On the completion of Toyama Kurobe Center in Kurobe City in central east Toyama Prefecture, the inauguration ceremony and celebration were held on November 10 and 11. Shinran Followers learned about a Buddhist term, “heizei gojo,” the Japanese calligraphy of which is framed and put up above the Buddhist altar. Amida Buddha vows to save us human beings beset by worldly passions into absolute happiness in this uneasy, impermanent world — and in order to repay their debt of gratitude, Followers are now trying to convey Amida’s salvation in this life to the east part of the prefecture.
Kurobe Center has been established in a quiet residential area. It is conveniently located in terms of access to transportation as it is close to the Route 8 bypass road, which was newly opened this spring. Hitoshi Yanagihara (pictured), a member of the Kurobe Center establishment project committee, saw a number of potential sites for the center. He said, “It was very difficult to decide the right place for the center, because none of the buildings I was seeing were truly fitting to be a Shinran Center.”
“However,” he said with a smile, “encouraged by Master Rennyo’s words, ‘jisetsu torai’ (when the time is ripe), which means the cause and condition have finally come together, I reminded myself that anyone who attains something is the one who has been looking for it and preparing well for it. It should be the same in looking for the new Shinran Center.”
Last October, when they finally found the building that is now used as their center, local Shinran Followers’ hopes were raised at once. After many meetings, they officially acquired the building this April. The renovation started in May, with Hiroshi Shimada (pictured), a Shinran Follower of East Toyama and the head of a construc firm, in charge. He says, “As a constructor, nothing gives me more joy than when I see Shinran Followers become so familiar with the center that it's like their home.
I’m going to put up posters of the Congregation to Repay our Gratitude to Master Shinran and the Celebration of his Birth on the bulletin board so that anybody can feel free to visit the center. I’d like this center to be open to the local community.” Kurobe is a nostalgic place where Master Shinran stopped on his way to the penal colony, Echigo (Niigata Prefecture).
Furthermore, in the Edo period (1603–1868), Kurobe had many prominent scholars of True Pure Land Buddhism who took the lead in Buddhist studies. Now, however, there is no trace left of this. The Buddhist Teacher Tadashi Nakamura, who is in charge of Kurobe, expressed his resolution: “From this center, I’m going to convey the teaching of 'heizei gojo', Amida’s salvation which happens now. I hope this center becomes a place where whenever you visit, you can listen to Master Shinran’s teachings, talk to your Buddhist friends, smile a lot, want to come again, and want to stay longer.”
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #60 | 2016, Toyama- Kurobe Shinran Center is Completed
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