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Young Buddhists from overseas districts attend Hongwanji program


Forty-five delegates from four overseas districts; Buddhist Churches of America, Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada, Honpa Hongwanji Mission of  Hawaii and Comunidade Budista Sul-Americana Jodo-Shinshu Honpa Hongwanji, participated in this year’s biannual Young Buddhists’ International Cultural Study Exchange (YBICSE) program at Hongwanji.  The program included a lecture on Jodo Shinshu, visitations to the historical sites of Shinran Shonin and the Osaka International Peace Center. During the students visit to Hongwanji they joined other members from around Japan who participate in a volunteer temple cleaning activity. One of the highlights of the YBICSE program is a homestay with member families.  This year, students were hosted by families in the Osaka and Hyogo districts.  On the final day, twenty-five delegates received their Buddhist names from the Monshu during a Confirmation Ceremony.  Casey Kawahira from the Buddhist Churches of America stated that this experience has enabled him to feel closer to Shinran Shonin more than ever before, and encouraged to live within the teachings of Jodo Shinshu.  Stephan Oikawa, a participant from South America concluded by expressing his appreciation for the warm hospitality extended to him throughout the program.

Excerpt from Hongwanji Journal, August 10, 2009.