April 2019

Book Review by Glenn Kameda
Buddhadharma 294.307 B722
v. 17 no.1

This issue includes “Shin Buddhism Is American Buddhism” by Dr. Scott Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell is the Rev. Yoshitaka Tamai Professor of Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Studies, and Dean of Students and Faculty Affairs at the Institute of Buddhist Studies.

In this article, Dr. Mitchell makes a point of emphasizing that Shin Buddhism today in these United States is American Buddhism. Too often due to Shin Buddhism’s ties to Asia and specifically to Japan, Jodo Shinshu is known as “Japanese Buddhism” or Asian Buddhism.

Dr. Mitchell writes how Shin Buddhism has evolved into an American Buddhism. He also states how temple members through cultural ties emphasize the Japanese ties.

Please check out this magazine in the Library and read this fascinating article on American Buddhism.

March 2019

New acquisitions: Camp Amache : the story of an American tragedy. In 1942 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, ten various camps were opened to hold Japanese-Americans and people of Japanese ancestry.

This is about Camp Amache located in Southeastern Colorado. John Hopper, teacher at Granada High School and his students are custodians of Camp Amache. This DVD tells the story of the people who were incarcerated there.

February 2019

Book Review
Tricycle 294.307 T6
v. 28 no.2

In this issue (Winter 2018) is an article on “A Dose of Equanimity” by Wendy Joan Biddlecombe Agsar. Agsar writes that Suzanne Harvey is likely the only Buddhist in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. When Suzanne Harvey (D-Nashua) defeated a seven-term Republican incumbent in 2004, her victory was seen as an upset. But the real shift in her political career happened a few years later, when she met her future Buddhist teacher, Lama Willa Miller of the Natural Dharma Fellowship, and started on the path to becoming a Buddhist.

After a decade of service and an increasing divisiveness in the Republican-controlled house (which led to an increase in her mantra recitations during marathon debates), Harvey did not seek reelection when her fifth term ended in December.

But Harvey wants to inspire other Buddhists to run for public office at the local, state, and national levels. “As Buddhists we haven’t made our voices heard in the public arena... I think it could really change the conversation. Pick your issue or two and get out there and make a difference,” Harvey says.

January 2019

I was looking at the Summer 2017 issue of the Tricycle. This issue that I picked at random was filled with interesting articles. One was about the Japanese internment experience, another about solutions for climate, and what should we do when everything seems to be going wrong.

The thing that I like about Tricycle is that it shows so many different ways of experiencing Buddhism by people who are following different Buddha paths, but in the end we are all on the same life journey. Try reading an article to two, try it, you’ll like it.

December 2018

Book Review by Glenn Kameda

294.307 P1 Pacific World: Journal of the ser. 3, no. 16
Institute of Buddhist Studies

Included in this issue of the Pacific World is a book review by Jonathan H.X. Lee on Immigrants to the Pure Land: The Modernization, Acculturation, and Globalization of Shin Buddhism, 1898-1941, authored by Michihiro Ama.

Michihiro Ama explores the following question in regards to the development of Shin Buddhism in Hawaii and the Mainland. Why do Shin Buddhists in the United States refer to their religious institutions as a church? Why does a Shin Buddhist temple resemble an Anglo-Protestant church? Why do Shin Buddhists have Sunday services and boards of trustees that emulate Protestant services and organizational structures?

The Author diverts from the traditional beliefs of the whys and finds historical evidence that defines Shin Buddhist acculturatiion as “a blending process consisting of Japanization and Americanization of Jodo Shinshu”.

Readers may have a better understanding (view) of the development of Shin Buddhism in America within Michihiro Ama’s writings.


As many of you might have noticed, things are afoot in our library. We have a recall on all library books checked out. If you are still reading them, just let us know and it will be fine.

We are starting to cull our collection. One reason is that our space is very limited and we are running out of room. Another reason is with the advent of the Internet, you have so many other resources for information. Therefore, we are keeping mainly books on Buddhism and books on the Japanese American experiences in America. If you would like to donate books on these subjects, we would like to have them.

Last year during the bazaar, gently used books on Japanese culture, Japanese authors and Buddhism were sold at the bookstore booth. Books that fit into these categories from the library’s collection that are culled will be sold there.

Thank you for your support of the library and for your patience during this transition.

Support the Buddhist Churches of America Bookstore
The BCA Bookstore has been serving the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) since 1959. Shop online or at the store in the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley, CA. Visit the BCA Bookstore website for Buddhist books, cards, clothing and gifts. Also available are Obon Odori essentials and Buddhist goods.

June 2017

New Acquisitions

Stars at dawn : forgotten stories of women in the Buddha's life / Wendy Garling.

May 2017

Book Review

Colonel Olcott, his service to Buddhism by B.P. Kirthisinghe and M.P. Amarasuriya
294.32 K367c

Colonel Henry Steel Olcott was born in New Jersey in 1832 and died in India in 1907. In 1874, Olcott met Helena Blavatsky and a year later, they founded the Theosophical Society. The main objectives of the society were to establish the nucleus of a universal brotherhood if humanity and to promote the study of comparative religion and philosophy. He also became interested in Eastern religions, especially Buddhism.

In 1878, Olcott and Madame Blavatsky set out for India to study various religions there, and they arrived in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) in 1880. They became the first Westerners to receive the refuges and precepts in a traditional ceremony to become Buddhists.

Although Emperor Asoka had propagated Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the third century CBE, but when Colonel Olcott arrived in Sri Lanka in 1880, there were only three Buddhist schools in this Buddhist country. The education system was dominated by the Christian churches. He was successful in revitalizing Buddhism within Sri Lanka and influenced many native Buddhist intellectuals. Colonel Olcott also designed the Buddhist flag. The flag was accepted as the international Buddhist flag by the World Fellowship of Buddhists, which met in Sri Lanka in 1950.

April 2017

New Acquisition

Traveling the bumpy road by Jane Omori (American Buddhist Study Center Publication series no. 3)
294.307 O556t

Book Review

294.307 B722 v. 15 no.3

This issue includes “There is no author” by Judy Roitman, who is a teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen.

According to tradition, the reportedly 84,000 sutras are dialogues among Shakyamuni Buddha, his disciples, and other buddhas and bodhisattvas, remembered by Ananda, who dictated them to the assembly after the Buddha’s death. Roitman states that historical evidence indicates that the sutras were written down centuries after the Buddha’s death in either Sanskrit or Pali, neither of which is a language the Buddha spoke.

For example, the Heart Sutra is supposed to be a record of words spoken by the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara to the Buddha’s disciple Shariputra. Evidence shows that the Heart Sutra was compiled by a Chinese monk. The Sanskrit version of the Heart Sutra was a back translation from Chinese.

Roitman writes “The texts are meant to embody a community’s truths. They are not supposed to emanate from an individual’s mind. They would have no validity otherwise”.

March 2017

New acquisitions

Becoming Buddhist, becoming Buddha, liberating all beings / Gregory G. Gibbs.
    294.387.  G311b

Book Review

Tricycle 294.307 T6 v. 26 no.2
One of the stories in this issue (Winter 2016) is “The Buddhist history of movable type” by M. Sophia Newman, MPH, a writer and global journalist. The history of mass printing in the West started in the 1440s with the introduction of a mechanical movable type printing by a German printer, Johannes Gutenberg. But in the East, in 1234, the Goryeo dynasty, a monarchy ruling the area of the modern Korean peninsula, commissioned a civil minister, Choe Yun-ui, to print a Buddhist text, The Prescribed Ritual Text of the Past and Present. This 50-volume book would have required a large number of woodblocks, the printing technique used by China’s Song dynasty. So Choe Yun-ui came up with an alternative way. Using a method to mint bronze coins, he cast individual characters in metal. He arranged the characters in aframe and coated with ink to press many sheets of paper. By 1250, the project was completed. It was the first book ever printed in movable metal type. Printing helped maintain Korea’s religion as Mongols took control of the peninsula.

Febuary 2017

Book Review by Glenn Kameda

Tricycle 294.307 T6 v. 26 no.2

Included in this issue (Winter 2016) is “The Buddha’s baggage” by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Abbot of Metta Forest Monastery in Northern San Diego County.

Baggage is reference to Karma. Does Karma shape everything you experience? Thanissaro Bhikkhu explains the Buddhist concept of Karma, what is and what it is not. He states that most people have a simplistic definition of Karma, and most often the expression is misleading. Thanissaro Bhikkhu expounds on “Everything you wanted to know about Karma but were afraid to ask”. Pay special attention to the article’s section on “skillful and unskillful intentions” of your actions. He also states that we have some “freedom” on how you treat/respond to the Karma seeds within; you can be proactive in preventing suffering.

This article is a highly recommended reading and discussion material for those with basic Buddhist comprehension.

January 2017

New Acquisitions
Just live! On becoming a Buddhist / Ruth M. Tabrah.
294.387. T116

Book Review
Buddhadharma 294.307 B722
v. 15 no.2

This issue includes “We’ve Been Here All Along” by Funie Hsu, assistant professor of American Studies at San Jose Stare University and serves on the board of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.

Hsu says it’s time to recognize the contributions of Asian American Buddhists--and face up to the cultural appropriation that has all but rendered then invisible in mainstream white American Buddhism.

In the early 1990s when Tricycle editor, Helen Tworkov wrote, “The spokespeople for Buddhism in America have been, almost exclusively, educated members of the white middle class…Asian American Buddhists…so far…have not figured prominently in the development of something called American Buddhism.”

Rev. Ryo Imamura, an 18th -generation Jodo Shinshu priest, who also served in the Buddhist Churches of America as a temple priest, responded with a letter to the editor: “I would like to point out that it was my grandparents and other immigrants from Asia who brought and implanted Buddhism in American soil over 100 years ago despite white American intolerance and bigotry. It was my American-born parents and their generation who courageously and diligently fostered the growth of American Buddhism despite having to practice discretely in hidden ethnic temples and in concentration camps…. It was us Asian Buddhists who welcomed countless white Americans into our temples, introduced them to the Dharma, and often assisted then to initiate their own Sangha….” Rev. Imamura’s letter was never published.

November 2016

New Acquisitions
Shin Buddhism 24/7 : experiences on the Jodo Shinshu path / Henry A. Tanaka. 294.387 T151s
The Buddha : Buddhist civilization in India and Ceylon / Trevor Ling. 294.3 L353b

Book Review
Buddhadharma 294.307 B722
v. 14 no.4
This issue includes “We’re not who you think we are” by Chenxing Han, who holds an MA in Buddhist studies and Buddhist chaplaincy from the Graduate Theological Union and Institute of Buddhist Studies.

Han examines the stereotypes that have marginalized Asian American Buddhists and reports on the rich diversity and depth of a new generation of practitioners.

These stereotypes are bolstered by the oft-cited “two Buddhisms” typology that distinguishes between convert, white, middle-class Western Buddhists and their non-convert, Asian, “ethnic” Buddhist counterparts.

When Han asked “What are the best-known types of Buddhism in America?” at the East Bay Meditation center in 2014, the responses were Zen, Tibetan, Theravada/vipassana/mindfulness. No one mentioned Jodo Shinshu, one of the earliest forms of Buddhism in America.

Charles Prebish, a pioneering scholar in the field of American Buddhism asks, “Why are Asian American Buddhists so invisible?” So, are the Asian American Buddhists to blame for their own lack of visibility?

October 2016

New Acquisitions
The Buddha ; Buddhist civilization in India and Ceylon / by Trevor Ling.
294.3. L353b

Shin Buddhism 24/7 ; Experiences in the Jodo Shinshu path / by Henry A. Tanaka.
294.387 T151s

September 2016

New Acquisitions
Why do I love these people? / by Po Bronson. The author traveled the country to record the stories of real people who have survived tremendous hardships in their families and who managed to create a better experience today.
920 B655w

Japanese book
Sore de mo kazoku o ai shiteru by Po Bronson. This book is a Japanese translation of the book described above.
J Bronson
Book Review
Tricycle 294.307 T6 V.25 no. 4

One of the stories in this magazine is “The Grace in This World”, an interview with Venerable Chwasan, former head dharma master of the Won Buddhist Order. Won Buddhist Order was founded 100 years ago by a Korean individual, Chung-bin Park (1891-1943), who was regarded as a modern day Siddhartha.
The purpose of the Won teaching is to update Buddhism to be more relevant to contemporary society and more understandable to contemporary people. There is much emphasis on integrating spiritual practice into daily life. A sustained engagement with the external world is paramount, which leads to interfaith work and commitment to social issues. Won Buddhism acknowledges that we have become slaves to external materialism and have neglected our internal self. Today, more than ever, we have become “slaves” to cell phones, television, car, computer, and other external stimuli to bring us “happiness”.
A New Buddhism for Modern Times is worth reading and contemplating on.
Glenn Kameda

Library News:
After summer vacation, we have a lot of interesting new acquisitions.  Come in Monday to Friday 9 am to 1 pm when the office is open or on Sundays after service.  Remember to return any books that you have finishedreading.
In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

August 2016

New Acquisitions
The Tao of modern living : a guide to true happiness,
fulfillment, and self-realization / by Kuang Ju Wu.
299  W7

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

June 2016

New Acquisitions
Anon : peace and tranquility / Southern District Ministers Association. (Sermons commemorating the 750th memorial of Shinran Shonin)
294.387 A555

Memories: the Buddhist Church experience in the camps, 1942-1945. -- 2nd revised edition. Compiled by Eiko Irene Masuyama.
294.303 M255

Osono: the myokonin by Jim Yanagihara.
294.387 Y151

For children
Journey of heroes: the story of the 100th infantry battalion and 442nd regimental combat team by Stacey T. Hayashi and illustrated by Damon Wong.
970 H191j

Book Review:

Tricycle 294.307 T6, v25 no.4

Included in this issue is “Visiting the four sacred sites” by Asoka Bandarage. Prior to Shakyamuni Buddha’s passing away into parinirvana, his beloved attendant, Ananda, expressed concern as to how the Buddha’s disciples would pay respect to him following his death. The Buddha responded that there are four places that a pious person should visit and look upon with feelings of reverence.

1. Lumbini (present-day Nepal) where Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born.
2. Bodhgaya where Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment.
3. Sarnath where Buddha delivered his first discourse.
4. Kushinagar where Buddha passed away.

In July 2013, an explosion of ten bombs, attributed to the Indian Mujahideen, injured five people including two Buddhist monks and damaged new structures in the Mahabodhi Temple complex in Bodhgaya. Neither India nor Nepal are Buddhist nations today, and citizen support for the protection and preservation of the sites of the Buddha’s life is lacking. Many important Buddhist sites in India and Nepal remain largely unexcavated or unrestored. Dr. Bandarage writes that these concerns and the protection of the sites of the Buddha’s life need greater attention and support from the growing international Buddhist community.

Scholar and practitioner Asoka Bandarage, Ph.D., has taught at Yale, Brandeis, Mount Holyoke (where she received tenure), Georgetown, American and other universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad.

May 2016

New Acquisitions
Paradigms of the middle way: Shinran’s answer to the riddle of life / by Rev. Shingetsu Akahoshi. (A collection of Dharma talks by the author.)

Paradigms of the middle way: Shinran's answer to the riddle of lifeby Rev. Shingetsu Akahoshi.
294.387 A413p

This book is a collection of Dharma talks by Rev. Shingetsu Akahoshi. In 1930, Rev. Akahoshi left Japan and arrived in San Francisco to serve with the Buddhist Mission of North America, forerunner of the Buddhist Churches of America. He retired from the Seabrook Buddhist Temple in 1982.

One interesting story occurred in 1933 when Rev. Akahoshi was the executive secretary for BMNA (BCA). The BMNA sponsored a “Buddhist Day” at the Exposition held in San Diego. Rev. Kenju Masuyama, was a daring and progressive-minded bishop at that time. 100,000 leaflets shaped like lotus blossoms and printed with Buddhist sayings in English were ordered. The leaflets were scattered from an airplane over crowds. As Rev. Akahoshi writes, “ ‘Buddhist Day’ at the San Diego Exposition remains as one of the BCA’s first spectacular publicity achievements.”

Reminder to those of you who have books checked out: if you have finished with the books, please return them. Thank you!

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

April 2016

New Acquisitions
The path of compassion : contemporary writings on engaged Buddhism / edited by Fred Eppsteiner and Dennis Maloney. (A collection of essays by contemporary writers engaged in the problems and sufferings of society).
294.303 P173
294.307 Buddhadharma
B722 Spring 2016

Book Review by Glenn Kameda
This quarterly publication has a most interesting reporting on “What Is Enlightenment?” A panelist of four teachers representing four sects of Buddhism responded to five questions relative to the title “What Is Enlightenment?” The teachers were Aya Tathaaloka, a Theravadan bhikkuni, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, from a Theravadan tradition, Reverend David Matsumoto, from a Shin Buddhist tradition, and Setsuan Gaelyn Godwin, from the Zen tradition.

They were asked to respond to five questions according to their Buddhist tradition and practice.
1. What does your tradition mean by “enlightenment”? How would you describe it?
2. How does enlightenment function according to your tradition?
3. What does enlightenment look like?
4. Are the people coming to your center looking for enlightenment?
5. What advice or encouragement could you offer people about bringing aspiration for enlightenment into one’s practice?

Each of the panelists responded directly to the questions, and they all described enlightenment as an “awakening” and/or process to enlightenment. The reader will find “What Is Enlightenment” worth digesting and for PABT members a “Dharma Sharing” topic.

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

March 2016

New Acquisitions
Heart of the Shin Buddhist path : a life of awakening / Takamaro Shigaraki ; translated by David Matsumoto.
294.387 S333h

Book Report
Tricycle 294.387 S333h
v.25 no.2

Included in this issue is “Naikan Therapy” by Gregg Krech. Naikan is a Japanese word that translates into “looking inside.” Ishin Yoshimoto, a devout Jodo Shinshu Buddhist developed Naikan in the 1940s in Japan. It is a structured method of self-reflection that helps us to understand ourselves, our relationships, and the fundamental nature of human existence. Naikan reflection is based on three questions:
What have I received from __________?
What have I given to __________
What troubles and difficulties have I caused? __________
And we often live our life as if the world owes us.

In the Book Review section is Tibetan Zen: Discovering a Lost Tradition by Sam van Schaik. Legend says that toward the end of the 7th century, the royal families of China and Nepal offered brides to Songsten Gampo, the first of Tibet’s mighty kings to unify the country. Each of the two princesses brought with them as dowries a statue of the Buddha. The Jokhang temple in Lhasa was built to house these precious gifts. These two women are remembered as the matriarchs of Tibetan Buddhism who planted the seeds of the Buddha Dharma.

Over a hundred years later, doctrinal disagreements developed between Indian (tantric) and Chinese (Zen) Buddhists. The Tibetan emperor called for the situation to be resolved in a formal debate. The debate resulted in a decisive win by the Indian Buddhists, and the Zen teachers were sent back to China.

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

February 2016

New Acquisition
Ajatasatru : the story of who we are : a new century sutra from Shinran's "Kyo-Gyo Shin-Sho / Shoji Matsumoto, Ruth Tabrah.
294.387 S335a

Book Review
Stories for Wisdom by Shojo Honda.
398 H552s
Rev. Shojo Honda has written six stories that he shared with the Dharma School children at Ekoji Buddhist Templein Virginia. These stories are drawn from classical tales and folk stories of Asia.

Rev. Shojo Honda was born in Hawaii in 1929. He was educated at Ryukoku University in Japan. He was the firstminister of what is now the Ekoji Buddhist Temple.

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

January 2016

New Acquisitions

Confession of a Buddhist Atheist / Stephen Batchelor
294.3 B171c

Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism / Robert E. Boswell, Jr. and Donald S. Lopez, Jr.
294.3 B778p

B722 - Winter 2015

One of the stories is "Common Ground" by Hozan Alan Senauke, Vice-Abbott of Berkeley Zen Center

In June, Pope Francis released his encyclical Laudato Si'/Praised Be, a passionate plea for environmental sanity as well as social and spiritual transformation. Just days after the encyclical's publication, 25 Buddhists and 25 Roman Catholics flew from the U.S. to Rome for a dialogue focusing on “Suffering, Liberation, and Fraternity.” From the BCA, Rev. Ronald Kobata of the Buddhist Church of San Francisco and Rev. Ronald Miyamura of the Midwest Buddhist Temple attended. Rev. Kobata is photographed with the delegates.

The above event, “Catholics, Buddhists Discuss ‘Suffering, Liberation and Fraternity’ ” is printed in the August 2015 issue of the Wheel of Dharma. Rev. Kobata and Rev. Miyamura explain the Catholic-Buddhist Dialogue.

In the Book Briefs section of the Buddhadharma, there is a review by Rory Lindsay of Greek Buddha: Pyrrho’s Encounter with Early Buddhism in Central Asia by Christopher Beckwith, Professor of Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University. Beckworth claims that the Buddha was not born in present-day Nepal to a “Shakya clan” but rather was Scythian--a nomadic ethnic group that Indians called “Sakas.” He also attempts to show how the Greek philosopher Pyrrho, who traveled to India with Alexander the Great, developed his philosophy after encountering Buddhism.

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

December 2015

New Acquisitions

Pure Land of the patriarchs / Han-shan Te-Ching ; translated by Dharma master Lok To
294.385 T213

Book Review

Shinjin sho-in: Jodo-Shinshu essays 1962 - 1967 / by Gyodo Kono.
294.387 K555s

The term shinjin sho-in is fundamental to the Jodo Shinshu teaching. Literally, it means, "Shinjin is the true cause (of our birth in the Pure Land)."
This book is a collection of Rev. Gyodo Kono's Dharma talks that originally were published in the Midwest Dharma temple newsletters. The messages are timeless, as Rev. Kono says that the Buddha-dharma is the light that leads each one of us along the path. Rev. Gyodo Kono was born in 1911, the son of the 23rd resident minister of Sairin Buddhist Temple in Hiroshima. He graduated from Ryukoku University and arrived in the United States in 1937. In 1944, he voluntarily moved to Chicago from the Jerome Relocation Center in Arkansas. He established the Midwest Buddhist Temple and the Cleveland Buddhist Temple and organized Jodo Shinshu groups in Saint Louis and Minneapolis.

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

November 2015

New Acquisitions

The virgin's eye (women in Buddhist literature) / by Piyadassi Thera.
294.306 T326v

Awaken to the Buddha within / Shi Wuling.
294.36 W743a

Shinjin shoin : Jodo-Shinshu essays, 1962-1967 Gyodo Kono.
294.387 K555s

Book Review

The wisdom of the crows and other Buddhist tales / retold by Sherab Chodzin and Alexandra Kohn.
294.306 W372

This book contains 13 tales from several Asian cultures--from Japan, India, China, Tibet, and Burma. They are stories illustrating Buddhist themes of generosity, humor, compassion, and life after death.

These tales will appeal to children of all ages. The authors write, "These stories reflect many profound truths of the Buddha's teaching, but no matter how profound, the truth is always simple and can usually be grasped by young children at least as easily as adults."

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

October 2015

New Acquisitions

The essential Shinran: a Buddhist path of true entrusting / compiled and edited by Alfred Bloom ; forward by Ruben L.F. Habito.
294.387 E772

Rennyo and the rise of the Honganji : Shin Buddhism & the society in medieval Japan / by Michael Solomon.
294.387 S545r

The Dhammapada : verses on the way : a new translation of the Teaching of the Buddha with a guide to reading the text / by Glenn Wallis.
294.302 D315

The Buddha's gift to the world: tranquility for a turbulent planet / by Monshu Koshin Ohtani. 294.387 O371bg
This book is a third one in a trilogy of publications by Monshu Ohtani and includes lectures he gave to college students at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto and at a seminar at Ryukoku University.
Monshu Ohtani's lectures begins with "Modern Society and Buddhism" and concludes with "Buddhism's Contribution to Promoting Mutual Understanding among World Religions". The Buddha's teachings are as relevant today as a guiding light and for addressing the problems of our modern society.
Koshin Ohtani, the 24th Monshu of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha and the head minister of the Nishi Hongwanji, is a graduate of Tokyo University and completed masters degrees at Ryukoku University and at Tokyo University. He is also the director of the Japanese Association for Prison Chaplains.

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

September 2015

New Acquisition

Asian American women: a journal published at Stanford University, May 1976.
970 A7315

One writing in this journal is "Issei woman: an oral history", an interview of Mrs. Imakire by Claire Koga from Pasadena. Mrs. Imakire was a member of the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple and BWA. She talks of growing up in Kagoshima and marrying Mr. Imakire and settling in Palo Alto on Ramona Street where they were co-managers for a boardinghouse that provided lodging and meals for Japanese immigrants.

Another writing is "Oba-chan" (Grandma) by Julie Hatta. Hatta writes, "My childhood memories occor to me in collages of photos, each focused on an event, so many focused on Oba-chan's face--beaming with pride at her granddaughters--tending to us watchfully--waiting by us, patiently...patiently."

Note: Julie Yumi Hatta is currently the BCA Center for Buddhist Education Program Assistant.

In Gassho
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

August 2015

New Acquisition

Land of bliss: the paradise of the Buddha of measureless light (Sanskrit and Chinese versions of the Sukhavativyuha Sutras)/ introductions and English translations by Luis O. Gomez.
294.308 L152

A two-headed bird: one life / by Mitsuko Ando
294.387 A525t

This book is an English translation from the Japanese of Mitsuko Ando's writing. Ando led a difficult life raising a son who was mentally retarded and also being married to a World War II veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. This book describes how Ando earnestly pursued the Way of the Nembutsu.

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

July 2015

New Acquisition

Buddhist women on the edge: contemporary perspectives from the Western frontier / edited by Marianne Dresser.
294.305 B722

This book is an anthology of essays by 30 Buddhist women that explores the concerns of American women in Buddhist practice. The writers represent a cross section of American women, including three African-American Buddhist women.
Although none of the writers are from the Jodo Shinshu tradition, Lori Pierce mentions the BCA in her "Outside in: Buddhism in America".
Finally, there is Buddhism transported as cultural "baggage" with Asian American immigrants. This "ethnic" Buddhism is, of course, largely the province of Japanese, Chinese, and now increasingly Tibetan, Vietnamese, and Laotian immigrants. Once again, there is some overlap between ethnic Buddhist and Euro American Buddhist communities, especially among the largely middle-class structures of the Buddhist Churches of America, the oldest continuing institution in America. Though the BCA's primary mission has been to the Japanese American community, it is a formidable presence in Buddhist higher education, especially on the West Coast and in Hawaii.

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

June 2015

New Acquisitions

Shoes outside the door: desire, devotion, and excess at San Francisco Zen Center / by Michael Downing.
294.385 D585s

Though I be crushed: the wartime experiences of a Buddhist minister / by Bunyu Fujimura.
294.387 F7431t

Rev. Bunyu Fujimura was born in Gifu Prefecture in 1910, the eldest son of Chijo Fujimura, who was the 21st resident minster of Zentoku Temple. He came to the United States in 1935, and was assigned to the Salinas Buddhist Temple by the Buddhist Mission of North America (now the Buddhist Churches of America). In 1942, the FBI arrested Rev. Fujimura as a spy, and he spent his wartime years in several camps.
As Rev. Masaao Kodani writes, "Rev. Fujimura's experiences during World War II exemplify a life lived in accordance with Jodo Shinshu tradition in which adversities are accepted as challenges to a more fruitful and meaningful life."

Library Committee of two is recruiting additional members to assist with the operational maintenance of the Library. They usually meet on Wednesday AM (half a day). Contact either Reiko Kameda or Janet Kameda.

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

April 2015

The BCA Collection housed at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles is requesting pre-war/WWII/post-war Buddhist artifacts.

Among the donated books to the PABT Library, nine books were presented to Lauren Zuchowski, Archivist, and EIko Masuyama, Chair of the BCA Archives Committee during the National Council meeting in San Diego, February 25-28, 2015.

New Acquisition

Jataka tales /selected and edited with introduction and notes by H.T. Francis and E.J. Thomas.
294.306 J171

The Jataka tales are stories about the previous lives of the Buddha, in both human and animal forms. The Jataka tales are dated between 300 BCE and 400 AD and comprise 547 poems. These tales are parables told in a simple language to teach the dharma, such as the doctrine of impermanence, rejection of superstitious rites, and freedom from delusion. This book contains 114 tales.

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

March 2015

New Acquisition

Bright dawn: discovering your everyday spirituality by Rev. Sunnan Koyo Kubose
294.3 K715b

Accompany Rev. Kubose as he prepares for a morning run along the shore of Lake Michigan before the sun rises. As he runs along the path, he presents ideas of gratitude and perseverance that inspire the reader. By showing us how to see what is around us, we learn to let go of our narrow egocentric view and open up to a broader view of ourselves in the world. Discover how to make each day a new day, thank your shoes, and deal with death/mortality.

Quoting Rev. Gyomay Kubose, "Teachings are everywhere, all around us, if only we open the mind's eye to see. Awareness of life is what make life special. Unless we are aware, we do not learn anything. We have no inspiration and no teachings."

The son of Rev. Dyomay Kubose, Rev. S.K. Kubose is currently at Bright Dawn Center of Oneness Buddhism in Coarsegold, CA.

February 2015

How to believe in God: Whether you believe in religion or not
by Clark Strand

This book is an exceptional read for those who wish to understand the theology and Dharma of Christianity and Buddhism, respectively. Clark Strand is a Buddhist teacher and former Zen monk, a director of the Koans of the Bible Study Group, an ecumenical, interreligious spiritual community, and a writer. With his spiritual knowledge and practice as an interfaith student, Clark Strand takes the reader on a layman's journey in identifying and understanding the teachings of both Christianity and Buddhism and its parallel to your encounters with daily life.

I learned a lot of Buddhism and more so of Christianity in this exceptional interfaith writing. I highly recommend How to believe in God by Clark Strand. By the way, Clark Strand spoke at PABT during Rev. Masuda's residency.

In Gassho,
Glenn Kameda

January 2015

Voices of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Experience (2 volumes)
970 V531

For children

Long ago in India; the life of Gautama Buddhai reprinted by Department of Buddhist Education, Buddhist Churches of America
294.300 L553

Book Review

Voices of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Experience (2 volumes)
970 V531

A two-volume collection of more than 200 primary source documents, dating from the early 19th century to today. It includes more recent groups of Asian Americans, immigrants from Southeast Asia, Pakistan, and the Himalayas. This anthology also features the voices of many adopted Asian Americans and stories by multiheritage Asian Americans.

The editors write "Indigenous Asian religions also evolved once they were imported to the United States. For example, although Japanese American Shin Buddhism still retains a remarkably ethnically homogeneous cast and continues to emphasize Japanese history and cultural festivals, it has steadily transformed itself away from Japanese Shin Buddhism by adopting religious formes and practices from Protestant Christianity." Included is Rev. Koyama's article, "The Fullnes of Obon" in volume two.

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda


November 2014 - More books by members or member's relatives:

"Primary care update: obstructive sleep apnea" by Clete A. Kushida.
610 L773p

"When half is whole: multiethnic Asian American identities" by Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu.
970 M766w

"Issei: the shadow generation" by Tsukasa Matsueda.
970 M177i

No book report for November

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

October 2014 - These books were written by Palo Alto Buddhist Temple members:

"Book of the Dead : Friends of Yesteryear: Fictioneers and Others ; Memories of the Pulp Fiction Era" / E. Hoffman Price.
920 P631b

"A Participatory Study of the Self-Identity of Kibei & Nisei Men; a Subgroup of Second Generation Japanese American Men" / by William T. Masuda
970 M177p

No book report for October.

New Acquistions - September 2014

"Jodo Shinshu = Libro de servicio" (In Spanish and English)
294.387 J52573

Book Review
Tricycle 294.307 T6
v. 23 no.4

One of the stories is "The Flute Teacher" by Liao Yiwu. The excerpt in this issue was taken from the last chapter of Liao's memoir, For a Song and a Hundred Songs: A Poet's Journey through a Chinese Prison. He recounts the story of the Buddhist monk, Sima, whose jailbird flute lessons helped Liao to maintain his sanity in the brutal world of the Chinese prison system. In 1990, Liao was imprisoned for composing the poem Massacre, in response to the 1989 student protests at Tianamen Square. He was released from prison in 1994 and now resides in Germany.

Another story is "Roused from a Dream: Restoring Zen's Female Lineage" by Mary Fowles. The transmission of Zen has, until now, been documented through a male lineage chart. Now there is a Zen women ancestor document that a woman receives at her jukai -- the ceremony in which one formally becomes a Zen Buddhist. This document honors the women in Zen Buddhist history and is considered to be the first of its kind.>

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

New Acquistions - August 2014

"Buddhism and Buddhists in Japan" /by Robert Cornell Armstrong. (Explains how Buddhism was introduced to Japan, the various sects and the Christian appeal and similarity to Japanese Buddhism)
294.38 A657b

"Dynamic Buddha and Static Buddha: a system of Buddhist practice" /Susumu Yamaguchi; translated by Shoko Watanabe. (Shows how Shinran's Shin sect of Mahayana Buddhism was developed)
294.387 Y1515d

No book review for month of August

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

New Acquisitions - July 2014

"Women of the way : discovering 2500 years of Buddhist wisdom" / Sallie Tisdale. (Collection of stories about women who have contributed so much to the history and transmission of Buddhism).
294.305 T372w

"The power of now: a guide to spiritual enlightenment" / by Eckhart Tolle. (Tolle has no ties to any particular religion, but speaks to transformations of the human conciousness)
190 T544p

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

New Additions - June 2014

Our Recollections = Watashitachi no kiroku / East Bay Japanese for Action
A collection of autobiographical compositions from Issei (first-generation Japanese American) women looking back on their early years (in Japanese with English translation).
970 E177o

Book Review
Don't Lose Heart = Kujikenaide
By Toyo Shibata
890 S331d
A collection of 42 poems by a Japanese woman who started writing poems at the age of 92. "I write about life that always starts now and morning will always come, no matter who you are."
One poem from her book:


As I get older,
I feel I am forgetting
so many things.

People's names,
how to write certain words,
and countless lost memories.
Why is it then
that I no longer feel sad
or lonely about this?

The joy of forgetting,
is like giving in to forgetting
and letting go.

Now I can hear the chirping
of the evening cicadas.

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

New Additions - May 2014

"The transmission of Shin Buddhism in the west : Jodo Shinshu religious educational process" / Seigen H. Yamaoka. (Interesting real life stories included) 294.387 Y151t

"Essentials of Buddhist images : a comprehensive guide to sculpture, painting and symbolism" / Kodo Matsunami. 700 M177s

"Grasped by the Buddha's vow : a translation of and commentary on Tannisho" / Toshikazu Arai." 294.387 A613g

"Buddhism : a history" / by Noble Ross Reat. 294.3 R217b

"Michael Kenji Yamada" / compiled by Keisho Moyoyama. (Memories from family and friends on the all too short life of Michael Yamada). 920 M313

Book Report

294.307 P1 "Pacific World: Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies" ser. 3, no. 14

Included in this issue of the Pacific World is an article on The Transnational development of Japanese Buddhism during the Postwar Period: The Case of Tana Daisho" by Michihiro Ama, Department of Languages, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Ama analyzes the work of Rev. Tana (1901-1972), an Issei Shin Buddhist minister who spent the second half of his life in the United States. Rev. Tana was also the resident minister of the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple from 1952-1955. He wrote and compiled a set of books in Japanese and expressed his vision for the development of Shin Buddhism in this country.

Ama writes that during the Pacific War and the tumultuous postwar period, as an Issei minister of the Buddhist Churches of America, he sought a new direction for American Shin Buddhism. Like his predecessors before the war, Tana diverged from Shin Buddhist practices in Japan and catered to the Nisei laity's demands, while reapplying traditional values to their situation. He defined Shin Buddhism as a family religion that offered a spiritual standpoint to cope with death, reexamined the notion of worldly benefits, and explained the importance of practicing basic Buddhist principles by bridging differences between Shin Buddhism and other Buddhist traditions.

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

New Additions - April 2014

"Bodhisattva Archetypes : Classic Buddhist Guides to Awakening and Their Modern Expression" / Taigen Daniel Leighton. 294.305 L233b

"The grace in dying : how we are transformed spiritually as we die" / Kathleen Dowling Singh (The author notes that "if your loved one is nearing death or you are facing death soon, put this book down and know that you are safe". If you are healthy, this book speaks to you "about what dying has to do with living and what living has to do with dying") 200 S353g

Japanese Language

"Indo bussetsu junpai kiko = Chronicle of Buddhist pilgrimage in India / Shojun Bando. J Bando

Book Review

Tricycle 294.307 T6 v.23 no.3

In this issue, one of the stories is "The Counselor". Winifred Bird interviews Japanese priest Ittetsu Nemoto, chief priest at Daizenji in Gifu Prefecture. He has made suicide prevention his life's work.

Bird writes that the 41-year-old Tokyo native grew up with no particular connection to Buddhism. A wild child who love to ride motorcycles, dance late into the night at discos, and pick fights, Nemoto studied Western philosophy in high school and college, then drifted from job to job. By his mid-twenties, he was questioning his path in life.

By chance, his mother pointed to a newspaper ad that read "Buddhist monks wanted". Nemoto applied and entered a secluded Rinzai Zen monastery in the hills of Gifu. After four and a half years of training, he left the monastery and became priest of Daizenji.

He then counseled thousands of deeply troubled people, organized gatherings for the family members of those who had killed themselves, and held countless retreats, pilgrimages, and meditation sessions. By 2009, he had developed severe heart problems, and he spent the next few years in and out of the hospital. Today Nemoto continues his work at a slightly slower pace.

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

New Acquisitions - March 2014

"Don't lose heart" = Kujikenaide / Toyo Shibata / (Toyo Shibata began writing poems at the age of 92. Her book has been an inspiration and a symbol of hope to many) 89 S331d

Book Review

Tricycle 294.307 T6 v.23 no.2

In this issue, one of the stories is "From Russia with Love: The untold story of how Tibetan Buddhism first came to America" by David Urubshurow. He documents the story of his tiny communnity of Kalmyk Mongol refugees, who came to New Jersey from European refugee camps in 1952 and established the first Tibetan Buddhist congregation in America.

He states that by some estimates, there may now be three million or more people in the United States who identify themselves as Tibetan Buddhists. Sixty years ago, there were 587, and all were Kalmyk Mongols.

About 200 Kalmyks -- nearly half were children under the age of 10 -- landed in America in 1951 and decided to resettle in Freewood Acres, New Jersey. The following year, they consecrated a communal worship center, and they gave their new temple a traditional Tibetan name, Rashi Gempil Ling, hoping that it would indeed be a "Sanctuary for the Increase of Auspiciousness and Virtue".

In Gasso,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda

New Acquisitions - February 2014

"What would Buddha do at work? : 101 answers to workplace dilemmas" / Franz Metcalf & BJ Gallagher Hateley. (How to choose a right livelihood, be a good employee and be successful). 294.305 M271w

"In One Lifetime : Pure Land Buddhism" / Shi Wuling. (Pure Land Buddhism is widely practiced in Asia) 294.3 W743i

Book Report

294.307 Buddhadharma B722 Fall 2009
"Trusting the Three Treasures" by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, published in the Fall of 2009 issue of the Buddhadharma.

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold states that "Taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha involves taking a leap forward with a deep sense of trust in our basic nature and the natural wisdom of all phenomena".

The Buddha, Dharma, Sangha are the real activity of compassion that has been passed down through many generations.

1. The Buddha Treasure: Raise the Bodhi mind and let the Supreme Way be realized. Raising the Bodhi mind is to know there is a life that is somehow beyond the one we're living.

2. The Dharma Treasure: The Buddha said in the Prajnaparamita Sutra, when we encounter the teachings of selflessness without turning away in fear, then we may be ready to take refuge in the dharma treasure.

3. The Sangha Treasure: We often think of the sangha treasure in terms of the support it provides, but it's more than that. It allows us to fulfill our natural necessary and inescapable obligations to others.

I found Geoffrey Shugen Arnold's perspective on the Three Treasures as alive, dynamic, and in line with daily living. I highly recommend reading, "Trusting the Three Treasures". I would enjoy your comments and discussions on this Sunday recitation we chant for our Family Dharman Services.

In Gassho,
Glenn Kameda

New Additions - January 2014

"Streams of Light: Shin Buddhism in America"
A film by Kentaro Sugao. (History of the Buddhist Churches of America) S762 DVD

View "Streams of light: Shin Buddhism in America" (64 minutes, IMDb)

Japanese Language: "Amami no genbaku otome" = Atomic bomb maiden of Amami, Oshima / by Fuyuko Kamisaka. J Kami

Book Review
Tricycle 294.207 T6 v.23 no.2
In one of the stories in this issue, Joseph Goldstein discusses "The End of Suffering". Goldstein writes that rather than understanding the end of craving as some far-off goal, he understood it as being a practice to experience right now, in each moment. He also includes lines from Patrul Rinpoche.

Advice from Me to Myself

Listen up, old bad-karma Patrul,
You dweller-in-distraction.

For ages now you've been,
Beguiled, entranced, and fooled by appearances.
Are you aware of that? Are you?
Right this very instant, when you're
Under the spell of mistaken perception
You've got to watch out.
Don't let yourself get carried away by this fake and empty life.

Your mind is spinning around
About carrying out a lot of useless projects:
It's a waste! Give it up!
Thinking about the hundred plans you want to accomplish,
With never enough time to finish them,
Just weighs down your mind.
You're completely distracted
By all these projects, which never come to an end,
But keep spreading out more, like ripples in water.
Don't be a fool: for once, just sit tight...

If you let go of everything-
Everything, everything-
That's the real point!

--Patrul Rinpoche, (1808-1887), Dzogchen master of Eastern Tibet

In Gassho,
Janet Kameda and Reiko Kameda