BDK America has a new home. The nonprofit Buddhist publisher recently inaugurated new offices in Moraga, California, after three decades in nearby Berkeley.
The dedication ceremony took place on May 5, a beautiful spring day. The Moraga location is surrounded on all sides by gentle rolling hills. Attending were some fifty community leaders, distinguished scholars, accomplished practitioners of traditional Japanese arts, and Buddhist priests.
Most notable among the dignitaries were Chairman of the Board Rev. Toshihide Numata, and Executive Director Tadashi Ikuta, of the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (BDK) Tokyo headquarters; Rev. Kodo Umezu, Bishop or Socho of the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA); and Moraga Councilmember Teresa Onoda.
Rev. Umezu conducted formal dedication services for the new headquarters...
...following which BDK America's Brian Nagata, BDK Director of Education, and himself an ordained priest, served as master of ceremonies, welcoming the fifty attendees.
COMMENTS OF BDK CHAIRMAN NUMATA
Rev. r. Numata noted that the dedication on May 5 marked the 21st anniversary of the passing of his father, the BDK founder Yehan Numata, and that 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of BDK Japan. "I feel that there are unexplained forces working to make this particular day the opening day of our new office," he said.
"As long as I am able, I would like to continue our work," the 83-year old Chairman continued. "In return, I appreciate your help and support as we move toward the future."
Other speakers included councilmember Onoda, who offered her congratulations....
.... and incoming BDK America President Dr. George Tanabe, who expressed his gratitude for the welcome BDK America received in its new home.
Robert Sharf, Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, cited the contribution BDK has made in the academic world. No one, he said, has done more to support and further Buddhist scholarship globally than BDK.
After the formal program, there followed a buffet lunch for the attendees. Koto and shakuhachi entertainment was provided by Naoko and Elliot Kallen. The celebration was all the more beautiful for the exquisite floral arrangements prepared by Madame Suiyo Fujimoto and Mitsuko Maruyama of the Ohara School of Ikebana.
Many of the attendees were able to join us for this group photograph.
The new facility reflects the best and latest in modern Japanese design, in a stand-alone building on landscaped grounds. The office building was completely renovated and rewired for 21st century connectivity, under the direction of the Kajima corporation and supervision of Mr. Mikio Yamashita, BDK America Vice President and Treasurer. As announced by Dr. Tanabe, the new BDK America office will continue to coordinate current projects and programs, and also hopes to prove a good neighbor by further hosting educational and cultural events for the Moraga community.
Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (Society for the Promotion of Buddhism), known as BDK for short, was founded in Japan in 1965 by the late Rev. Dr. Yehan Numata, one of the greatest patrons of Buddhism in the 20th Century. His primary concern was to make sure the Buddhist teachings were more readily available around the world to further world peace.
Rev. Numata's biggest efforts in this regard were twofold: To widely distribute a compilation of basic Buddhist philosophy and guidance, "The Teaching of Buddha," and to undertake the translation of the massive Chinese Mahayana canon, or Tripitaka, into English. The BDK legacy continues under the oversight of his son, Rev. Dr. Toshihide Numata.
EAST BAY CONNECTION
Educated at the University of California, Berkeley in the early 1900s, the senior Numata eventually established the Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research in that city in 1984. There the work coordinating the BDK English Tripitaka Series Project was started by Rev. Numata and overseen for the next thirty years, first by the Rev. Seishin Yamashita, and then by Nagata Sensei.
BDK America’s first office, also started in the 1980s, was originally on the East Coast, Nagata Sensei said. The office primarily managed distribution of "The Teaching of Buddha." Then, in 1999, the office was moved to the Numata Center building in Berkeley.
Now ten miles further east in Moraga, at 1675 School Street, BDK America continues its programs to foster peace and understanding.