On July 17, 1918, Rev. Mokuryu Tsuda was sent to the Aiea Sugar Plantation to begin serving the Aiea community. In 1919, the construction of the new temple began on land leased from Honolulu Sugar Company. The temple, Shinjuzan Taiheiji, meaning “Pearl Mountain, Temple of the Pacific,” was completed on July 4, 1924. Two years later, on November 16, 1927, the Territory of Hawaii’s Governor, Wallace R. Farrington, issued documents that legally recognized the temple. If officially became the Soto Mission of Aiea, Taiheiji. Today, as our temple of the Pacific, it is often referred to simply as Taiheiji.
On December 17, 1927, Rev. Kogan Yoshizumi arrived at Taiheiji with his wife, Taki, to take over as the leader of Taiheiji after Rev. Tsuda resigned to serve at the Los Angeles Zenshuji in California. For the next thirty-plus years, Rev. and Mrs. Yoshizumi tirelessly and selflessly dedicated their lives to help the Taiheiji members and the families.
In 1965, the old, termite eaten temple was demolished and replaced with a new structure, ushering in a new era for Taiheiji. Over the next fifty years, Taiheiji was faithfully served by Rev. Reiyu Tamiya (1965-1972), Rev. Baiho Nagamune (1972-1980), Rev. Kenei Asayama (1980-1985), Rev. Shoten Kudo (1985-1990), Rev. Kazunori Shinoda (1990-1994), and Rev. Toshimichi Hasegawa (1995-2002). Each minister brought their knowledge to the temple and further helped shape Taiheiji into what it is today.
In May 2005, after a three-year search for a new minister, Rev. Shuji Komagata arrived in Aiea with his wife Jaymie, and two children, Remi and Reigen. Rev. Shuji is a fourth-generation minister in Hawaii and is the first Hawaii-born minister to serve at Taiheiji. Under the leadership and guidance of Rev. Shuji and Jaymie, Taiheiji celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2018.
“The compassionate Gate of the Buddha’s World is Absolute,
Believers and Buddha are One; This is true happiness,
The Buddha’s abode is everywhere,
The propagation of Buddhism has already begun.”
Translation of a poem written on a Japanese fan on July 8, 1921 by Rev. Sekizen Arai, Archbishop of Sojiji.