Eitaikyo Sangha Memorial Service, 120th Anniversary Service, Distinguished Sangha Service Award Recognition – Sunday, November 20, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. in-person and via Zoom

Please join us for our Puna Hongwanji Eitaikyo Sangha Memorial Service, Puna Hongwanji 120th Anniversary Service, and Recognition of our Puna Hongwanji Distinguished Sangha Service Award Recipients on Sunday, November 20, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.  Join us in-person (with a mask) or online via Zoom.  Reverend Satoshi Ka’imipono Tomioka will share the Dharma Message “Key”.  To receive the Zoom link, please email mpunahongwanji@twc.com.


Eitaikyo is a contraction of the more formal term, Ei-tai-dokkyo.  Ei means eternal.  Tai means generations.  Dokkyo means chanting of Sutra.  The meaning of Eitaikyo is to eternally chant the sutras for generations and generations to come so that we can listen to the teachings of Amida Buddha.  Eitaikyo is called Sangha Memorial Service. Key

Eitaikyo is a time to remember our past members who made contributions to our Puna Hongwanji.  Puna Hongwanji is a gift from our ancestors who found refuge, hope, and spiritual guidance since 1902.  Eitaikyo is the opportunity and occasion for all to come together and reflect and reaffirm our dedication to the Sangha in mutual support of this precious gift through remembering our loves ones.  This service is dedicated to the memory of those beloved family members who have passed away.  We also show our gratitude for past members who made great contributions to Puna Hongwanji.


Olaa Hongwanji now known as Puna Hongwanji Mission was founded in 1902 when the Kyoto Honzan, at the request of Japanese immigrant workers, sent a minister to Olaa to serve the spiritual needs of the community through Jodo Shinshu teachings.

Reverend Shoju Hayashi arrived in January 1902 and delivered his first sermon on the second floor of Tomokichi Hara’s home.  Land was subleased from Olaa Sugar Company, and a wooden traditional Japanese temple was built on the site where the Puna Hongwanji Mission now stands.  Construction began in mid-August of 1902 and completed within three months.

In 1934 the Olaa Hongwanji established a Board of Directors to manage the affairs of the temple.  The board, under the leadership of Tomoichi Oto, decided to construct a larger temple, two parsonages, and a kitchen because the congregation had outgrown the existing facilities.  Construction began in early 1937.  The entire cost of $27,000 was paid for by donations from the members.  In May 1938 the project was completed.

Herbert Shipman, President of W.H. Shipman, Ltd, which was the lessor of Olaa Hongwanji, suggested that the mission change its name to Puna Hongwanji, since it served the entire Puna district.  He recommended to the Shipman board of directors that they donate to the mission the grounds and additional land, with the mission’s name change.  In 1957 the temple name changed to Puna Hongwanji Mission.

After temple service we will have photos and albums for you to look at.  If you find a photo that is unidentified, please help us by leaving a note on the photo with the year, activity, and/or person(s) in the photo.  We need to preserve the memories of Puna Hongwanji for our future generations.


In 2017 we started the Puna Hongwanji Distinguished Sangha Service Award (DSSA).  This was all thanks to Past President Jason Hashimoto and Rev. Satoshi Ka’imipono Tomioka’s brainstorm.  During the Giseikai meetings there is a portion of the meeting where temples submit resolutions in condolence and appreciation for their members that have contributed to the temple and the Hongwanji as a whole.  They felt how sad we share our appreciation when the person has passed on.  Thus the Puna Hongwanji DSSA was created to share our appreciation to our members while they are able to receive the recognition.  We appreciate every members, but there are some members that go above and beyond to qualify them to be nominated for this award.

In 2022 we will honor and recognize Mrs. Mitsuye Toma, Mrs. Kay Kawazoe, and Mrs. Florence Nishimura.Distinguished Sangha Service Award Recipients 2022