Reedley Buddhist Church
2035 15th Street - P.O. Box 24
Reedley, CA  93654                        
Phone: (559) 638-2146


Email Church President, Gary Sakata:
Email Webmaster:

Ministers:  Rev. Kakei Nakagawa, Rinban Fresno Betsuin
                 Rev. Alan Sakamoto, Fresno Bestuin  


About Us

The Reedley Buddhist Church was established in 1936 with the Rev. Rijun Katsueda becoming the first resident minister. After World War II and the relocation of the Japanese residents, the church was rebuilt in 1952-53 and the Rev. Gibun Kimura became the third minister. In 1961, the Sunday School classrooms, conference room, office, and restrooms were started and completed in 1962. A boyhood statue of Shinran Shonin was donated by Mr. Seichi Hirose of Japan and placed in the U-shaped garden. The entire project was completed and dedicated on April 15, 1967. Rev. George Shibata, our retired resident minister, began his association with the Reedley Buddhist Church in 1975 and completed 37 years in December, 2011. Rev. Hidehito Sakamoto was appointed as resident minister in March, 2012 until December, 2013.  At the present time, without a resident minister, Reedley is under the supervision of Rinban Kakei Nakagawa and Rev. Alan Sakamoto of the Fresno Betsuin Temple.

The church renovated the conference room and added a new kitchen facility in 2004. They added a new wrought iron fence surrounding the property in 2006, updated the hondo in 2007, and completed a storage building next to the small kitchen in 2008. The social hall bathrooms received an update in 2010 and in 2011 the grounds between the hall and the Japanese School building were graded and decomposed granite was added. 

The membership continues to hold steady with approximately 175 members. The Buddhist Women's Association, the Reedley Dharma School, and the Jr. Young Buddhist Association remain active and support all activities sponsored by the church.


Did you notice?  This is a new website!  I hope it is an easier and friendly site to use.  If you have any problems, please let me know!  Since I am limited on how many page buttons at the top of the page, please go to Pictures and Other Information for more.  


     Thank you to everyone who helped make our Obon Festival a success!  Despite the heat and humidity, it was nice to see many family and friends come home to observe Obon and be with family.  
     Thank you to the many church members, Dharma School members, and BWA members who spent many hours preparing for the festival.  Thank you to Fresno Gumyo Taiko for providing their exciting music to our festivities!



      2014 Obon Festival & Hatsubon/Obon Service




Dharma School will begin its new school year on September 14th!  Please download the registration card if you are a new student or have a change to make on a current student.  

2014-15 Registration Form

A new message from the superintendent is on the Dharma School page.  Click the link above on the menu bar.

Pictures from the Rev. Dr. Ken Tanaka seminar




 2014 Reedley Dharma Scholarship Recipients - Pictured L to R: Church President Gary Sakata, Connor Osato, James Kamada, Crystal Ikemiya, Rinban Nakagawa.

      2014 Reedley Dharma School Perfect Attendance Awardees

      Graduates:  James, Kelsey, Connor, & Crystal 

  Activities for October, 2014

4     Bus Trip to the Japanese American
                National Museum & Marukai
                Market in Los Angeles                                                 6:00 am
       Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)                               7:25 am

5      Nembutsu Seminar in Fowler                                               9:30 am

8      RBC Board Meeting                                                             7:00 pm

10    Beef Slicing for Bazaar                                             6:00 pm

11   Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)                    7:25 am
       Reedley Fiesta Parade                                             10:00 am

12   Family Dharma Service & Dharma
               School Class                                                       9:30 am
       Beef Slicing for Bazaar                                            11:00 am
       Beef Skewering                                                1:00 - 3:00 pm

13   Bazaar Meeting                                                          7:00 pm

18   Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)                    7:25 am
       Bungo Family - Conference Room                 12:00 - 5:00 pm

19   Combined Eshin-ni Kakushin-ni Ko
                BWA Members Memorial Service,
                Monthly Memorial Service,
       Family Dharma Service & Dharma
               School Class (lunch following service)             9:30 am
       BWA Meeting                                                          12:00 pm

21   Vision & Preservation Committee
               Meeting in Fowler                                             7:00 pm

25   Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)                   7:25 am
       FDSTL Meeting in Conference
                Room                                               10:00 am - 3:00 pm

26   Family Dharma Service & Dharma
               School Halloween Party                                   9:30 am

29   Beef Skewering for Bazaar                            1:00 - 4:00 pm

Note:  Please see the flyer to the left  for all the dates of Buddhist education classes offered in Fresno, Fowler, and Parlier this month.  


Rev. Dr. Ken Tanaka was a guest speaker at the special seminar hosted by the Buddhist Church of Fowler and the Reedley Buddhist Church on September 7th .



Thank you to Mr. Craig Honda, Mr. Ron Nishinaka, and Mr. Ben Kubota for chairing this event.  


Minister's Message

Message from Rev. Kakei Nakagawa Rinban, Fresno Betsuin 
    (as printed in the October, 2014 newsletter)

Very Buddhistic…

     Shinran Shonin never thought of organizing any religious schools. As he mentioned in the sixth chapter of the "Tannish?":
     “As for myself, Shinran, I do not have a single disciple. If I could make others practice the nenbutsu through my own devices, they would be my disciples. Otherwise, how arrogant it is to claim as disciples those who live the nenbutsu through the working of Buddha's wish-for-the-world.”
     At the beginning of our J?do Shinsh? history when Shinran Sh?nin was living in thirteen century in Japan, there was no such temple as the Hongan-ji. We can trace the roots of the Hongan-ji back to Shinran Sh?nin's youngest daughter,
Kakushin-ni, who moved his ashes from the Toribeno cemetery to the Yoshimizu town and erected a mausoleum with a scroll of her father's image enshrined in it. Her son, Shinran Sh?nin's third generation descendant, Kakunyo Sh?nin, had the simple mausoleum raised to temple status, and gave it the name Hongan-ji. But it is Shinran Sh?nin's eighth generation descendant, Rennyo Sh?nin; who through his tireless propagation efforts, and clear understanding of J?do Shinshu teachings, as revealed in his Gobunsh?-Letters, to which we owe the establishment of the huge Hongan-ji religious order that we have inherited.
     Through all of this,
Rennyo Sh?nin never lost sight of Shinran Shonin's teaching that each and every one of us is essentially in the same position. If we look at the 40th entry of the Rennyo Sh?nin’s “Kikigaki”, we find the words;
     "I put aside my social status and sit with you all. Shinran Sh?nin too said that in the entire world those who with the Shinjin - true and real awareness are brothers and sisters. So, I do as he said."
     Many times in his Letters,
Rennyo Sh?nin laments over the fact that he has drawn many people together but very few, or none has achieved the greatest treasure of Dharna that our teaching has to offer; that of Shinjin - true and real awareness. Of course he wanted to bring as many people as possible together to give them access to the J?do Shinsh? teaching. He was very happy to create a family of Shinsh? followers; but, at the same time, he was seriously worried over the condition of their hearts and minds called ‘Kokoro’. Their understanding and attainment of Shinjin - true and real awareness was always his primary concern. 
     Now in the modern day, of course we need new members; but, at the same time, I think that we all need to get a firm grasp on our own religious sentiment. We listen, and learn about the teachings and our own human nature. Recently, I have come to realize that I, personally, may never ever come to fully appreciate the entire scope of Buddha’s boundless compassion until my final moment. In Rennyo Sh?nin's time there was a priest named Hokky?-b?. Although he lived into his nineties, Hokky?-b? could say; "I have listened to the Dharma up to this age, but never have I said to myself that I have had enough. There is nothing in which I feel I have had enough". 
     The Dharma is something that gets deeper and deeper the more I listen to it. My only hope for a complete understanding is to keep listening in the same spirit as Hokky?-b?. 
     On Sunday, October 5th, the six temples of the Central California District will come together at the Fowler Buddhist Temple and conduct the Nenbutsu Seminar. Rev. Kiyo Kuwahara, co-director of the BCA Center for Buddhist Education, is our main lecturer and five candidates for future BCA ministers will join him. Those six plus Rev. Alan and I, total eight ministers will share our dharma experiences. Please make it a point to join us for our very special Nenbutsu Seminar.



Minister's Message
        Message from Rev. Alan Sakamoto, Fresno Betsuin

    (as printed in the October, 2014 newsletter)

The Difficulty of Being Buddhist

I happened to be watching a movie called “Amongst White Clouds.” It is an impressive documentary of a journalist’s journey to visit and speak with Buddhist hermits deep in the isolated mountains of China. He speaks with a young apprentice and wise smiling man, among others, and they share their stories of trials and tribulations living a solitary life of Buddhist practice. One monk told the journalist that he ate nothing be grass and wood his first year. Wow! What dedication and determination.

I couldn’t help but think while watching this movie that these monks, no matter how difficult and noble a path they have chosen, seem to have avoided the difficulties of dealing with, working, and associating with people. The difficulties of a monastic lifestyle don’t seem to address the daily problems and issues in my life. How many meetings do they attend? How about the difficulties working with a group of people, i.e. differing opinions, trying to work together, rude and insensitive people and their comments. What about family issues or relationships? It seems to me that the hermit-styled or hierarchical monastic life avoids many of those daily issues that we encounter. Those monks have chosen their own unique path, and I have nothing but admiration for their efforts.

However, Shinran Shonin has led us to a pragmatic realization of a Buddhist way of life, after all, he did write that he is “neither monk nor layman.” Shinran left the monastic lifestyle on Mt. Hiei after 20 years. He got married and had children. He taught and founded a Buddhist tradition that provided hope for those that were not able to enter a monastery. Jodo Shinshu Buddhism provides us lessons that are grounded in reality.

So, it comes as no surprise that it is hard to know what to do sometimes in leading a Buddhist way of life. As I wrote in the September 2014 newsletter, the lessons of all the Buddha’s are quite simple, “Do good things, and don’t do bad things.” Yet, it really is very very very difficult to not do bad things, isn’t it? What is out there that can help us?

The Christians have the Ten Commandments. These are rules as prescribed by the all powerful, and all knowing God who is distinctly separate from us. And, if we don’t follow those rules, then he/she just might kick our butts.

Buddhists have our own guides! First, is our intuition. If you look deep within yourself, you will find the best
answer. We all have an intuitive sense of what is right and wrong, what is good and what is bad. When we 
have difficulties determining what is right and wrong we turn to this intuition, and sometimes it is difficult to hear that small voice from inside. This is part of our Buddhist practice. Yes, we all make mistakes. But, that’s why it is call PRACTICE. We all practice each and everyday to be the best Buddhists possible. Yet, sometimes we still get stumped. Where else can we turn to?

We can all turn to the Six Paramitas, Eightfold Noble Path and the Buddhist precepts for guidance. These rarely provide a “black and white” answer for every decision. These are meant as guidelines and examples to show us how intuition should work. These are not a set of rules that we must follow or incur the Buddha’s wrath. After all, these guidelines come from a human, just like you and me.

The Zen Master Dogen said that our life is one mistake after another. That we make mistakes isn’t important. What IS important is that we try and fix the mistakes we’ve made and try not to make the same mistakes again. All of us have to constantly practice, today, right here, and right now.

Namu Amida Butsu