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 dance.

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 have forgotten.

Inspired by these workshops, enthusiasm for Goeika was revived in Hawaii, and interest and opportunities for religious dance have increased.

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!

Kado Koyasan Flower Arrangement Goes to France

October 10-12, 1997

"Japan-Europe Friendship and International Exchange: Flower Arrangement Exhibition in Nice" was held for three days starting October 10, which opened at Nice's municipal Phoenix Park botanical gardens, in France.

This year it was determined in France that it would be one of friendship with Japan, so in various parts of the country there was an exchange of miscellaneous conventions and exhibits. A request was made to the flower-arrangement envoy of Kadë Këyasan to plan for an international exchange by virtue of various works by both countries who revere the history and tradition of the "flower culture."

Seventy-three members attended, from Koyasan Shingon-shu Headquarters Kongobu-ji Kado Koyasan lead by Rev. Koei Yamaguchi, Department Chief of Kado. Through flower arrangementa, an elegant exchange of friendship took place.

On a site of 17.30 acres at the Phoenix Park botanical gardens, there are varieties of vegetation of all four seasons from various countries; flowers bloomed everywhere, and there is a greenhouse that is said to be the largest in the world, of cutting-edge technology.

On the tenth, following the flower offering and the recitation of the Prajna- Paramita Sutra, the Mayor of Nice, representing all participants, Rev. Koei Yamaguchi, Department Chief of Kado and others, gave their speechs. There was then a performance of the Taiko drums of Bizen Fuji Kaiyo of Koyasan Shingon Saidaiji, and a display of tea-serving-etiquette techniques at the tea arbor. For the finale everyone danced to the Daishi-Ondo, in a peaceful atmosphere.

During the event, starting with demonstrations by Kado Këyasan, there was an unfolding of dancing by Koyasan Shingon-shu, traditional Japanese dancing, and Taiko drum performances; we could hear the approving "trés bien!" from those who attended in response to the beauty of Japanese Ikebana, deeply impressed with the depth of culture.

We could hear the approving "trés bien!" ... in response to the beauty of Japanese Ikebana

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