Temple 50th Year at Current Site
On November 11, 1969, the dedication service of the newly constructed temple was officiated by the late Abbott (Monshu) Kosho Ohtani. The temple was built at its new location, as the redevelopment of Little Tokyo by the City of Los Angeles would affect the existence of the temple at its Central Avenue location, which is now a part of the Japanese American National Museum. In 2019, the Nishi Betsuin will be commemorating the 50th year anniversary of the temple at its current location.
Since 1969, the temple has been serving its members and the community at this new location with weekly Sunday dharma services, special services, weekly Buddhist study classes, memorial services, weddings, funerals, Obon festivals, Kohaku Utagassen, temple affiliated organization meetings, weekly temple youth programs (Jr YBA, Sr YBA, Sangha Teens, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts), temple sports programs (judo, basketball), cultural classes, and community meetings and events. It is evident that the Betsuin has been an active and busy temple for 45 continuous years at its current location.
The vibrancy of this temple has been made possible due to the dedication of current and past ministers, its leaders and members. Having an active bustling temple keeps it alive, but, after 45 years, it has taken a toll on the temple
From a distance, the onaijin (altar area) looks beautiful with no blemishes. Upon closer look, however, deterioration and damages can be seen in many parts of the onaijin. Further damage will take place unless repairs are made. Damage and disrepair can be found throughout the temple facilites (roof, gates, porch, etc.) For the 50th Year Commemoration, a Central Committee was form to plan this celebration, which includes the Commemoration Service, various Buddhist Education programs, and the Commemoration projects. This 50th Year Commemoration projects include the refurbishment of the onaijin and other parts of the temple structure. Mr. Shoichi Sayano is the Chairman of the Commemoration Projects Committee and will oversee the refurbishments and repairs. The onaijin will be refurbished by the Wakabayashi Butsugu Mfg Company of Kyoto, who originally built this onaijin. It will be shipped to Kyoto to be expertly and properly refurbished.
In order to be able to do the necessary repairs and refurbishments will require funds. At the 2013 temple General Membership meeting (Sokai), it was approved to have a 50th Commemoration Fundraising Campaign to raise $2.5 million. The Central Committee formed the Fundraising Committee with Mr. Gary Kawaguchi as its chairperson. The Fundraising Campaign has begun and we sincerely ask for your understanding and participation in this fundraising for the 50th Year Commemoration. Please reflect upon the legacy and contributions of our Issei pioneers and past members, and be encouraged to continue this legacy by preserving the temple so that it can continue to serve its members and community, and the teachings of Shinran Shonin can continue to be shared with our future generations.