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Reedley Buddhist Church

Reedley, California

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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 minister in March, 2012 and returned to Japan in December, 2013.  Presently, the Reedley Buddhist Church is under the supervision of Rinban Kakei Nakagawa and Rev. Alan Sakamoto of the Fresno Bestuin Buddhist Temple until a replacement minister is appointed.   

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.


New!  The Reedley Buddhist Church would like to thank all of our wonderful supporters for attending the 10th Annual Crab Feed & Silent Auction!  It was sold out this year!  We hope everyone had a wonderful time and got their fill of crab!  Thank you to all the donors for their donations of goods, services, and monetary donations towards the silent auction.  Please see the list of sponsors (next column) and patronize these businesses!  See you next year on March 14, 2015!

New!  The Church & the BWA are co-sponsoring a bus trip for members of the church to the California Museum in Sacramento, CA on March 22nd to see the ART OF GAMAN exhibit.  The trip is now open to friends and family of members and seats are available.  Please see the February newsletter for details.  

New!  The SCRIP Program is available from Ron & Kathy Nishinaka and Mich Miyamoto.  Please contact one of them if you would like to order SCRIP.  Remember, the church receives a percentage from each gift certificate or gift card you purchase!  See the SCRIP page on this website to view the latest list or click here.

New!  Thank you once again to  Mr. Bill Imada of the IW Group, Inc. in Southern California for his additional  donation to the Reedley Buddhist Church in memory of his uncle and aunt, Mr. Tak and Mrs. Haru Yamakawa and his parents, Eugene & Mary Imada.  Mr. Imada donated $4,000 which will be used to replace the windows in the church social hall and purchase an ice machine for the kitchen.  

The V & P sponsored Super Bowl Sunday service was well attended by other Central California church members.  A luncheon was sponsored by the Reedley Buddhist Church.

Calendar of Events for

April, 2014

5           Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)                           7:25 am
       Asian Fest at Fresno City College
       Hanamido Decorating                                                           6:00 pm

6           Hanamatsuri & Monthly Memorial Service, Parents’
            Appreciation Program, and Luncheon                         9:30 am

7          CBE Lecture Series in Reedley (Calvin Doi)                    7:00 pm

8           Buddhist Discussion in English at Parlier
           (Curtis Koga)                                                                       7:00 pm

12         Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)                            7:25 am
             BWA Bake Sale at Town & Country Market in
                  Reedley                                                                                 9:00 am

13         Dharma School Picnic at Woodward Park                       10:00 am

14         Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)                             7:25 am

15         No Dharma School

23         Church Board Meeting                                                          7:00 pm

25 - 26  FDSTL Conference in San Mateo

26          Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)                            7:25 am
              Fresno Hawaiian Dinner Pick up at RBC                         4:30 pm

27          Dharma School Service                                                       10:00 am
              Jr. YBA Fried Rice Breakfast                                               7:30 am

28         V & P Meeting in Fowler                                                        7:00 pm

29         CCDC Meeting in Fowler                                                       7:00 pm


   Message from Rev. Alan Sakamoto
        Fresno Betsuin 

    (as printed in the April, 2014 newsletter)


The game of Bingo was one of my earliest and fondest games played while I was growing up and going to different temple Obon festivals. I can still recall sitting and staring at the multitude of different prizes wondering which prize I would select should my card be the winner. But alas, more times than not, I found better luck at the dime pitch booth, or better yet, eating my way through a plate of chicken teriyaki. At least, I got something for my money! As I got older, I noticed that prizes gave way to monetary prizes or 50/50 splits. Then, the game of Bingo at Obon and Hanamatsuri festivals seem to have become fewer and farther. Yet, I know one can still find the game around. As a matter of fact, as I Googled “bingo and Buddhism,” the majority of hits seem to come from our BCA temples!

Do you remember when we put dry beans on the numbers as markers? Or how about how cool it was when we got the cards where one had to only push across a plastic cover to mark the number called. For you Pro’s, you can quickly mark and stamp you way across many sheets. And, for those who go to the gambling halls, it is even automated where all you have to do is stare at a computer screen, and wait for the machine to “beep” to let you know you won. I had to do some research on the later!

I think it sad that we no longer have those dry pinto beans to mark our Bingo cards. It harkens back to a more innocent time where all the Sangha worked hard to find any and every way possible to make money for the temple. Now, it seems that the words “too much work” seems to pop up in the reconciliation and justification of fund raising.

The St. Agatha Catholic Church in Milton Massachusetts runs a weekly Monday night Bingo game that sometimes attracts as many as 400 people vying for the nightly $3,000 prize. Bingo accounted for approximately $1.2 million of the gross revenue in 2009 to the church and helped support its grammar school among others. Opponents of gambling site many reasons, and some even say that gambling is a sin.

Like St. Agatha’s many religious organizations have become dependent on Bingo and raffles, yes, raffles are gambling too. The members who generously open their wallets to give are dwindling, and we see this trend across churches throughout the United States. A Catholic friend of mine even said that the same Catholic parishioner who puts $10 in the basket on Sunday gladly contributes over $100 a week to their Bingo games. It is not uncommon to see churches fund building projects and other fund raising projects through the use of Bingo nights and raffles.

Gambling is not incongruous with Jodo Shinshu Buddhism! Shinran Shonin spent 20 years toiling to achieve enlightenment through his own efforts on Mt. Hiei. This Tendai Sect with whom Shinran Shonin studied, continues to exist on Mt. Hiei to this very day, and may even believe and uphold that monks should not gamble. In the Sigalovada Sutra, the Shakyamuni Buddha indicates that gambling is one of the six ways of squandering wealth. But in these early Sutras, we also see that monks should not get married, nor should they drink “intoxicating” beverages. Shinran Shonin was the first monk to get married and have children. His path led him to believe that he was no better or worse than any other person, and he himself was incapable of achieving enlightenment through his own efforts. He concluded that he had to rely on the Wisdom and Compassion of Amida! Especially those who committed the five gravest offenses and those who abused the right Dharma were grasped within Amida’s Wisdom and Compassion! We do not have to be holier than thou! We just have to try to be the best we can be and just be ourselves.

Therefore, I encourage everyone to come to the Fresno Dharma Center on Friday, April 4th for dinner that begins at 5:30 pm, and Bingo that begins at 6:30 pm. We continue to seek donations and contributions so that we can build our new Temple, our new Home. And, I hope that we can rekindle the original temple founder’s attitude and spirit, to do whatever it takes, to build a new and proud temple for our current and future generations.

Namo Amida Butsu

Rev. Alan Sakamoto




Reedley, CA
Updated Saturday, April 19, 2014 7:55 PM
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Reedley Buddhist Church
2035 15th Street
P.O. Box 24
Reedley, CA  93654
(559) 638 - 2146

Reedley Buddhist Church:


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This page was last modified on Sunday, April 06, 2014 11:38:25 PM


   Message from Rev. Kakei Nakagawa
           Rinban, Fresno Betsuin 

    (as printed in the April, 2014 newsletter)


Last November, astonishing news came in. A British archeologist group digging at Buddha’s birthplace have uncovered remains of the “earliest ever Buddhist shrine”. They unearthed a 6th Century BC timber structure buried within the Māyā Devi temple at Lumbinī in Nepal. Radiocarbon dating result shows this discovered timber was buried around 543 B.C.E. ±13yrs. This amazing result  estimates for Buddha’s birth stretch as far back as 623 B.C.E., but many scholars believed 390-340 B.C.E. as well as the Buddhist record of 560-530 B.C.E.

More amazing, looking at the world’s reaction to this discovery, many thoughtful people in 21st Century entrust this person who lived 2700 years ago with hope of a humane world. 

Buddha is a founder of Buddhism and we celebrate his birthday on April, whenever his birthdate really was. 

Hanamatsuri or Flower Festival is a service of rejoicing in which we commemorate the birth of Śākyamuni Buddha with decorating a flower pavilion and the rite of Bathing the Baby Buddha (Kanbutsu).

Buddha’s life story is handed down to posterity in the beautiful fables, but we can receive some important messages from them.  Buddha was born as the only child of King Suddhōdana Gautama and Queen Māyā of the Śākya kingdom. Ruling from the capital city Kapilavastu, the King and Queen were childless for some 20 years. Then one day, after having a dream of a white elephant with six tusks entering her side, the Queen became pregnant. According to the custom of the time, Queen Māyā was returning to her parents' castle to await the birth of the baby when she stopped to rest in a garden called Lumbini. In the middle of the summer season, the garden was mysteriously in full bloom.  As the Queen reached up to touch the blooms of the Aśōka Tree, the baby was born from her right side. The earth shook in six directions and a sweet rain fell from the sky to bathe the body of the baby. Flowers bloomed everywhere and even fell from the sky.  The newborn baby took seven steps, pointed his right hand to the sky and his left to the earth and spoke the following words:

“Above and below the heavens, I am my own Lord.”

We know the image of baby Buddha at this moment as a bathing Buddha and we should to know these words in the story is the first declaration of true human dignity in history.

Śākyamuni Buddha is the only one who could share the Dharma into this world. He lived during the 7th and 6th Centuries B.C.E. in India. Born as a human being just like us, he too experienced illness and old age, and died at the age of eighty. The difference is that he attained Buddhahood during the last 45 years of his life.

“Buddha” means “The one who has become awakened to the Dharma.” Dharma means “truth-reality” or “universal law.” It must work effectively anywhere and any time, transcending time and space. The Dharma is not like the law of nature such as the law of energy or the law of heredity. The Dharma, discovered by Śākyamuni Buddha, is the truth-reality, it is not an exclusive truth-reality for Śākyamuni Buddha only. Anyone can attain the same peace and tranquility as Śākyamuni Buddha by being awakened to the Truth-reality.

Also, we must be aware that truth-reality is neither the creation of Śākyamuni Buddha nor other deities. As in the case of the scientific law that existed from beginning-less time, Isaac Newton only discovered the law of gravity by observing the apple drops. Although quite different, Śākyamuni Buddha and Newton both discovered truth-reality.

Śākyamuni Buddha’s discovery of truth-reality, unlike observing many case studies of patients in the medical field, starts from observing the basic nature of human beings and establish the exterior vector within them for relativizing the everyday life. He showed the world the spiritual tranquility of Nirvāna by relativizing his true and real nature and guided others to reach the same state of ‘peaceful’ ultimate relaxation by re-constructing the frame of everyday sufferings as well as the chain reaction of hatreds.

Buddha once asked Singāla who was in the habit of worshiping ten directions every morning, “What are you doing?”  Buddha started talking with Singāla and defined the relevance of his routine conduct skillfully. Buddha said, “Anyhow you worship, you’d better imagine your friends or family concretely.” He continued reminding Singāla, “Who are your friends? Is he a true friend?”, etc., and Buddha made Singāla examine his outline of everyday life, little by little. Consequently Singāla kept his habit to worship in ten directions every day. Otherwise, his feelings would become “just as if everything has been uncovered” and his daily life would be full of joy.

Nothing is changed in Singāla’s outward appearance, but his everyday life changed drastically. The end of this sūtra, Singāla converted to Buddhism, but it seemed to me that was not the Buddha’s intention. Buddha’s intention was to show Singāla the method for re-reading the frame of his ordinary life. [from “Singālovāda Sūtra”]

 Rinban Kakei Nakagawa



Please be sure to patronize their businesses or thank them for supporting us!

Michio Miyamoto
Bill Imada - IW Group, Inc.
Blackbeard’s Family Entertainment Center
Marten’s Chevrolet
Gar Tootelian Inc. - Ag Chemicals
Gene & Doris Kobayashi
Fresno Grizzlies community fund - Whitney Campbell
Brooks Ranch - Reedley - Rod Briones
Me & ed’s Pizzerias - Milano Restaurants
Ron & Kathy Nishinaka - SCCCD Trustee
Bobby & Judy Kobayashi
Aloha Family Optometric - Dr. Rick Ideta &
Dr. Gary Mukai
Cliff & Kathy Hamada
The Grammy Museum - Los Angeles, CA
Jon’s Bear Club
Aquarium of the Pacific - Long Beach, CA
Whole Foods Market - Toni Marchini
San Francisco 49er’s Football
Metal Mark Climbing - Fresno, CA
Dinuba Lanes Bowling
Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant
Sunmaid Raisin Company
Kitahara Pontiac Buick GMC
Curtis and Cheryl Koga
Takahashi’s Japanese Restaurant - Fresno
Gourmet Gift Baskets .com
Ellyn Hendricks
Chaffee Zoo - Fresno, CA
Lee’s Service
Steve & Joy Donaldson
Phylis Nishida
Dr. Jin Cha
Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino
Michael Naito
Island Waterpark - Fresno, CA
Karen & Gary Sakata
Hitoshi & Betty Aoki
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Vineyard Vines
China Peak Resort

Nancy Sakata
Amy Naito
Michi Ikeda
Sets Kimura
Larry & Vickie Nishida
Shuzo & Margo Toyota
Oriental Trading Company
Kurata Automotive Services - David Kurata
Dale & Charlene Okamura
Sammy & Grace Nakagawa
Wild Water Adventures
H. Hata
Kikuyo Ikemiya
Hans & Patty Matheus
John’s Incredible Pizza
UC Berkeley - Cal Bears Football
Nona Ebisuda
Suzie Katayama
Dharma School Pre-School/Kindergarten
Dharma School 1st & 2nd Grades
Dharma School 3rd—7th Grades
Dharma School Senior Class
Mark Wilson
Russell & Judy Osato
Dave Johnston
Lorraine Holm
Bike Trax - Bobby Ikemiya
Dean Nakamura Accounting Corporation
California Academy of Sciences - San Francisco
Glenn & Mardelle Surabian - Dinuba Port of Subs
Royce Kimura - Rock Tenn
Sue Kawamoto
Iris Justesen
Nanette Nakamichi
Jim & Keiko Hatakeda
Callie’s Auto Repair
Lillie Valencia
Bryan Tahmazian - Simplot
Nancy Doi-Wilson

Ben & Michi Nobuhiro

Dharma School Students & Families

Reedley BWA

Reedley Jr. YBA

Reedley Buddhist Church Members