26th Annual Nembutsu Seminar
Saturday, February 11, 2023
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Rev. Dr. Yasushi
University of California Berkeley
In this seminar, Rev. Dr. Kigoshi will talk about the series of weekend trips he and Otani University student volunteers took to the area affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The volunteers went to provide help to the disaster victims – cleaning out damaged properties and organizing gatherings for activities but most importantly, being there to listen and provide moral support without using the occasions for proselytizing. In this way, Prof. Kigoshi and the students learned concrete Dharma lessons about themselves and society.
Yasushi “Harry” Kigoshi grew up as a child at the Berkeley Higashi Honganji Temple where his father served as the minister. The family returned to Japan to their temple in Kanazawa and Prof. Kigoshi studied at Otani University in Kyoto, completing the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate courses in Shin Buddhist Studies. He then became a professor at Otani University and served as its president from 2016 to 2022 and is currently a visiting scholar at University of California Berkeley. He has presented many papers in English and Japanese at international conferences and in journals. His book on volunteerism based on his experience with the disaster relief project has been widely read in Japan.