Betsuin Board Bullets

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Betsuin Board Bullets
June 05, 2014 Betsuin Board of Directors Meeting
by Joyce Iwasaki

The intent of the Betsuin Board Bullets is to highlight Board actions, decisions, special events and projects. Please contact the Betsuin Board officers, directors, or the ministers for more details on any item.


It was moved/seconded/passed to accept the May 2014 meeting minutes as corrected.

It was moved/seconded/passed to sign a contract with the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (publisher) for the purpose of partnering with JAMsj in the presale of the San Jose Japantown History Book (produced by Jim Nagareda, Janice Oda, Curtis Fukuda and Ralph Pearce). Presale editions are sold at $40 per unit with the partnering nonprofit organization receiving $10 per unit.

It was moved/seconded/passed to award the Betsuin Archives Committee the profits from the San Jose Japantown History Book presales.

It was moved/seconded/passed to allow participants in the 2014 Tule Lake Pilgrimage to park their cars in the Fourth Street parking lot during July 03 – 06, 2014.

It was moved/seconded/passed for Rinban to send condolences and koden on behalf of the SJ Betsuin of the amount of $300 to family of Mr Ito, the artisan who refurbished the onaigin artifacts, who recently passed away.


A thank you letter and orei was received from the Nikkei Matsuri Committee for the use of the Betsuin facilities during the 2014 Nikkei Matsuri Festival.

Notification from the Go For Broke Education Center was received inviting high school and college students to enter an essay contest with combined awards of $4000. Deadline is June 30, 2014. Information is posted on their website www/

Ministers Report – Rinban Fujimoto

The Summer Sunday Service schedule will begin on June 15th. Japanese Dharma talk will begin at 9:30 am, joint service at 10:00 am, followed by the English Dharma talk.

Obon Service will be held on Sunday July 20th beginning at 10:00 am. Rev George Shibata, BCA minister emeritus, will be the guest speaker.

Hatsubon Service will be held on Saturday July 19th at 5:00 pm.

The BCA Ministers Summer Fuken is scheduled for June 30th through July 2nd at the Jodo Shinshu Center. Hosting this seminar is Central District.

Youth Department Report – Larry Handa

San Jose Jr YBA

1. In May, the 2014/2015 CDYBL elections were held and four San Jose members were elected, including Sydney Fujioka as President, Madison Salas as Vice-President, Mark Nakamae as Treasurer and Brandon Tam as Activities Chair.
2. Also in May, the 2014/2015 San Jose Jr. YBA cabinet was elected. Megan Nakamae and Tyler Onishi are the Co-Presidents, Mark Nakamae is the Vice-President, Mitchell Kitazumi is the Treasurer, Madison Salas is the Secretary, Sydney Fujioka and Melody Sweeney are the Religious chairs, Ashley MacDonald and Alison Shikada are the Community Service chairs, Ryan Miyahara and Matthew Shikada are the Fundraising chairs and Brandon Tam and Kyle Mikami are the Activities chairs.
3. Sixteen Jr. YBA members attended the Bay District Volleyball Tournament in Alameda on Memorial Day weekend. One of the two teams took first place in the “B” bracket.
4. Jr. YBA hosted the Baccalaureate lunch for nine graduates and their families on June 1st.
5. On April 6th San Jose Jr YBA had its annual Hanamatsuri bake sale and had a cabinet meeting.
All Scouts Meeting

1. An All Scouts meeting was held on Monday, May 19th. Representatives from Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Venturing Crew and District gave updates.
2. All Scouts Picnic is tentatively scheduled for a beach outing on Saturday, August 9th.
3. Larry gave an update of annex renovation (Go/no go date of July 1st) during the All Scouts meeting. If construction begins in August 2014 and ends in June 2015, troops need to find alternate locations like Mountain View Buddhist Temple for big events.
4. Groups were informed about sponsored organization membership requirements and were encouraged to increase Betsuin memberships in their groups.
5. Next All Scouts meeting is Monday, September 15th.
Baccalaureate Service and Luncheon
This year’s Baccalaureate service and luncheon was held on June 1st. Featured speaker was Duane Kubo. Nine graduates attended and received their Congratulatory Certificates from the BCA and the book “What Would Buddha Do” from the Betsuin. Thanks to Jr. YBA for hosting the luncheon!

Dharma School Report – Steve Sorakubo

First day of Dharma School is Sunday September 7th. Organization Day will be held as well.

A Coast District Dharma School activity is planned for Sunday September 28th at Blackberry Farm

Annex Renovation/Generations Fundraising Reports – Todd Tsudama

Please read Todd’s renovation/construction and fundraising updates in another section of this Dharma.

Human Relations Committee Report – Janice Doi

The Committee continues to meet regularly with the Betsuin staff. Currently the committee is working on setting individual goals for each of the employees. The HR Committee is seeking the Board’s approval of the proposed employee evaluation process. It is the Committee’s intention to institute an annual evaluation process. Next meeting is on June 11, 2014.

Research and Planning Report – Janice Doi


The Committee is working on a membership excel template that can be used by all of the affiliated and sponsored organizations. The goal is to capture the membership of all affiliated and sponsored organizations along with our paid membership and create one database, so that we can get a better idea of all who are served by the Betsuin. Dennis Akizuki will be working on the template and will request all organizations to use this platform to report their membership to the Betsuin Board by September 2014.

Betsuin Endowment Foundation

The Committee is continuing to research the formation of a Betsuin Endowment Foundation, with the strong possibility of creating a separate board.

Event Calendar for the Betsuin Website

It was felt that we need to be more proactive in getting information out about all Betsuin activities. Roy Yamanouchi will be working on an event calendar for our website. There is a strong possibility of using the weekend staff to update this events calendar on the website.

Board Member Development

It will be recommended to the Board that the priority setting continue to be held in November since the goals for the following year are usually stated at the General meeting and at the New Year’s Day service. The Board Development Committee will be looking into ways to bring new board members up to speed.

Organizational Projections

The Committee is continuing to discuss 5 and 10-year goals for the Betsuin.

Next meeting: is scheduled for June 19th at 7:00 pm.

Membership Committee Report – Dennis Akizuki

The Membership Committee announced a new membership dues structure in the June 2014 Dharma newsletter. This structure is to encourage more participation, support and excitement to our organization.

Property Management Report – Steve Onishi
AWR Work
During Memorial Day Weekend (May 23-24), AWR completed work in the Education Building parking lot as part of an underground contamination remediation plan for Roy’s Station. 20 small bores were completed and filled with a material that neutralizes the gas in the ground. Lotus parents were impacted on Friday, but there was no JLS on Saturday. Provisions were made to allow parents to enter through the 4th St. lot and exit on 5th St.
Concrete Work
An application for a building permit has been submitted to the City of San Jose for sidewalk work both in front of the little cottage as well as in front of Rev. Sakamoto’s house. Due to reduced resources at the City of San Jose, we are forced to wait 6-8 weeks to get the permit. Gonzales Concrete has been selected for the work.
Parking Lot Signage
We will need to design/procure new signs for the Betsuin tenants in the gym side parking lot. These need to be distinctively different from those for the other Japantown Business Association spaces. They are strictly for our tenants 24/7. We also need new “no parking” signs on the Education building side.
Homeless Persons
Since we put up a chain and No Trespassing sign on the stairwells on the Education Building, we have not seen this homeless person that was upstairs. In the meantime, we are building a small metal gate to replace the chain. We have not received any recent reports of homeless on the property.
Steve attended a “Business Watch” meeting held on May 7th in Japantown. The intent is to educate business owners as well as community members on the best way to try and prevent crime and whom to contact when issues arise (408) 277-8911 for faster contact to the San Jose Police Department).
On May 22nd, an attempted pick-pocket was averted by Paul Sakamoto and Ken Matsumoto from Japonica (5th St.) by a large male who was chased away. There is speculation that this person has been in and around Wesley Church as well and may have stolen items such as cash. The message is that we all need to be aware of our surroundings and not to leave valuables easily accessible.

EcoSangha Report – Al Hironaga
The EcoSangha is continuing to recycle used and surplus unused inkjet and laser toner printer cartridges, and small electronics (cell phones, iPods, mp3 players, digital cameras, video cameras, GPS devices, radar detectors, iPads/tablets, eBook readers, PDAs, and video gaming systems/games). A collection boxes are located in the Betsuin office and near the Lotus preschool entrance.
Dana Club Report – Al Hironaga
On Wednesday, June 11th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, members of the Dana Club sorted food items donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank. The sorted foods along with produce sorted by other groups are being distributed to needy local families and food kitchens. Some of the food that we sort at Second Harvest is distributed at the Thursday brown bags distribution in our annex.
Garden Committee Report – Al Hironaga
The beautiful Japanese maple tree near the entrance to the Betsuin office has died. The Garden Committee is looking for a plant to replace the dead tree. If you have any suggestions for a replacement plant or have a plant that you would like to donate to the Betsuin, please contact Al Hironaga at

Coast District Council Report – Joyce Iwasaki

A Coast District Council meeting was held on May 21st at the Buddhist Temple of Salinas.

CD Young Buddhist Association

1. The Youth Retreat is scheduled for August 15 – 16, 2014.

2. The CD YBA Conference is scheduled for March 21, 2015 at the Marriott in Fremont. The theme is “Buddha in Wonderland.”

CD Buddhist Women’s League

1. 2014 CD BWL Cabinet consists of:

President Joyce Iwasaki
Vice President Janice Doi
Treasurer Diane Fujioka
Recording Secretary (English) Phyllis Sugimoto
Recording Secretary (Japanese) Hisako Tao
Corresponding Secretary (English) Vacant
Corresponding Secretary (Japanese) Sachiko Endo
Auditor Vacant
Advisors Rinban Fujimoto
Mrs Miyuki Fujimoto

CD Ministers’ Report

1. The CD Ministers’ Association is offering a ministers’ seminar on February 12, 2015, which will be held in the afternoon at the San Jose Betsuin.

2. The ministers will work with the CD YBA to develop the August 15 -16, 2014 retreat which will be held at the Mountain View Temple. The focus of this retreat may be developing various components of the March 21, 2015 CD YBA conference.

3. Rinban Fujimoto is working with the CD BWL in planning the 2015 District Conference.

4. The Nembutsu Camporee is scheduled for first half of August 2015. This will most likely occur in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Watsonville, Mountain View and San Jose scouting troops are planning this activity.

CD Adult Buddhist Association

1. The annual steak and bingo event is scheduled for August 23, 2014 in Morgan Hill. The Watsonville, San Jose and Mountain View ABAs are hosting and are encouraging the greater sangha community to attend.

The next Coast District Council Meeting is scheduled for September 17, 2014 at the Watsonville Buddhist Temple.