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Rev. Wako Kato






Reverend Wako Kato, Ph.D., has served at Sokoji in San Francisco from 1952 to 1963 and at Zenshuji since 1963. He also holds the position of chief priest of Fuganji in Nara, Japan. Besides his priesthood, he held academic positions at San Francisco State University and the University of California at Berkeley. After he moved to Los Angeles, he taught at California State University, Los Angeles, where he was granted Professor Emeritus. He was also a Visiting Professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Before this lecture series began, he was a Dean of International Studies at the Nagoya University of Foreign Studies in Japan for seven years and now, Professor Emeritus there. He has authored seven books and numerous articles in English and Japanese.

Rev. Koshi Kuwahara








Reverend Koshi Hiroyuki Kuwahara, age 83, passed away peacefully on March 12, 2018 at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center.


He is survived by his wife, Mitsuyo Kuwahara, son Kenny (Hiroko), daughter Emily (Ian Barner), and grandchildren, Dean, Zoe, Kaitlin and Luke, and by many other relatives in Japan.


His funeral services was held on March 23rd at Zenshuji.



Rev. Koshi Kuwahara was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1934 as a son of a merchant, and led his youth in Tokyo in the most chaotic era; before and after World War II. After becoming a Zen monk, he attended Komazawa University to study Buddhism, and then volunteered for his first mission to Brazil in 1959.  His duty began with traveling and serving the Japanese communities which were dispersed over the huge country, and he helped establish the missions in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. In 1964, he came to the United States as a member of the Institute of Zen Buddhism in North America; its office was located at Zenshuji.  While serving at Zenshuji, he attended local colleges and UCLA where he studied American cultures, English and translation of Buddhism materials.  He then worked as a system analyst and manager in the business world for a while, and in 1999, he was assigned as residential minister of Zenshuji until his retirement in 2005.  Currently he continues to serve Zenshuji by organizing and supporting a computer class, Japanese class, and Zen discussion class.

Guest Ministers:

The Ministers

Full-Time Ministers:


Rev. Shumyo Kojima  小島秀明国際布教師






Rev. Shumyo Kojima was born in Novemver, 1968, Saga prefecture, Kyushu.

Growing up as a priest’s son in their family temple, he naturally gravitated towards becoming a Buddhist priest himself. Upon graduating from Komazawa University where he studied Buddhist history and philosophy, he entered the Soto Institute for Buddhist Studies, education department, where he studied for three years. In 1993, as a research trainee from the institute he embarked to the U.S. to temporarily join the staff at Zenshuji Soto Mission in Los Angeles. He entered Eiheiji Monastery at the age of 25. In 1995, He returned to Zenshuji to become a full time minister where he has remained for over 20 years and is currently still assigned. He became the head minister of Zenshuji since April 2015.




Rev. Daiki Toho  東方大樹国際布教師

Rev. Daiki Toho was born in Aichi prefecture, Japan on December 21st, 1975. He grew up in Chita peninsula Aichi. After graduated from Aichi Gakuin University, he came to California to play football. Since he went back to Japan in 2001, he had been helping his home temple and also working as a physical therapist until April 2009. In October 2009, he entered Eiheiji monastery at the age of 34. In 2011, he came to Zenshuji with his wife Asako.