Calgary Digs in


The Calgary Buddhist Temple is getting a makeover.

Plans are underway to rebuild the 100 year old building. For the past 12 years, a small portion of annual funds has been held for Temple renovations. Through fiscal responsibility, the Board expects to fund almost 50% of the $1.95 million required for renovations and related costs.

These funds have been achieved through individual donations, fundraising events and provincial government grants. Now, $1 million – the remainder of the required funds – is required in order to complete renovations by early 2015.


Ikuta Sensei Enters the Pureland


Sensei Susumu Kyojo Ikuta passed away peacefully on April 24, 2014.

Susumu or "Sus" was born on November 23, 1926 in Kyoto, Japan as the eldest son to Rev. Shinjo and Mrs. Mino Ikuta. Susumu moved to Canada with his family in 1937 and during WWII the family was relocated to Raymond, Alberta where Sus graduated from the Raymond High School in 1948.

In 1953, Sus graduated from University of Toronto with MA in philosophy. In 1954, he returned to Japan to begin his life passion of Buddhist Studies. It is also during this time that he met Teruko Yamasaki. The couple married on March 23, 1957 and for 60 years they shared the same passions and were devoted to each other, their family, the Dharma and the Sangha.

Following his graduation in 1958 with a M.A. in Buddhist Studies from Ryukoku University, Sus and Terrie returned to Canada where he began over 50 years of services as a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist minister for the Buddhist Churches of Canada.

From 1998 to 2002, he served as Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of Canada. In 1972, the family moved to Calgary where Sus began his longest posting as a resident minister. The sangha was still very much in the fledgling stage without a permanent home. In 1981, the founding members and Sus fulfilled their dream by raising funds to purchase the Croatian Catholic Church on 6 Street N. E. to establish the Calgary Buddhist Temple.

The Edo Japan franchise was started to help sustain the Temple. Sus worked full-time, both as the president of Edo Japan International and as the resident minister for the Temple. Over the years, the Temple has established itself within the rich multi-faith mosaic of the city of Calgary. Most recently Sus was excited about the restoration plans for the Temple and encouraged everyone to support their efforts. Sus led a wonderful life of 87 years passing away quietly surrounded by his family.

He leaves behind wife, Teruko, daughter Mari Cameron (Huston), sons Lester Ikuta (Mickey), Roland Ikuta (Brenda), son Grant Ikuta (Noriko), and grandchildren, Eric, Sean, Kyle, Nathan, Arthur, Maya, Charlotte, Dylan, Clayton, Courtney and Erin. Sus is also survived by siblings, brother Makoto Ikuta, sister Kyoko Oda (Rev. Harold Oda), sister Noriko Sugimoto, brother Kuni Ikuta (June) and numerous nephews, nieces and their families.

The journey of life was truly wonderful for Sus, and he often mentioned in his latter days how grateful he was to all for their friendship and support. The family would also like to express deep appreciation for the overwhelming support they have received during this time of sadness.

In Gassho, Namo Amida Butsu.

A private family cremation service was held. A Public Memorial Service was be held at the Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta in Lethbridge, on Friday, May 2, 2014.


Vancouver Hosts 2014 AGM

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Minister Asst. R. Akune, Rev. M. Hayashi, Rev. J. Martin, Bishop T. Aoki, Rev. Y. Izumi, Rev. Y. Myakawa, Rev. T. Fuji, Minster Asst. Roy Akune, Minister Asst. j. Yuasa

Delegates and Ministers from across Canada met at the Vancouver Buddhist Temple for the 2014 Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada - Annual General Meeting on April 25, 26 & 27, 2014.

The three-day event brought together the many volunteers who continue to promote the teachings and understanding of Buddhism in Canada.

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Celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Vancouver Buddhist Temple

The meeting also marked the 110th Anniversary of the founding of the JSBTC and the the 35th Anniversary of the raising of the Vancouver Buddhist Temple building.

Among the highlights of the weekend, the board of directors confirmed Rev. Tatsuya Aoki from Vancouver to continue as the Bishop of Canada. Among his many responsibilities will be heading up the Canadian delegation as they host the 2015 World Women’s Buddhist Convention in Calgary, Alberta.

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Rev. Fredrich Ulrich and his wife Kiyoko

Special guest, Rev. Fredrich Ulrich was recognized for his 24 years of service with the JSBTC. Ulrich recently retired after serving 15 years with the Manitoba Buddhist Temple in Winnipeg.

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Entertainment at the Saturday evening banquet

The Women’s Federation held simultaneous meetings as planning continues leading up the World Women’s Buddhist Convention next year. President, Susan Huntley updated the board and delegates on preparations for the event as it reaches the one year countdown.

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JSBTC Women’s Federation

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Official instalment of the JSBTC Board of Directors for 2014

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Tsuito Hoyo Closing Sunday Service

Thanks to all the volunteers at the Vancouver Buddhist Temple for accommodating this important annual event. Next year’s AGM will be hosted by the Steveston Buddhist Temple.

Ministerial Movement

There was some movement among ministers this year in Canada. Two ministers, both Canadians, will make their homes in two new cities.
First, the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada is happy to welcome Rev. Christina Yanko to the Toronto Buddhist Church in Ontario. Rev. Yanko is originally from Claresholm, Alberta. She was recruited by the late Rev. Dr. Leslie Kawamura while she was studying with him at the University of Calgary.

She is currently working towards completing her PhD on the development of Pure Land Sutras in 1st century CE at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She completed her Kyoshi certification in Kyoto in 2012.

She and her husband David have a young son named Atticus.

Rev. Yanko joins Rev. Tomofumi Fujii at the Toronto Buddhist Church.

Almost simultaneously, Rev. Michael Hayashi leaves Toronto and transfers to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Rev. Hayashi was at the Toronto Buddhist Church for over two years. Wanting to be closer to home (B.C.), Rev. Hayashi has accepted a reassignment to the Manitoba Buddhist Temple. He will be under the guidance of Rev. Fredrich Ulrich.

Like many Japanese-Canadians, he grew up in a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist home. His grandfather, with whom he lived, was the lay-minister at the Thunder Bay Buddhist Church. This connection would become the roots for his future.

In 1992, Rev. Hayashi attended Lakehead University receiving an Honours Bachelors of Arts (English) and Education (Ontario Teacher’s Certificate).

With the encouragement of his family, Rev. Hayashi went to Kyoto, Japan to study at Ryokoku University in 1997 where he received a Master of Arts in Jodo Shinshu Theology. Rev. Hayashi has been a minister at several Canadian temples in his career.

Both ministers are excited for the challenge and the opportunity. If you are a member of either congregation, please lend them your full support.

JSBTC 2013 Annual General Meeting - Message from the President

The 2013 JSBTC AGM was held in Lethbridge on April 27th, 2013 at the Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta (BTSA). At this meeting, the delegates approved the appointment of Bishop-elect Reverend Tatsuya Aoki from Vancouver Buddhist Temple and elected new members of the National Board.

Annual meetings of the JSBTC

The Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada would like to thank Bishop Grant Ikuta and his family for the sacrifices they have made during his two year leadership where we saw many developments including amongst others, the support of the World Women's Buddhist Convention 2015 in Calgary and the placement of Christina Yanko as a resident minister of Toronto Buddhist Church.

The National Board thanks the Steveston Buddhist Temple (SBT) for their support and accommodation in allowing Reverend Grant Ikuta to serve his past term as the shared Bishop and Temple minister.

Minister from across Canada meet at the Buddhist Temples of Southern Alberta

We are in deep gratitude to incoming Bishop-elect Tatsuya Aoki and to the Vancouver Buddhist Temple for their agreement to host the shared bishop position for the next two years. In choosing a new bishop to serve the dual role of temple minister and bishop, the JSBTC Director's Handbook provides a process to ensure that the nominee is capable and willing, that the host temple is willing to endure unforeseen sacrifices and that the nominee will be supported by the serving ministers in Canada.

At the AGM, the National Board put forward Reverend Aoki as the single minister that meets this criteria. This process requires a lot of agility, coordination, conflict resolution, contemplation and self-reflection for everyone involved. While there is an effort to be as transparent as possible, there is no doubt that private matters become important in a decision and must remain confidential.

Newly-elected Members of the Board of Directors of the JSBTC

The new board is keen to avoid conflicts of interest and regrets that we were unable to follow the delegates' guidance to select a President that is not from the same temple as the Bishop-elect. As a member of the past board and witness to the process, I thank and congratulate the new Minister Association Chair, Reverend Fujii and past-President Dave Ohori for their integrity, perseverance, diligence and resolve in working successfully with the Ministers, the National board and the temples involved.

On behalf of the National Board of the JSBTC, I express sincere appreciation to the Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta family for their hosting of the AGM, pre and post AGM events and to the delegates, retiring directors and officers, retiring MA Chair for their contributions and leadership.

I look forward to everyone working together to make Jodo Shinshu Buddhism accessible for all Canadians.

Living in the dharma with hands together…

Greg Chor,
President, Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada