Arigato to all who came to the temple to make Mochi on Saturday, December 27. There were so many of you who came to help: temple members, relatives and friends and friends of friends. The time went by so quickly! It takes a lot of people, young and old, and it is a LOT OF HARD WORK.
The mochi rice needs to be washed the day before and also the pots, burners, wooden containers or moro-butas all need to be brought out from storage and pre-pared for use for Mochi Day.
On Mochi Tsuki Day, mochi rice is cooked, pounded manually or put through a grinder, and individually shaped, floured, brushed of excess powder and packed to fulfill all the orders received. There is also a lot of fellowship. Some never made mochi before and were amazed how it is done. Didn’t your mochi taste especially good when you were part of this unique day!
Many, many years ago, Jodo Mission of Hawaii was home to a lot of college students who lived here while attending college or trade school. We had a cafeteria run by Vicky Koike and she fed all the students as well as the single ministers for almost 40 years. The dormitory was called “Miyamoto Hall” (named after Bishop Miyamoto), which is currently an apartment building in the back of the temple. We understand the top two floors were for women from the outer islands and the men stayed downstairs below the temple. The first floor was a cafeteria where students and single ministers gathered to have their meals.
At Jodo Mission’s New Year’s party on January 25, 2015, we would like to invite all former dormitory residents.
If anyone knows of any dormitory residents who would like to join us for this New Year’s party, please have them send a note to Jodo Mission that they are interested in attending this reunion or call the Jodo Mission of Hawaii office 949-3995 and leave their contact information (name, telephone #, email address). We would be happy to have their contact information. They can tell us their stories of their dormitory experiences at Jodo Mission during our New Year’s party.
At this time, we have not found too much information but we are researching this part of the temple history. One person indicated that in 1941 he stayed at the dormitory but when World War II began, he had to leave and look for work while the military took over the temple and its property. There are not too many people around from these early days but we would appreciate learning what it was like. Wouldn’t you be too?
When the war ended and the military left, those who were interned came to the temple for help. Some stayed for a while as they did not have much luggage or belongings until they could start again. This probably happened at many temples in Hawaii as the temple was the gathering place for their activities.
We are also interested in photos of the dormitory years. Photos of this period are not easily found. If anyone knows of someone with old photos, we would be interest-ed in copying them and hopefully there is a story behind it too.
This is such an interesting subject area. There is so much history to Jodo Mission. This temple and its membership began in Kakaako (around South Street and King Street) according to Dr. George Tanabe’s book “Japanese Buddhist Temples in Hawaii”. The property at its present location was purchased in 1929 and the temple moved to its present location in 1932. To be continued in January 2015.