Lady Takeko Kujo, was founder of the Buddhist Women’s Association, who promoted women’s status and redefined women’s role at temple. Lady Kujo was born as the second daughter of the 21st Monshu of Hongwanji, Myonyo Shonin. She was a devout Nembutsu follower who not only was an avid listener of the Dharma but also took an active part in community service. Lady Kujo was instrumental in the construction of the Asoka Hospital, one of Japan’s first modern medical centers, after the Great Tokyo Earthquake in 1923. She was also founder of the Kyoto Joshi Gakuen (Kyoto Women’s Schools) and known for her poetry expressing her deep appreciation of the Nembutsu teaching. Lady Kujo passed away in 1928 at the age of 42. To honor her great contributions to the Hongwanji and also community, we hold Kisaragiki Memorial Service on February every year.
The World Federation of Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha BWA respectfully carried over the Dana (selfless giving) spirit of Lady Takeko Kujo and established the annual Dana Day in 1965 to be observed in February every year and practicing Dana by benefitting offertory collections to charitable and social welfare agencies. Our temple BWA members are currently joining in visitation to nursing and care home residents to practice Dana. Let us practice to put into action the caring mind and the compassion Lady Kujo has shown us to follow.
We are also observing BWA Late Members’ Memorial Service in conjunction with Lady Kujo’s Memorial. It is a time to remember and honor all those who have passed away before us and to recognize the continuation of the influence of their deeds upon our lives. Let us gather at temple the opportunity given by Lady Takeko Kujo and passed members of BWA for listening to their Dharma messages delivered by ministers.