Rokuonzan Guzeiji is the only Buddhist temple on the island of Molokai. In the beginning, it seemed unrealistic to have a temple in Molokai but the Bishop Zenkyo Komagata conceived the situation and sent the Reverend Hozui Nakayama, a resident minister at the Betsuin, to visit Molokai as a visiting minister. After returning to Honolulu to present his report on the situation at Molokai, Rev. Nakayama was given by Bishop Komagata one of Betsuin’s Three Kannon statues, a complete set of Buddhist implements, and a Temple Signboard to take with him to Molokai. It is said that Rev. Nakayama replied, “I am happy to go to Molokai. I don’t need any pay, I’m satisfied if they just give me ochazuke.”
On November 14, 1929, Rev. Nakayama put up the temple signboard and began his teachings using the upstairs room of Tatsukichi Kanemitsu, who was an influential person in the Kaunakakai community. The Japanese people on the island came to admire the spirit of this zen minister and within a short time, they were able to buy some land and build a temple. Today, the Molokai Guzeiji holds a monthly service and periodic zazen sessions and hosts the only Bon Festival on the island.
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