The Smile of Eternal Summer
The smile. The heartfelt smile, without worry. The genuine, sincere
smile, which almost makes me feel shy. This is what I initially
felt, upon coming to Hawaii.
Preceding the Hawaii Shingon Great Assembly there were workshops
on Goeika (singing of hymns) and religious dance, which are great
and thankful practice. I have heard that the once popular Goeika
of the Hawaii Missionary Division; in recent years, has less energy,
due to the advanced age of their participants. Additionally, a
workshop was planned and conducted this time for promoting religious
There was much cause for concern; primarily, because of the language
barrier. The current members of congregations are mostly third
and fourth generation Japanese Americans. Will we be able to successfully
communicate with them by teaching in Japanese? Can we communicate
the subtle nuances? Such concerns of the teachers were impressively
allayed by the refreshing attitudes of the workshop participants,
the sincere devotion by which they listened to the teaching, and
their receptive gladness. Even from the initial presentation in
Japanese, the anxieties of the teachers were dissolved, and they
were able to enthusiastically---even more so than usual---and
harmoniously give their presentations.
"It was as if they were all paragons of the best in Japanese people,"
a teacher said. So language was not a problem. It was a teaching
that was a communion of hearts, in which the language barrier
was not felt. I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the teachers
who gave their best to make this fellowship a reality.
After I returned to Japan, I wanted to see those people of Hawaii
again, who reminded me to feel "Heart" again, the heart that we
Inspired by these workshops, enthusiasm for Goeika was revived
in Hawaii, and interest and opportunities for religious dance
Goeika to the world; the expansion of religious dance; the presentation
at Carnegie Hall on May 30.
A new era has begun, headed for the 21st century, for the Koyasan
Kongo-ko [Koyasan Vajra Group] and Koyasan Shukyo Buyo-kai [Koyasan
Religious Dance Assembly].
This year, a commemoration of 50 years since the passing of [Dai-wajo
Shunno Sogabe], the founder of the school of Koyasan Kongo-Ryu
Goeika [Koyasan Vajra-method hymn singing], will be held at the
Koyasan Daishi Kyokai on October 6 through 8. I look forward to
great attendance; a heartfelt welcome to all who will come to
participate at Mount Koya!