The public is invited to participate in the annual Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin Spring Seminar Friday and Saturday, March 14-15, in Hilo. The featured speaker will be the Rev. Yoshihide Matsubayashi, former bishop of the Buddhist Churches of Canada.
Events include a public lecture Friday evening from 7 p.m. and a seminar on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Matsubayashi will also deliver a Dharma message at the Sunday services on March 16.
Matsubayashi was born in Ola‘a, now known as Keaau, in 1935, but was raised in Japan. He joined the U.S. Army in 1956 and was honorably discharged in 1958. His wife, Kyoko, is a sister of the late Rev. Thom Nakanishi, former Rimban at Hilo Betsuin and Bishop of Hawaii Kyodan. The Matsubayashis have three sons and six grandchildren.
After graduating from Ryukoku University in 1967, Matsubayashi went on to earn a Master of Arts Degree in Buddhist Studies from Kyoto University. He received a Ph.D. Ed. in Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco in 1984. He taught “Asian Religious Literature” at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, Calif., as well as at California State University at Sacramento. He has served in many capacities at many temples including Hawaii Betsuin, Kona Hongwanji, and Ewa Hongwanji.
In 1993, he was appointed bishop of the Buddhist Churches of Canada and served for five years. Thereafter, he served at White River Buddhist Temple in Washington, at the Buddhist Temple of Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula Buddhist Temple in California. In 2006, he became rimban of the Seattle Betsuin, from which he retired, and became minister emeritus of the Buddhist Churches of America. He came out of retirement briefly and served as retired kaikyoshi at the New York Buddhist Church.
He finally truly retired and is now living in Fremont, Calif. The public lecture on Friday evening is free. For the Saturday seminar, the cost is $8, to cover printing costs and lunch. Anyone wishing to attend the Saturday session must register at the temple office by March 10. Matsubayashi has recently published a book, “Light of the Dharma,” which traces the teachings of Buddha, touching on modern-day relevance and traditions. Everyone is welcome.