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

Email Church President, Karen Sakata:

Ministers:  Rev. Kakei Nakagawa, Rinban & CCDC Minister
                 Rev. Alan Sakamoto, CCDC Minister
                Rev. Matthew Hamasaki, CCDC Minister 

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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.  From January, 2014 through July 2015, the church was under the supervision of the Fresno Betsuin.  As of August 1, 2015, Reedley has three ministers under a shared system of the seven temples of the Central California District Counci of the Buddhist Churches of America: Rev. Kakei Nakagawa, Rev. Alan Sakamoto, and Rev. Matthew Hamasaki.  The shared system is coordinated by the Central California Ministers' Association, the CCDC Ministerial Advisory Committee, and the staff of the Fresno Betsuin.
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 is approximately 137 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.

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  Activities and Events for August, 2016

1   CBE Lecture at Fowler - Blake  Honda  
       “Speechless”                                               7:00 pm

6   Japanese Buddhist Broadcast on
             KBIF (900 AM)                                       6:00 am

11 Church Board Meeting                                   7:00 pm

13 Japanese Buddhist Broadcast on
       KBIF (900 AM)                                             6:00 am

14 Monthly Memorial Service & Luncheon        10:00 am

14 Reedley BWA Meeting (following
        luncheon)                                                   12:00 pm

20 Japanese Buddhist Broadcast on
        KBIF (900 AM)                                             6:00 am

27 Japanese Buddhist Broadcast on
        KBIF (900 AM)                                             6:00 am




                  REEDLEY OBON FESTIVAL  2016    

Minister's Message

          Message from Rev. Kakei Nakagawa 
       (as printed in the August, 2016 newsletter)

To The Buddha  

by Rabindranath Tagore 

The world today is wild with the

delirium of hatred,

the conflicts are cruel and unceasing in


Crooked are its path, tangled its bond

of greed.

All creatures are crying for a new birth

of Thine,

Oh Thou of boundless life,

Save the, raise thine eternal voice of


Let love’s lotus with its inexhaustible

treasure of honey

Open its petal in Thy light.


O Serene, O Free

in Thine immeasurable mercy and goodness

wipe away all dark stains from the heart

of this earth.

Man’s heart is anguished with the fever

Of unrest,

With the poison of self-seeking,

With athirst that knows no end.

Countries far and wide flaunt on their


The blood-red mark of hatred.

Touch them with thy right hand,

Make them one in spirit,

Bring harmony into their life,

Bring rhythm of beauty.


O Serene, O Free

In Thine immeasurable sense of care and goodness

Wipe away all dark stains from

The heart of this earth!


In Gassho,


I wish to express my sorrow and regret for the victims at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 

In addition, I pay tribute to the fallen Dallas Officers and Baton Rouge Officers;

May the regrettable violence which is happening all over the world become not cause a chain of hatred.



“As long as space abides and as long as the world abides,

So long may I abide, destroying the sufferings of the world.”

Reverend Kakei Nakagawa, Rinban



Minister's Message

Message from Rev. Matthew Hamasaki  
(as printed in the August, 2016 newsletter)

     Right now, it seems as though the world has gone crazy. There are reports of violence and death not only in our nation, but globally as well. It seems like it happens on a daily basis and the only way to avoid it is to simply not read the news or watch television. Ignorance is, as they say, bliss. But that is the opposite of awakening; to live in a fantasy and the opposite of reality, the antithesis of the goal of Buddhism.
     Putting this in a bit of temporal perspective, Shinran lived in an age much worse than we did. We have had incredible medical advances in just the last 50 years that has increased life expectancy dramatically. We have readily available food at the grocery store 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And technology (e.g. air conditioning) makes our everyday lives very comfortable. While Shinran couldn’t see what was happening all over the world, there was enough going on around him to make anyone scared. Disease and famine claimed many lives and this was a time before the unification of Japan where battles were far from rare.
     But Shinran found solace in the teachings of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. And I believe that now, more than ever, we need to turn toward Amida Buddha because it is at such a time when we can so easily lose our faith in humanity. When terrible things are being done by people to others around us, it is human nature to be afraid, judgmental, suspicious, and defensive to everyone we see. We are motivated by the ego’s drive to protect itself to see all others as a threat.  
     However, when we say the nembutsu, we take refuge in Amida. When our eyes, clouded with prejudice, see the potential evil in people, Amida directs the mind which is compassionate to all beings to each of us. Since the very nature of our being is to care about only ourselves, our ability care for others comes from outside of us, in the form of Great Love from the Buddha which grasps all of us at all times. This is the working of Amida’s Primal Vow to save all beings, no matter what. And when our mind is working within Amida’s mind and our eyes see within Amida’s eyes, it is possible again for us to begin to awaken to the reality of human nature and have faith in humanity again.







Minister's Message

Message from Rev. Alan Sakamoto  
(as printed in the August, 2016 newsletter)

         What Women Really Want

             I’m sure that the title of the article sparked an interest in some of you! I am writing this newsletter article during a very difficult time in our lives.  We have recently experienced the mass murder in the nightclub in Orlando. More recently, there has been multiple police shootings of black men. And, we have seen terrible terrorist activity throughout the world. The cries of the families and survivors ring loudly in our ears from all over the world. The respect that we have for each other as humans, regardless of sexual orientation, religion, and color seems to be very very low. It is with these painful thoughts that I write this article and recall a story I once heard about King Arthur’s noblest friend, Sir Gawain.
Sir Gawain had finished a terrible battle and ended up lost in the forest. He decided that he would figure out how to get out of the forest the next day. The next day arrived, and he was still lost. That night, tired, hungry and thirsty, he came across an open field with a well. He stopped and gathered water from the well, and quenched his thirst. He saw that a beautiful horse with long flowing hair was coming toward him with a rider. The rider was dressed beautifully and had long flowing hair herself. But, as she came closer, he realized that she was hideous. She was hunchbacked, only one tooth, smelled terrible, and had warts all over her face.
She told him that was her water; he was had to pay the price for drinking from her well. Sir Gawain did not have any money, and offered her “anything.” She told him that he would have to answer one question, and he had one year to return with the answer.  The question? What do women really want? If he didn’t return with the correct answer, then he would have to marry her.
Sir Gawain returned and consulted with his dear friend King Arthur. They consulted with the wise men of the Court, and none provided an adequate answer. They sent emissaries all over the land to record the answers of every woman they came across. One year later, Sir Gawain, presented the books to the Hideous looking lady. She looked through all the books, and told him that none contained the right answer.
The wedding was held in the Great Hall. After they went to their chambers, Sir Gawain was not looking forward to their honeymoon. His wife asked him to kiss her, which he reluctantly did, on the cheek. She suddenly turned into the most beautiful lady. She then asked Sir Gawain a question. He had a choice. She could be beautiful at night, but ugly during the day, or just the opposite, beautiful during the day and ugly during the night. At this point, Sir Gawain didn’t know what to say. He finally replied to her that he would let her choose for herself. Upon hearing this answer, she told him that she would be beautiful all the time because that was what women really want. Women want respect, dignity, agency, and the capacity to be respected for who they are within their own life.
             RESPECT! Aretha Franklin sang about it. Martin Luther King walked in protest to achieve it. Mahatma Gandhi went on a hunger strike to get it. And yes, Shakyamuni Buddha had respect for all his followers too. When he finished his lessons, he often would tell the person, “Now it is time for you to do what you see fit.” The Buddha places the dignity, agency and respect in the hands of the person. Every being wants respect.
Currently, there is a wave of “mindfulness” education and emphasis sweeping the country. This is great and wonderful. However, the foundation of this mindfulness needs to be a loving awareness of what is around each and every one of us. The recognition and understanding that there is suffering, pain, agony, difficulties, happiness, joy and sadness, just to name a few, is critical. But more importantly, is not to be personally attached to any of those emotions. Not to the point where they drive our negative reactions through violent and discriminatory actions. Yes, “Black Lives Matter,” but more importantly EVERY LIFE MATTERS!
I came across these quotes. Hopefully they will inspire and move you as they did me.

     “The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage they did not know they had.”
                                    ? Martin Luther King Jr.

“Hatreds never cease through hatred in this world; through love alone they cease.”

                           — Shakyamuni Buddha

I go to the Buddha for guidance.

I go to the Dharma for guidance.

I go to the Sangha for guidance.

Rev. Alan Sakamoto