A little over 100 years ago, in carving out a new life in a new land, the pioneer Japanese immigrants, the Issei, established our temples as places to hear the teaching of the Nembutsu, to hold the rites of passage in life and as safe havens to gather. They overcame countless hardships in the process, adjust- ing to a new language and new customs, the Depression and prejudice. They struggled to not only establish their families but to ensure that those families, their children and grandchildren would have a safe place where they could gather and feel pride in their heritage by building our Hondo or Buddha Hall.
Over 50 years ago, after returning from the relocation camps, our parents and grandparents built the Annex. The facility provided for the growing Sangha to gather and be with one another and the rest of the community, to have dances, large services and funerals, and sporting events. Today, the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin continues to serve as a gathering place to share the Buddha-dharma.
It is now up to us to continue to ensure that our children and grandchildren will have the same opportunities to encounter the Dharma together in safe and beautiful facilities.