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This historic gathering was presented by the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS), the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) Center for Buddhist Education and the Shinshu Center of America and hosted by the BCA Southern District Ministers Association and Buddhist Education Committee.

The keynote speakers were Dr. Mark Blum, professor of Japanese Studies at UC Berkeley and Rev. Henry Adams, resident minister of the San Mateo Buddhist Temple. Each made presentations in English and Japanese. An overview on “The Establishment of the Hongwanji” was made in English by Rev. David Matsumoto, director of the IBS Center for Contemporary Shin Studies; and in Japanese by Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara, co-director of the BCA Center for Buddhist Education.

Concurrent English and Japanese panels featured speakers from both the Higashi and Nishi traditions. The panel in English, moderated by Rev. Matsumoto, included: Keynote speaker, Dr. Mark Blum; Rev. Noriaki Ito, Bishop, Higashi Honganji North American District; and Rev. Marvin Harada of Orange County Buddhist Church.

The panel in Japanese, moderated by Rev. Kuwahara, included: Keynote speaker, Rev. Henry Adams; Rev. Kodo Umezu, Bishop, Buddhist Churches of America; and Rev. Nobuko Miyoshi of West Covina Buddhist Temple.

The Winter Pacific Seminar – 21st Century continues a Shin Buddhist educational tradition, the Pacific Seminar, which began in Berkeley in the early 1950s and continued through the late 1980s. In 2008, with the establishment of the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley, the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) and the BCA Center for Buddhist Education (CBE) revived the tradition as the “Pacific Seminar – 21st Century,” with the goal of creating exciting new opportunities for all interested in sharing the dharma: laypersons from all backgrounds and generations, scholars and clergy alike, and deepening the appreciation and dialogue on the historical and doctrinal roots of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in America.

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Click box above to view video clips from the event on YouTube.