Remembering Sensei Michael


To Temples, board members, members and friends,

Reverend Michael Hayashi entered the Pure Land at 2:50 pm CST Dec 4, 2015. His family was by his side and he passed away peacefully while listening to one of his favorite songs "Dust to Dust" by The Civil Wars.

Sensei Michael was admitted to the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre on November 21st. As it became apparent that he had incurable stomach cancer, his wife Kiyomi and their family, his aunts and uncles, sister and mother and many friends came to comfort him. Koden (donation to the family as an offering of condolences and to assist with expenses). Those who would like to help the family with expenses during this time may make a contribution through this service. The Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada is working with the Vancouver Buddhist Temple to provide this vehicle. Please note that contributions do not qualify for CRA Tax receipts.

The JSBTC has consulted with the family on how we can convey messages of support and how to help with the many expenses the family faces.

Loving Thoughts and Financial Gratitude 

1. By mail addressed to: 

Kiyomi Hayashi and family c/o JSBTC 
220 Jackson Ave
Vancouver B.C. V6A 3B3

Cheques should be payable to: Kiyomi Hayashi
Please include your name, address or email in your message.

2. At your local Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temple:

Temples will accept sealed envelopes containing cards and cheques marked with your name and address. Please avoid using cash however if this is necessary, include your name and address.

3. Click on the green button to send a donation by credit card (in Canada and abroad):


The service costs approximately $0.60 plus 5.5% of the transaction amount. The family will receive the net amount. This service may be available on other temple websites as well. This method will be available at least until January 1, 2016 and may be extended further.

Please note that financial support of this nature does not qualify for CRA tax receipts

On behalf of the JSBTC and Bishop Tatsuya Aoki,

Trudy Gahlinger, JSBTC Secretary

Ministerial Movement

There was some movement among ministers this year in Canada. Two ministers, both Canadians, will make their homes in two new cities.
First, the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada is happy to welcome Rev. Christina Yanko to the Toronto Buddhist Church in Ontario. Rev. Yanko is originally from Claresholm, Alberta. She was recruited by the late Rev. Dr. Leslie Kawamura while she was studying with him at the University of Calgary.

She is currently working towards completing her PhD on the development of Pure Land Sutras in 1st century CE at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She completed her Kyoshi certification in Kyoto in 2012.

She and her husband David have a young son named Atticus.

Rev. Yanko joins Rev. Tomofumi Fujii at the Toronto Buddhist Church.

Almost simultaneously, Rev. Michael Hayashi leaves Toronto and transfers to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Rev. Hayashi was at the Toronto Buddhist Church for over two years. Wanting to be closer to home (B.C.), Rev. Hayashi has accepted a reassignment to the Manitoba Buddhist Temple. He will be under the guidance of Rev. Fredrich Ulrich.

Like many Japanese-Canadians, he grew up in a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist home. His grandfather, with whom he lived, was the lay-minister at the Thunder Bay Buddhist Church. This connection would become the roots for his future.

In 1992, Rev. Hayashi attended Lakehead University receiving an Honours Bachelors of Arts (English) and Education (Ontario Teacher’s Certificate).

With the encouragement of his family, Rev. Hayashi went to Kyoto, Japan to study at Ryokoku University in 1997 where he received a Master of Arts in Jodo Shinshu Theology. Rev. Hayashi has been a minister at several Canadian temples in his career.

Both ministers are excited for the challenge and the opportunity. If you are a member of either congregation, please lend them your full support.

Celebrating 750 in Manitoba

“The more we can we can join in the joy and sorrow of as many people as possible, with the support and guidance by a warm compassion and wisdom of Amida Tathagata, the more our lives and the world will be enriched.”

Those were the words transmitted from his eminence, Gomonshu Koshin Ohtani, as a congregation of over one-hundred people gathered at the Manitoba Buddhist Temple for the 750th Memorial Celebration of Shinran Shonin on Sunday, June 13, 2010.

Socho Orai Kujikawa of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada

Bishop Orai Fujikawa of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada brought wishes from his eminence, Gomonshu Koshin Ohtani with a special video presentation. As the 24th descendant of Shinran Shonin, the Gomonshu declared, “It is important to express the uniqueness of Jodo Shinshu right now. It may be difficult to imagine how things will be fifty years from now, but we need to do so for the present day youth. I am putting my expectations on you to pursue the unchangeable truth of Amida Tathagata and to try to discover various possible and effective ways of transmitting that ultimate truth.”

The service was led by Rev. Fredrich Ulrich, Resident Minister of the Manitoba Buddhist Temple. Manitoba is one of twelve temples in Canada that are holding events to commemorate this event. Early in 2009, Rev. Ulrich documented the work of members who participated in a “Dharma Outreach” program as spiritual preparation for the celebration. Members volunteered their time in community service as an expression of gratitude to Shinran Shonin's teachings. Attendance at the celebration of Shinran's 750th Memorial was the culmination of this expression of gratitude.

Dr. Leslie Kawamura of the JSBTC Living Dharma Centre

Rev. Dr. Leslie Kawamura was the guest speaker at the public lecture on the evening of June 12, 2010, which drew 60 people for a two-hour presentation. He was also the main speaker for the memorial service of June 13, 2010. Dr. Kawamura is a professor at the University of Calgary. He is also the Director of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada – Living Dharma Centre. The heart of his message on this occasion was, “Give gratitude to those who brought you to this moment.”

Bishop Fujikawa ended the service by reading a translated poem from the late, Setsuko Nishimura. Mrs. Nishimura was the wife of Rev. Nishimura, the first minister of the Manitoba Buddhist Temple. They served the temple together for over 25 years, starting in 1946.

“We wish the torch of the Buddha-Dharma lit in the City of Winnipeg is never extinguished."

This attitude of mind was carried home by everyone after a specially prepared meal following the memorial service.

Temple Tour: Winnipeg

As one of the projects of the Living Dharma Centre, I have proposed to visit all temples in the Buddhist Churches of Canada and survey Dharma School and Youth programs. I began my visitations with the Manitoba Buddhist Temple in Winnipeg on February 17, 2008.

The resident Minister (Sensei) is Fred Ulrich and he has done a wonderful job of taking the temple into the society. As a consequence, many people who are interested in the Buddha-dharma (teachings of the Enlightened Siddhartha) have visited the temple and some have become new members to the temple. Others have volunteered to help at “soup kitchens” and other inter-religious groups. Those members who have been with the temple for many years, and some who have been there from the very beginning, contribute to the advancement and development of the temple by contributing financial assistance as well as being attentive to the various needs of the temple.

On this visit, I was invited to attend the Sunday service attended by many people both old and new. I met a lady whose visit to the temple was for the first time, and I was pleased to see that she was accepted into the sangha and was taking part in the events of the day just in the manner that those who were there for a longer period.

The service itself was very impressive in that it was not centered around the Sensei only, but members (both children and adults) led the sangha in various aspects – leading in the Trisarana, leading in the incense offering, reading of the Juseige in English prior to the chanting of it led by Sensei Ulrich. I was invited to give a Dharma talk to the children, to the Japanese speaking adults, and then to the English speaking adults.

Oshoko after service

A gift from a Dharma Class Student

Visitation to the Dharma school class was done during the adult meditation session. During my visit, many good ideas of how the LDC could gain from and contribute to the Manitoba Buddhist Temple Dharma Classes were exchanged These ideas will be compiled and circulated among the temples so that exchange of ideas can take place.

During the “pot luck” lunch, an opportunity was provided to share the intent, structure, and wish of the LDC for each person’s participation in its work.

Lunch is served

Sensei Ulrich meets a visitor

A sample brochure of the LDC was distributed to those in attendance. This brochure is a “work in progress” in that it contains some information about the structure and working of the LDC, but hopefully it will prompt comments from the members of the BCC at large so that when the brochure reaches its more mature state, it will contain the information that responds to the members’ wishes.

Origami practise

The brochure is in such an infantile stage that some of the Winnipeg members had to practice “origami” (the art of paper folding) to get into shape for handing out.

Watch for more from my next visits:
February 23 - West Coast Temples
March 16 - Southern Alberta Temple
Calgary, Interior BC and East Coast temples are still pending.

Dr. Leslie Kawamura
February 17, 2008