Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sayonara Sensei

To the surprise and shock of many, the Reverend Seicho Asahi Sensei has resigned as the head of the Los Angeles Koyasan Betsuin in Little Tokyo. Having officiated since 2007, he has led every Goma Fire Ritual and many a service to the Japanese-American community here since his arrival from the Northern California Koyasan in Sacramento California. During this time he has provided counseling, classes, and taught Taiko Drumming. But now he will be moving forward. Citing reasons of both health concerns and the growing need to establish a training center to produce continuing generations of Koyasan-Shingon priesthood, he found this to be the right time to make this move. Despite the surrounding controversy over his tenure and his sudden resignation we believe he is doing the right thing. Of course we are not happy to see him leave but the descision is his. During his latest address he cited his initial mission to spread Esoteric Buddhism when he first arrived here from Japan. Similar to what the Zen Temples had faced years earlier he saw this initial mission as important as now then when he first arrived here. 

Today there are fewer people entering the priesthood and like many other religions in the twenty-first century this is a problem that must be addressed in order to continue on these traditions that have been a part of the Japanese-American Community. Considering the daunting immigration issues with priests from Japan it makes perfect sense to establish a place where residing American priests-in-training can be taught here rather than deal with the complexities of obtaining visas, permits, and other logistical problems. Asahi Sensei has been a friend to us and a dear supporter of our efforts. We at American Mishima will miss him dearly and wish him well on his new endeavors. がんばって ください!


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