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Teigi procession conducted in Brazil for South America’s 60th Anniversary


On July 4, South America conducted a special service and ceremony at the Sao Paulo Betsuin, marking the 60th anniversary since the establishment of the Hongwanji (organization) in South America. More than 500 participants, including members and ministers from throughout Brazil and Argentina, were in attendance as they reflected on the hardships that their predecessors had been through.
The procession was led by the dharma school children followed by the district ministers, senior organization, Buddhist Women’s Association, and boy scouts, before everyone entered the temple hall for the commemorative service. Following the service, guests and members joined together for an anniversary celebration which included performances by the temple choir and other entertainment groups.
In 1908, among the first Japanese immigrants to arrive in Brazil were also devout Nembutsu followers who with them brought over Buddhist images and artifacts, together with the Nembutsu teaching. Later in the 1920’s, as the need for spiritual support began to grow, Dharma talk sessions (howakai) were held at a regular basis, eventually leading to the establishment of the organization. Through their perseverance, the first Hongwanji temple in South America was constructed in 1950 and was officially recognized by the Hongwanji headquarters in Japan, as a branch of Hongwanji. In 1954, the first Bishop to the South America branch was dispatched, and a year later, the Honpa Hongwanji of Brazil was officially recognized by the Brazilian government and became the Templo Honpa Hongwanji Do Brasil.
The South America district today, with its Betsuin located in Sao Paulo oversees 55 groups including temples and fellowships, and well-over 6,500 sangha members.



(Excerpt from Hongwanji Journal, August 20, 2010)