Here is the timeline of Rissho Kosei-kai as it came to Hawaii. We have had over 50 years of growth spreading the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha in Hawaii and are grateful for the opportunity. We give thanks to our founding members and all those who have paved the way before us in Hawaii and Japan.
1951 – Mrs. Tomoko Ozaki was initiated into Rissho Kosei-kai by her former schoolteacher in Japan, Mr. Kanshichi Suzuki. She had become the first member to join RKK outside of Japan. Mrs. Ozaki and her husband Susumu, worked as coffee farmers and began spreading the teachings to their family, neighbors, friends and fellow coffee farmers during the work day. Thus began the Kona Chapter of Rissho Kosei-kai. By spreading the teachings Mrs. Ozaki was able to initiate charter members on Maui and Oahu during the following year.
1952 – Mrs. Kei Kimizuka (Mrs. Ozaki’s cousin) was the first Honolulu Chapter member of Oahu. Oahu members first met at Mrs. Kimizuka’s home to learn about Buddhism. Mrs. Masue Kalakaua (Mrs. Ozaki’s mother) was the first Wailuku Chapter member of Maui.
1958 – Found Nikkyo Niwano of RKK Japan visited Hawaii on their way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Japanese Immigrants to Brazil. He and Rev. Motoyuki Naganuma were welcomed by 15 members of Hawaii with Mrs. Ozaki at the Honolulu International Airport. He traveled to Kona to visit the place where Mr. & Mrs. Ozaki planted the first seeds of faith in Hawaii.
Mrs. Kazue Yukawa of Japan is selected district leader to Hawaii Rissho Kosei-kai
1958 – Hawaii is first recognized by Founder Niwano as the first overseas congregation of Rissho Kosei-kai. Hoza guidance and services are conducted in member’s homes while the membership grows.
1960 – The Divine Mandala Scroll was enshrined in Mrs. Kimura’s new home in Kalihi, Honolulu, Hawaii.
1969 – Rissho Kosei-kai Hawaii is officially recognized as a branch by RKK Japan. Mrs. Tomoko Ozaki is assigned the duty as the first reverend for Rissho Kosei-kai Hawaii. Making her the first American born minister of Rissho Kosei-kai.
1970 – Rissho Kosei-kai Maui is officially recognized as a branch of RKK Hawaii with the creation of the Maui Hoza Center in Mrs. Jane Taguchi’s home.
1972 – RKK Hawaii opens its first church in Pearl City, HI and founder Niwano enshrines the Statue of the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni.
1976 – Reverend Nobukazu Masuda becomes reverend of the Hawaii branches when Rev. Tomoko Ozaki retires
1980 – Maui Hoza center moved from Mrs. Jane Taguchi’s home to Mrs. Dorothy Tagawa’s Home in Wailuku.
1984 – Reverend Masuda and his family return to Japan.
Reverend Yoshiaki Yamamoto is assigned as the third minister of the Hawaii Churches.
1994 – Reverend Yamamoto and his family return to Japan.
Reverend Mitsuyuki Okada is assigned as the fourth minister of the Hawaii Churches.
1994 – RKK Hawaii completes the construction of the Kailua Kona church.
1999 – Reverend Okada and his family return to Japan.
Reverend Masayuki Idei is appointed as the fifth minister of the Hawaii Churches.
2001 – Mrs. Dorothy Tagawa and her Family donate their home and property in Wailuku, Maui for the RKK Maui Dharma Center.
2002 – The newly renovated RKK Maui Dharma Center is complete. President Nichiko Niwano enshrines the statue of the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni in Maui.
2004 – Reverend Idei and his family return to Japan.
Reverend Hiroyasu Hosoyama is appointed as the sixth minister of the Hawaii churches
2010 – Reverend Hosoyama and his family return to Japan.
Reverend Seiji Hironaka is appointed as the seventh minister of the Hawaii churches
2015 – Reverend Seiji Hironaka returns to Japan.
2015 Reverend Laura Meya is promoted from Oahu Japanese Group Leader to reverend and is appointed as eighth minister to the Hawaii churches. Rev. Meya is the first local Hawaii resident to be appointed reverend since 1976 when founding Rev. Ozaki retired.