The setting-up of the Ishikawa-Kaga Center has just started in the vicinity of Yamashiro Onsen, a historic hot spring resort. Since Master Rennyo’s days, Kaga has flourished as a region that has many devout Shinran followers, whose spirit of observing Buddhist teachings struck fear in the army of Oda Nobunaga. Today, such enthusiasm for Buddhism seems to have disappeared.
However, Shinran followers in the Hiroaki Omote Chapter in Kaga are eager to convey Amida Buddha’s Vow, with the slogan, “Revive the kingdom of the True Pure Land Buddhism!” Shinran followers of the Omote Chapter, who are core members of the Kaga Center project, conducted a tour of Shinran Centers, such as the Toyama Center and the Oyabe Center as a reference for their new building. Missionary Omote says, “I have visited some other Shinran Centers before, but since this tour is for our new Center, I checked the buildings in more details including the Buddhist alter, the guest room and the plumbing.”
Kazuo Okamoto, a participant of the tour, was also excited to see the other Centers, saying, “We do need a bulletin board at the entrance. Some people will see the words of Master Shinran on the board and attend the lecture. Kaga is very close to Yoshizaki Temple in Fukui Prefecture, where Master Rennyo lived, and the region is called the “kitchen of the East Honganji Temple.”
Many followers in the region have been raised in devout Buddhist families. In one town, each family took turns holding Buddhist lectures at their home, and each time carrying the Buddhist alter with the Name written by Master Rennyo into the house where the lecture was being held.
“Nowadays, there are very few people who care about their afterlife, not to mention birth in the Pure Land. That is how I feel every time I meet people who attend a lecture for the first time,” laments Teiji Yamagishi, chief of the construction project.
However, he says filled with emotions, “Many people respect Master Shinran, but his teachings are not conveyed at all. Kaga is full of such ‘refugees of True Pure Land Buddhism,’ and so we do need a Center in our hometown. We are working together to open a new Center this fall.”
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #29 | 2013, Ardent Mindset among Followers for Observing the Buddhist Doctrine
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