoto argues that in order to endure and remain relevant, organizations must be willing to make significant changes at key junctures in their histories. “Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii is at just such a time,” he said. “Hence, we are looking at ourselves and trying to strike a balance between traditions from our past and new practices and customs which would resonate and be more appropriate for Hawaii and the West.”
We are pleased to present the full text of the Bishop’s remarks in a PDF file. In it you will find a summary of some of the changes and innovations already underway at Hongwanji Hawaii, including in music, education, and engagement with social concerns. You will also read the Bishop’s to exhortation to multicultural awareness and sensitivity, including through our temple environments. He says, “Buddhism’s emphasis on inclusiveness, equality and mutual respect and appreciation is what should characterize our temples.”