I hope all is well with you.

As previously, the gate of Honolulu Myohoji is still closed. Nevertheless, every morning and evening services are continuing. The repair of the main hall roof began at the end of August. The work is scheduled to be finished in October. At the riverside, which has been purified by the removal of the toilet, many ti leaves of purification have been planted. The vibration of the entire temple grounds is being purified.

On August 8, with the cooperation of the University of Hawaii’s Spark Matsunaga Peace Institute, a virtual Nagasaki atomic bomb peace commemoration was held. During this year’s obon, family services were held for twenty-one families. While there is a bit of risk for twenty-one small services, I believe it was good because of the happiness of the participants. In addition, the obon service was held according to the traditional rites. It became a long service that lasted more than an hour and a half. I am grateful to Dean Makinodan who assisted with the service. A service for more than an hour could not be held when there are participants. It could be done because it was virtual. This was also something good.

I am serving as a director of the Shufu Society of Hawaii. I believe that we can learn from the interview that was conducted by the society with Dr. Nobuyuki Miki, the vice head of Kuakini hospital, and I would like to share it with you. Dr. Miki visited our temple the previous year when we had made a donation to the hospital.

Let us not allow our immunity to go down while staying at home for the corona measures. Since the main route of infection is droplets, if we wear a mask and are careful about enclosed places, large crowds and close contact, it is best to not be overly concerned.

About the corona test, which is often asked about, while there are various tests, none of them is perfect. Even if the test is positive, there is no illness. And even when there is a negative, the person may be infected with the corona. Moreover, since the symptoms of the corona resemble influenza, if you are experiencing symptoms, please contact your physician.

At present, there is no medicine that is very effective again the corona. While there are reports of patients improving with avigan in Japan, the results are not proven in America. And while remdesivir has recently been started to be used in Hawaii, it is a very expensive medicine. The development of a vaccine is progressing, but it might take two or three years for its practical implementation with results that we can look forward to and little side effects.

The severity of corona cases is large among the elderly, and particularly those with diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney and heart disease should take precautions. Since we know that infections are the result of contact with people, let us be cautious. The human body, however, is a marvelous thing. There are antibodies even within the mouth. Moreover, when large numbers of people become infected as a group, a herd immunity is created and there is also the opposite result of ourselves being protected. Although we have various worries and anxieties, let us be mindful of staying healthy.

Questions: Is it necessary to wear a mask in wide outdoor spaces?

That is not a problem where there are no people and a good ventilation, but let us be cautious.

Is there a risk for infection from take-out food?

There is no problem.

End of information from Dr. Miki.

Let us chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo many times and elevate the immunity that we possess.

We have newly opened a You tube channel for Honolulu Myohoji. Please search for Honolulu Myohoji on You tube. You will also be able to see the Dharma talks. At present, you can view the Sunday Services on Facebook, but only those with a Facebook account can do so. We will make efforts to move to You tube live.

Presently, thanks to the Facebook live, Honolulu Myohoji is spreading throughout the world. On the average, we now have 150 views a week. The Dharma talk done with Dean had 800 views. People from the mainland United States and Southeast Asia are watching us. And people in Hawaii, who could not come to the Sunday Services until now, are also watching. Thanks to the pandemic, the globalization of Honolulu Myohoji is advancing. I believe that this will grow even more and I will make further efforts.

Rev. Takamasa Yamamura

Translated by Mr. Dean Makinodan