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History of the Temple


December 27, 1932 — First gathering and Hoonko Service was held

February 1, 1933 – Buddhist fellowship formed. Neyu – Butsushiki was held on Nov. 21 -1936 – Formation of Women’s Association (Fujinkai)

January 4, 1939 – Okanagan Buddhist Society was officially registered

January 22, 1939 – First Young Buddhist Association formed but dissolved in 1946

February 14, 1948 – First Sunday School Service was held

April 30, 1948 – Shrine arrives from Fairview Buddhist Church

September 1951 – Rev. & Mrs. Shinjo Ikuta and family arrive in Kelowna as Okanagan Kyoku minister

December 1, 1951 – regular weekly Sunday Dharma School started

March 5, 1952 – Young Buddhist Association was re-formed

February 5, 1956 – Kelowna Buddhist Church’s Boy Scouts formed

March 3, 1963 – Rev. & Mrs. Koyo Okuda moved to Kelowna as Okanagan Kyoku minister – January 1, 1965 – Young Adult Buddhist Association formed

November 26, 1967 – Official opening of new temple

December 1, 1967 – First publication of ‘Dharma Express’

March 23, 1968 – New temple Inauguration Service was held

August 23, 1970 – Rev. & Mrs. Orai Fujikawa arrived as Okanagan Kyoku minister

December 10, 1974 – Mortgage on Temple building paid off

November 20, 1976 – first Farmer’s Market

January 13, 1980 – Rev. & Mrs. Norimaru Taniyama and family arrived as Okanagan Kyoku minister

May 29, 1982 – Kelowna Buddhist Church 50th Anniversary

1984 – Hishi Toro (gold lantern) for Hondo was purchased to commemorate Gomonshu & Ourakatta samas visitation

May 10, 1986 – Fujinkai’ 50th Anniversary. Rev. Toshima and representatives from Honokaa, Kamuela and Pauiilo, Hawaii (sister temples) attended to sign Sister Temple agreement.

November 22, 1986 – Rev. Shinsui Koresada arrived from Japan for a 2 month stay as Okanagan Kyoku minister

May 1, 1987 – Rev. & Mrs. Daijun Yakumo and family arrived as Okanagan Kyoku minister – residing in Kamloops

1989 – Major renovation – Fire escapes, fire doors and fire alarm system installed at a cost of $30,000.00.

1990 – Donate $5,000.00 to Kelowna General Hospital ‘Together We Care’ campaign

May 10, 1992 – To commemorate 60th Anniversary of temple an Uchishiki was purchased – August 1992 – First visit of 30 students from Chiyoda High School, Tokyo

January 29, 1994 – Rev. Shigenobu Watanabe arrived as Okanagan Kyoku minister

1996 – Lower floor of church re-tiled

May 25, 1997 – On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of temple a new Mizuhiki (shitajiki) was purchased. Also new carpeting was purchased for the Hondo aisle, entry and and stairways to both floors.

January 2000 – Rev. & Mrs. Michael Hayashi & family arrive as Okanagan Kyoku minister – residing in Kamloops

October 1, 2004 – Rev. & Mrs. Yasuhiro Miyakawa arrive as Okanagan Kyoku minister

March 15, 2005 – Sensei Miyakawa swims continuously for 6 hrs to completed 600 laps (15 km) butterfly stroke at Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Center – Westbank to raise awareness for the Victims of the Tsunami. $2,700.00 was donated to Canadian Red Cross.

2006 – Sensei Miyakawa swims back stroke continuously while balancing a water bottle for 7.5 kilometres at the Kamloops Olympic pool to raise $10,000.00 for the Canadian Cancer Society.

May 2007 – On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the temple a statute of Shinran Shonin was commissioned. Local artist Jock Hildebrand sculpted at 3 foot high bronze statute. A night bronze pouring ceremony was held at his studio in Westbank. Sister Temple members from Hawaii, City of Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd, Vernon, Kamloops, Steveston, Fraser Valley & Vancouver Temple representatives were invited. Rev. & Mrs. Susumu Ikuta were invited guests. Many former Dharma School students attended this occasion.

August 9, 2007 – Sensei Miyakawa leads a 12 hour Thousand Sutra Samadhi (meditation) chanting to remember those who had perished or suffered the Atomic bombing in Nagasaki, Japan was undertaken to raise awareness and promote universal peace. Many members, media and the general public took part in the chanting or folded an origami crane to symbolize peace.

August 2008 – August 2012 – Sensei Miyakawa leads a 12 hour Thousand Sutra Samadhi (meditation) chanting in Kamloops, Vernon and Kelowna in rotation in of the survivors and victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic bombings.

January 2011 – Shinran Shonin’s 750th Memorial Service was held, to commemorate this occasion a new Uchishiki was purchased. Rev. Orai Fujikawa was guest speaker.

March 11, 2011 – An unimaginable magnitude 9.9 earthquake shook North Honshu Island of Japan….causing many deaths and destruction, compounded by a nuclear devastation of Fukushima Daichi Plant. The Temple co-sponsored 2 hot dog sale fundraisers. A total of $21,000.00 was raised.

April 2011 – Kelowna Buddhist temple Women’s Association 75th anniversary a matching small Uchishiki was purchased.

2012 – Storage room was converted into a walk in cooler. Left side classroom made into a storage room with shelving

2013 – Install laminate flooring in Board Room and Minister’s Office

2014 – Re-paint Hondo, Minister’s Office & Basement. Minister’s Office refurnished by Fujinkai. Commercial dishwasher installed, donated by Herb Tanaka, Reiko Ostapchuk and Peggy Tanaka.

2015 – Install laminate flooring in Naijin Area – donated by Herb Tanaka, Reiko Ostapchuk and Peggy Tanaka. Laying of the flooring was donated by Doug Mori. World Buddhist Women’s Convention held in Calgary. Rev Michael Hayashi deceased on December 4 in Winnipeg. Dharma Door bookstore opens in July. Uchishiki donated by Alan Yamaoka in memory of mother Chiyoko Yamaoka.

2016 – Women’s Association 80th Anniversary celebrated in conjunction with Obon ye. To commemorate the occasion a microwave and a 2 oven, ceramic top electric range. Entrance and stairs were re-carpeted by Yamaoka, Hayashi & Uyeyama families in memory of their loved ones. Cooking Demonstrations by Women’s Association members.

2017 – Asian Heritage Month sale of Japanese housewares, ornaments and kimono, Taiko & karate
demonstrations, tea ceremony, origami & calligraphy. KBTWA published Cookbook

2018 – Asian Heritage Month cooking demonstrations and food sales. First manju sales held by
Kelowna Buddhist Temple Women’s Association.

2019 – Asian Heritage Month sale of Japanese housewares, ornaments & kimono. World Buddhist
Women’s Convention held in San Francisco

2020 – COVID-19 Pandemic closed temple from mid-March for the remainder of the year. Roof repaired at cost of $20,000. KBTWA Second Edition Cookbook 200 copies were published. Women’s Assoc sponsored the repainting of the kitchen. Rev. Yasuhiro Miyakawa retired effective December 31, 2020.

2021 – Kitchen repainted, stove hood skirt replaced and installed, lawn area re-landscaped to Zen rock garden. Rev. Naoki Hirano new minister for BC Interior Shin Buddhist Temples.


1951–1959Rev. Shinjo Ikuta
1963-1970Rev. Koyo Okuda
1970-1980Rev. Orai Fujikawa
1980-1986Rev. Norimaru Taniyama
January 1987Rev. Shinsui Koresada
1987-1992Rev. Daijun Yakumo
1994-2000Rev. Shigenobu Watanabe
2000-2004Rev. Michael Hayashi
2004– 2020Rev. Yasuhiro Miyakawa
2021-PresentRev. Naoki Hirano

Lay Ministers (Hokyoshi)

Mr. Sutejiro Tomiye
Mr. Genjiro Taguchi
Mr. Junsho Hikida


1933-1954Mr. Iwajiro Yamaoka
1955-1957Mr. Einosuke Uyeyama
1958 & 1959Mr. Shotaro Yamaoka
1960-1966Mr. Takeru Tanemura
1967Mr. Jinichiro (Jim) Yokota
1968-1972Mr. Katsuzo (Kaz) Hayashi
1973 & 1974Mr. Jinichiro (Jim) Yokota
1975 & 1976Mr. Toshio (Roy) Tanemura
1977 & 1978Mr. Toshio Yamaoka
1979 (part of year)Mr. Jinichiro (Jim) Yokota
1979-1986Mr. Shuo Yamaoka
1987-1990Mr. Jinichiro Kitaura
1991-2003Mr. Yoshiharu Terada
2004-2008Mrs. Shirley Tanemura
2009-2010Mr. Alec Pelletier
2011-2012Mr. Herb Tanaka & Mrs. Shirley Tanemura
2013Mr. Herb Tanaka
2014Mr. Reg Tomiye & Mrs. Shirley Tanemura
2015 & 2016Mr. Reg Tomiye
2017Mrs. Pegi Hayashi Uyeyama & Mr. Alan Yamaoka
2018-PresentMrs. Pegi Hayashi Uyeyama