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 with the annual church bazaar held on November 2nd.  It was a great success because everyone came out and helped prepare the food.  Reedley's dinner has been said to be the best in the Valley!

      2014 Obon Festival & Hatsubon/Obon Service




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 December, 2014

1      CBE Lecture—Blake Honda in Reedley                     7:00 pm

2      Post Bazaar Meeting                                                    7:00 pm

5     Bonenkai Preparation - Conference room
            marinade chicken                                                     1:30 pm

6      Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)
             (Garrett Sano)                                                         7:25 am
        Bonenkai Preparation - conference room                   8:00 am

7       Family Dharma Service & Dharma
              School                                                                     9:30 am
        Nikkei-jin Kai Bonenkai - social hall                     12:00 noon

10    Buddhist Discussion in English - Curtis
              Koga at Parlier                                                       7:00 pm

11    Ministerial Affairs Comm. Meeting                             7:00 pm

13    Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)                       7:25 am
        Sunamoto Family Memorial Service                          11:00 am

14     Combined Bodhi Day, Monthly
              Memorial, & Family Dharma Service                    9:30 am

16    Church Board Meeting                                                  7:00 pm

18    Wash Rice for Mochitsuki                                             6:30 am

20     MOCHITSUKI                                                             7:00 am
        Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)                       7:25 am

21     No Family Dharma Service

22     Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)
             Rev. Sakamoto (Final broadcast)                            7:25 am

23     No Family Dharma Service

24     Joya-E Service - Rev. Alan Sakamoto                         7:30 am


1      New Year’s Day Service                                          1:00 pm
         (Please note the change of time)


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 December, 2014 newsletter)

Bodhi Day

     December 8th is Bodhi Day, the day Gautama Shiddh?rtha attained buddhahood over 2,500 years ago. It is said that when Shiddh?rtha saw the Morning Star early on that morning, he awoke to the truth-reality of the universe and the truth-reality of himself; Shiddh?rtha became the "Buddha -Awakened one." (Some ask, “what is the contents of his “Awakening””?) I think that, in essence, he awoke to the "middle way." In other words, he found a way of living his life without any stresses that gave him a state of perfect peace and ultimate relaxation in his life. He realized that neither living a life of extreme pleasure, which he had done as Prince Siddhartha, nor living a life of extreme asceticism, which he did for 6 years prior to his awakening, could lead him to find peace of mind. As Siddhartha, his life in the castle was a life of extreme pleasure; he lived in a world of real comfort and pleasure before he renounced his life in the castle as the crown prince. In a similar way, we are living in a world today that puts emphasis on comfort and pleasure. Therefore, I think that we are also living in a world of pleasure. This is due to our own desires and values. We think that a materialistically fulfilled life is a life of comfort without anxiety. But is this really true? Buddha renounced his life of pleasure when he was 29 years old, then he lived a life of asceticism, traditional Indian way for the truth-seekers and dedicated himself to extreme practices such as fasting for extended periods of time. However, he found he could not attain awakening by these practices of asceticism, even after six years of effort. This life of asceticism was the other side of his extreme life of pleasure. This extreme lifestyle almost killed him. After attaining awakening, he said that people who want to live in peace should avoid these two kinds of extreme lifestyles. He found the lifestyle of the middle way and he started to live this way. The teaching of the middle way were taught by the Buddha in every occasions.
     From the beginning of the sharing Dharma, all teachings were delivered by this stand point. This idea of the middle path is very important in our lives. For example, we take aspirin for headache. Aspirin or other pain-relief medicines are beneficial for us, but if we take too much, what will happen? We might develop another problem such as a stomach ulcer. We have to take the proper amount of medicine. If we don’t take enough, the medicine will not work, but if we take too much, the
medicine becomes a poison and causes other problems.

In the worst case scenario, it could even kill us. Therefore, just taking the right amount of medicine is like living the middle way of Buddhism. Just as we want medicine to help us feel better, we want a good result in our lives as well.
     Right Viewing, occupying the first seat of not only Eightfold Noble Path but also any other teachings, makes our religion just contrary to blind faith. Right Viewing is always accompanied by our critical attitude. In reading Buddhist literature, we are surprised at sentences referring to “doubt” as the mother of True-Faith.
     One Zen master once said, “If a Bodhisattva is to have a fatal disease, it would be the absence of doubt.” The original Buddhist word “vicikits?” which corresponds to English “doubt” means “sincere wish to understand”.
     Furthermore, we should know that in Buddhist vocabulary there is no word equivalent to the Judeo-Christian idea of “heresy”. The noun “heresy” which comes from a Greek and meaning is “free thinkers with critical attitude.” Buddhism’s name for other religions, “Ge-D?” stands for just “other way or other path” leading to the same goal, but its implication is not so condemnable like “heresy” or “pagan”. From this critical standpoint, ??kyamuni Buddha advised his disciples to test everything by logic and not to accept anything out of regard for their authors. He did not make an exception of himself either. One S?tra says, “This I have said to you, Kalama, but you may accept it, not because it is a report, not because it is a tradition, not because it is so said in the past, not because it is given from the scripture, not for the sake of discussion, not because it appears to be suitable but if you, yourselves understand that this is so meritorious and blameless, and when it is for benefit and happiness, then you may accept it.” Another S?tra amplifies the above saying, “As the wise test gold by burning, cutting and rubbing it (on a piece of touchstone), so are you to accept my words after examining them and not merely out of regard for me.” This Right Viewing with critical examination which is entirely alien to blind faith has made Buddhism unique among all religions.
     According to most religions, “He who believes is saved, while he who doubts is forsaken.”
     Otherwise the Buddha-dharma, particularly our JodoShinshu oppose this statement.

Shinran mentioned in his Wasan poem,

Obstructions of serious stored doubts turn into virtures
It is like the relation of ice and water
The more the ice, the more the water
The more the karmic doubt, the more the potentiality to be saved by The Amida, the Buddha-as-words.

Reverend Kakei Nakagawa, from his notebook cf. “Thus I Hear” by Reverend Masami Fujitani

Minister's Message
        Message from Rev. Alan Sakamoto, Fresno Betsuin
                (as printed in the December, 2014 newsletter)

Wishing You Lots of Laughter

     It’s December! Where did the year go? It sure has passed by quickly. It seems just the other day I was eating ozoni for New Years Day, then we were dancing at the Obon, then wondering when the weather was going to cool off, and now, we are in the holiday season, and preparing for the next New Years Day celebration. Yet, through those annual events, we observed many milestones, i.e. birthdays, graduations, and, of course, the passing of many of our good friends and family. Through it all, the good and the sad, I hope you remember the smiles and laughter.
     I think we all know that a little laughter can make us feel better, and the other day I read a medical study that looked at 20 healthy older adults in their 60s and 70s, measuring their stress levels and short-term memory. One group was asked to sit silently, not talking, reading, or using their cellphones, while the other group watched funny videos. After 20 minutes, the participants gave saliva samples and took a short memory test. While both groups performed better after the break than before, the "humor group" performed significantly better when it came to memory recall. Participants who viewed the funny videos had much higher improvement in recall abilities, 43.6 percent, compared with 20.3 percent in the non-humor group. The humor group also showed lower levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone.”
     There are other studies that have also shown the wide-ranging health benefits of laughter. One study estimated that just 10-15 minutes of laughter a day can burn up to 40 calories. Gee, I think I need to laugh all day to lose more weight. Meanwhile, a different study found that laughing can protect against heart disease. Other stated benefits of laughter include: boosting immunity, decrease pain, prevents heart disease, strengthens relationships, enhances teamwork, and adds a joy and zest to life.
     Why do I mention the benefits of laughter? Well, I was speaking with one of the IMOP ministers who came to visit us for the Nembutsu Seminar. He noted that Dharma messages in Japan usually don’t have humor. People don’t usually laugh during the Dharma talks. He liked this difference here in America.

Many of you know that I like to use humor in my Dharma messages. Many times I laugh at myself, and you all know that there is quite of bit of me to laugh at! Humor and laughter allows us to develop better relationships with everyone. Laughter gets us out of our “funk,” and allows us to feel better. We all have moments of difficulties and sadness, and laughter can help us forget, even if just for a moment.

The holiday season is one of my favorite times to watch television. I love to watch all those old holiday shows, like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and one of my favorites, Scrooged. All these shows make me smile and laugh. These shows allow me to forget about the problems of the day, and to recall the good times and innocence of a time past. These shows also remind me what values are truly important, not just during the holiday season, but for the entire year.

This is just like the lessons we learn from the teachings of the Buddha. The importance and value extends way beyond the hour or two you spend at the temple on Sunday. These are lessons that the Buddha taught to help all of us. These are the lessons that allow us to all become Buddhas! Yes, we can all become a Buddha!

Renka and I would like to thank each and every one of you for sharing your friendship, kindness and laughter throughout the past year. It’s been great, and we are very fortunate. We are looking forward to another wonderful year sharing more good times and more laughter with all of our Sangha friends. Together with your smiles, humor and laughter we can all have a wonderful Dharma filled year.

I go to the Buddha for guidance.
I go to the Dharma for guidance.
I go to the Sangha for guidance.

Rev. Alan Sakamoto