August 2021 Rinzai Maui Zen Mission Newsletter

Aloha Everyone,

It is with mixed emotions that I present this month’s newsletter. The end of August will make one year since Reverend Yamaguchi suffered a brain aneurysm. Although he has made remarkable progress in his recovery, he is still faced with many physical and mental challenges and will be unable to continue in his capacity as our resident minister. Reverend plans to retire to his Haiku home with his daughter Naomi within a year’s time. We wish Reverend Yamaguchi and his family all the best in his retirement and a more relaxing way of life.

We have spoken with Reverend Seiya Chisaka of Japan regarding our Temple’s situation and have requested a replacement minister. This will be difficult and take some time but while Reverend Chisaka searches for a replacement, he has offered to preside over Temple services via Zoom and if needed, to physically step in periodically at our Temple. However, his traveling to Maui will be dependent on the surge of covid cases in Japan and here in Hawaii. I will continue to update everyone as more information becomes available on Reverend Yamaguchi’s status and Reverend Chisaka’s search for a replacement.

We are continuing our efforts with maintaining our grounds and buildings on the 2nd Sunday of every month. Our next big construction project on the Temple grounds is to remove and replace the stairway leading to Reverend Yamaguchi’s residence.

I have been contacted by a Mr. Tamio Iwado who acquired the property adjacent to our Temple where the old cemetery is located. Mr. Iwado’s plan is to clean and restore the area, and he has offered another easement to our Temple grounds from his property to Hana Highway. His project will definitely help with Temple security and fire hazards as the dry brush and trees are removed. Our discussions with Mr. Iwado continue.

We are selling the remainder of our Rinzai Zen Mission t-shirts and tank tops for $5 each. There are limited sizes in black, red, and gray (tank tops in black only). They will be sold at the Temple on cleaning day, September 12, at 10:00 a.m. til noon on a first-come first-served basis.

As covid cases rise due to the deadly Delta variant, Rinzai Zen Mission will require everyone partici- pating in any activity at our Temple to be vacci- nated. Although we respect those who choose not to be vaccinated, we ask that you also respect the health and welfare of those of us who are vaccinated which include Reverend Yamaguchi and our elderly members.

This next year will be very challenging for our Temple in many ways and your continued support is always greatly appreciated. Be safe and stay healthy.

In Gassho,
Alan Nago President,
RZM Board of Directors

Zoom Services

We may start holding church services and other activities online, via Zoom. If you have computer access and would like to receive invitations to participate via Zoom, please send your email address to This will be a safe way to continue church activities while social distancing. This will also allow members who don’t live on Maui to participate in church activities.

If you are new to Zoom, here is a quick tutorial on how to join a Zoom meeting: Check this out on YouTube:

A little Obon Trivia

Though obon is celebrated all summer in Hawaii, obon in Okinawa is only celebrated on the 13th, 14th, and 15th days of the seventh lunar month, corresponding to the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival. This year, obon starts on August 20. Though this celebration has Buddhist roots, Buddhism didn’t take hold in the Ryukyus as it did in “mainland” Japan. So the celebration in Okinawa is not so much a religious observance as it is a cultural one of honoring the ancestors and passing on of traditions and values. It’s a time of homecoming, a time to connect across all generations of one’s family.

Foodland Give Aloha Program

Because of COVID-19, Rinzai Zen Mission will NOT have our annual obon. We are asking for your help by making a donation through the Foodland/ Sack N Save “Give Aloha” program. You may go to any store on Maui, Oahu, Kauai, or the Big Island.

During the month of September 1 to 30, please donate through the Foodland/Sack N Save Give Aloha Program.

Use your Maikai Card to make a donation. If you do not have a Maikai Card, apply for one; it’s free. You will need to have this card to make a donation. You do not have to purchase anything. Foodland Foundation will match a portion of all customer donations made with a Maikai Card (Account). You may donate up to $249 per Maikai Card per organization.

Keep your receipt for your tax records. You may ask for a duplicate receipt and send it to Rinzai Zen Mission to be acknowledged. Be sure your receipt shows our organization name – RINZAI ZEN MISSION.

#78980 Rinzai Zen Mission

Your donation will help towards cultivating Zen Buddhism, maintaining our facilities, and continuing with the Paia “plantation” style of Okinawan obon music and dance.

Scroll to top