Hō-on kō 2023 – Thinking about Shinran Shōnin

January 16 is the date on which Nishi Hongwanji commemorates Hō-on kō, the memorial of our founder Shinran Shōnin, but the Buddhist Church of Oakland held its annual Hō-on kō Service yesterday on January 15. I gave the talk to the Dharma School students, relating a story I heard from a BCA minister who built a time machine to visit Shinran. Rev. Michael Endo delivered the message to the adults, talking both about his paternal grandfather who he never met, and Kakunyo, Shinran’s great-grandson, and his own efforts to learn about and commemorate his great-grandfather who he never met. You can watch the entire service here (click on the times in the description on YouTube to jump to different sections):

(Click to go to YouTube – I couldn’t embed it since it was a live stream – gotta figure out how to do that)

Rev. Endo adorned the Naijin with special setups, including “gogusoku” (two flower arrangements and two candles) for both the main table and for Shinran Shōnin, and also displayed our copy of the “Go-eden” “Illustrated Biography” of Shinran. We were also fortunate to have a visitor – Rev. Dr. Seigen Yamaoka!

Finally, check out my rendition of gatha “Shinran Sama”:

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