FORTY YEARS AGO, BDK America began as the first overseas affiliate of Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai.

To celebrate this milestone, BDK America held a Buddhist service followed by a reception at its Moraga headquarters on May 2, 2018. The next day saw a BDK America symposium on translating Buddhist texts. Both events celebrated 40 years of sharing the Buddha-Dharma. 

Buddhist Service and Reception

At its Moraga headquarters, BDK America hosted a Buddhist service and reception with key representatives from Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai (its parent organization), major Buddhist scholars, and the Numata-founded multinational corporation, Mitutoyo. 

The altar In the BDK America headquarters is ecumenical across Buddhist schools and is dedicated to the Three Treasures of Buddhism. Poignant for many of those in attendance, in front of the altar was a photograph of the late Rev. Toshihide Numata, who had served as Chairman of Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai from 1994 up until his death at the age of 84, in 2016.

Officiating at the service were the Rev. Dr. Shōryū Katsura, current President of Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai, and Rev. Kodo Umezu, Bishop or Socho of the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA). 

Auspicious Day

In addition to the event taking place on a beautiful spring day in the rolling hills of Moraga, the memorial was held almost three years to the day when the Moraga headquarters was first inaugurated, also with a Buddhist service

Following the memorial service, speakers who noted the accomplishments of the last 40 years included Dr. George Tanabe, President of BDK America and BDK Hawaii, and Rev. Katsura.

Rev. Dr. Shōryū Katsura
Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai
 Rev. Kodo Umezu
Buddhist Churches of America
Dr. George Tanabe
BDK America & BDK Hawaii

The distinguished guest list for the reception and service included artists, scholars, translators, ordained priests, and captains of industry:

Dr. Shoryu Katsura, President, Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai; Harumi Aoki, E. Director, Bukkyō Dendō Kyokai; Naoyuki Ogi, Assistant Manager, Bukkyō Dendō Kyokai; Emi Takagi, Manager, Bukkyō Dendō Kyokai; Dr.Kenneth Kenshin Tanaka, Professor, Musashino University, and Mrs. Carrie Tanaka; Dr. Shogo Watanabe, Professor, Tōyō University; Yoshiyasu Yonezawa, Professor, Taishō University; Mrs.Mami Yonezawa; Dr. Kenryo Minowa, Professor, Tokyo University; Dr. A. Charles Muller, Professor, Tokyo University; Dr. Paul Harrison, Professor, Stanford University; Dr. Jan Nattier, Professor, University of California, Berkeley; Dr. Stefano Zacchetti, Professor, University of Oxford; Judy Kono, Secretary, BDK America; Rev.Kodo Umezu, Bishop, Buddhist Churches of America; Dr. Robert Sharf, Professor, University of California, Berkeley; Dr. Mark Blum, Professor, University of California, Berkeley; Matt Dye, President, Mitutoyo of America Corporation; Rev. Daijaku Judith Kinst, BDK America Advisor; Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara, Director, Buddhist Churches of America – Hongwanji Office; Mrs. Marrie Yamashita; Yufuko Kurioka, Sensei (Tea and Yoga), and David Galbraith, Sensei (Tea & Yoga); Dr. John Nelson, Professor, University of San Francisco; Dr. Richard Payne, Professor, Institute of Buddhist Studies; Dr. David Matsumoto, Provost, Institute of Buddhist Studies; and Dr. Scott Mitchell, Dean, Institute of Buddhist Studies.  

Group Photo of Fortieth Anniversary Celebration

The event was commemorated with a group photo of many of the attendees.