Soto Mission of Hawaii Hosts Ministers’ Children from Japan
Jodie Chiemi Ching
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald
Hawai‘i’s Japanese American community has come a long way since 1903 when Soto Zen priests first arrived in the Islands to provide spiritual support to the immigrants working under harsh conditions on the sugar plantations. When World War II broke out, the community again turned to their Soto Zen temple. In the more than a century since the first immigrants arrived, the Soto Mission of Hawaii has continued to support its members and the community.
“In order for the temple, even today, to survive, [it] needs to serve, not only the members, but also the community,” explained Bishop Shugen Komagata of the Soto Mission of Hawaii. “If the temple is not functional and beneficial for the community, then we don’t need the temple,” he continued.