Midwest Buddhist Temple
435 West Menomonee Street • Chicago, IL 60614
312.943.7801, phone /  312.943.8069, fax
Office hours: 9 am to 4:30 pm / Monday through Friday

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Midwest Buddhist Temple
Weekly Dharma Talks (MP3)
Getting to the temple
Meet our temple minister
History of MBT
Religious observances
Temple events calendar
Temple photo album
Temple special events
Temple special programs
Temple organizations
Guide to financial giving
Buddhist Symbols
Buddhist Wheel
Temple Etiquette
How to offer incense
Free Parking
English Services
Handicapped Accessible
Contact us

Discover Shao Lin at Mind-Body Seminar

By Susan Gilkey
The fall Mind-Body Seminar, “Oneness Means Differences,” will be held on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Rev Koshin Ogui will be the principal guest.
There will be two major activities.  One will be led by a new MBT member/Zen Shin leader Cybele Tom. Cybele will lead exercises from the Shao Lin martial arts known as silk weaving, symbolizing the interdep
endence aspect of oneness. 
The seminar’s other major activity will be led by longtime friend of MBT Denise Colletti, an art therapist at the Cook County Jail. Denise used to lead meditation at the jail with Rev. Ogui. She will present an art project reflecting the idea that oneness does not mean sameness. 
In art, as in life, we might all do the same thing but the results look very different from person to person.
The program also includes a yoga class and Zen Shin meditation.  A delicious vegetarian lunch will be provided for the participants. 
Fees will be $20 for temple members and $30 for nonmembers. For more information and to register, contact the MBT office at 312.943.7801.

Congratulations to the winners

of the
2014 Ginza Holiday Raffle

1st Prize: $1,000               Barbara Kurokawa

2nd Prize: $500                 Gene Ideno

3rd Prize: $300                  Toshio Nakanishi

4th Prize:
Two 3-course dinners
with wine at
Roy's Restaurant                Landa Hishiko

5th Prize:
Two dinners and two
drinks at Twin Anchors       Elaine Omori

6th Prize:
$50 Gift Certificate
from Marge's Still               John Adachi

7th Prize:
$50 Gift Certificate
from Cafe Selmarie            Susan Somers

8th Prize:
$50 Gift Certificate
from Friends Sushi            Tsky Nang

9th Prize:
$50 Gift Certificate
from Friends Sushi            Eva J. Crotteau

10th Prize:
$50 Gift Certificate
from Friends Sushi            Mitchell Larson

11th Prize:
$50 Gift Certificate
from Friends Sushi            Roy and Joyce Yamamoto

12th Prize:
$50 Gift Certificate
from Friends Sushi            Kathie Kepchar

13th Prize:
$50 Gift Certificate
from Sunshine Cafe           Masato Ozaki

14th Prize:
$50 Gift Certificate
from Sunshine Cafe            Matt Glickson

14th Prize:
$50 Gift Certificate
from Sunshine Cafe            Harry Sakai

16th Prize:
$50 Gift Certificate
from Sunshine Cafe            Nancy Stankus

17th Prize:
$30 Gift Certificate
from Itto Sushi                  Mineko Hirata

18th Prize:
$30 Gift Certificate
from Itto Sushi                  Steve Nichols

19th Prize:
$30 Gift Certificate
from Itto Sushi                  Mary Ruth Kubala

20th Prize:
$20 Gift Certificate
from Renga-Tei
Restaurant                       Roy Teshima

21st Prize:
$20 Gift Certificate
from Renga-Tei
Restaurant                       Mitsuteru Kunai

22nd Prize:
$20 Gift Certificate
from Renga-Tei
Restaurant                       Michiko Ichikawa

23rd Prize:
$20 Gift Certificate
from Nookies                   David Duerkop

24th Prize:
$20 Gift Certificate
from Nookies                   Jesse and Joy Zavala

25th Prize:
$20 Gift Certificate
from Nookies                   Yasuko Okigawa

Ginza 2014
Ginza Holiday! It's a Japanese Fair—with MBT Flair

Mark your calendars: The 59th annual Ginza Holiday will be held Aug. 8–10.
Hours are 5:30 to 9 pm Friday, Aug. 8, 11:30 am—9:30 pm Saturday, Aug. 9, and 11:30 am—6 pm Sunday, Aug. 10.

Four master craftsmen from The Waza, a federation of Japanese artisans dedicated to the continuation of traditional crafts from the Edo period over 300 years ago, will be at the Ginza--demonstrating their crafts and selling their treasures.

Eiji Kinoshita has appeared more than 20 times at Ginza. Known for his dramatic, yet affordable, pottery, Kinoshita-san has been the friendly coordinator for many of the Waza’s visits to Chicago. His work features the carbureting technique that combines high heat and large quantities of smoke to give his pieces beauty and depth.
While some may choose to display his work as art, each piece is designed for everyday use.

Also returning this year is Masahiro Kawakami, a third-generation maker of tenugui. These colorful works of towel art can be used in many ways—as belts, head covers and wall art.

Meisho Yamasaki was at Ginza in 2010 and returns with her delicate ichimatsu ningyo dolls.

Bibi Ishikawa is making her first appearance at Ginza. She makes chirimen or cloth art. Using antique kimono fabric, she creates delightful pieces of art, from hanging animals to miniature furniture. She also makes some of the kimonos that Yamasaki-san uses on her dolls.

Collectors have the unique opportunity to buy pieces that typically are available only through private shops or the best department stores in Japan, at special discounted prices for our Ginza shoppers.

While the Waza travel the world to share their crafts, Chicago is one of their very rare appearances in the United States. A primary goal of the Waza is to strengthen the understanding between people of different cultures and they welcome the chance to meet you and answer your questions.  Please stop by their outdoor booths where they will be displaying and demonstrating their unique crafts throughout the day.

The festival also features ongoing stage performances with the taiko drumming of Ho Etsu Taiko  and the Midwest Buddhist Temple Taiko, the Midwest Buddhist Temple Minyo, Fujima Ryu of Chicago, a Japanese classical dance troupe, martial arts demonstrations and the Na Kupuna Ukulele group.

Inside the temple, the exhibit hall will be filled with demonstrations and exhibits of bonsai, ikebana (flower arranging), calligraphy, brush painting, Samurai swords, and Japanese arts and crafts. Many of the products will be offered for sale.

And an abundance of traditional Japanese cuisine will be offered, including the famous open-pit, charcoal-grilled chicken teriyaki dinner, udon (Japanese cold noodles), sushi, edamame and grilled corn on the cob. For dessert try the kintoki (Japanese snow cone topped with sweet azuki beans). Premium Japanese beer will also be available for purchase.

The chapel will be open for guests who are interested in observing the place of worship and learning the basics of Buddhism. During stage intermissions, Reverend Ron Miyamura, Midwest Buddhist Temple minister, will deliver short dharma talks.

And as in the recent past, Yoko Noge and Japanesque will perform on Saturday night. (The Chicago Air and Water show falls on the weekend after Ginza.)

A benefit donation of $7 for adults, and $6 for students and senior citizens will be collected at the gate on all other dates. A special three day pass will be available for $15. Children under 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

Click here to learn more about the foods, entertainment and artisans at this year's festival. Or for information, call 312-943-7801.

70th Anniversary Fete Honors Past, Looks to Future

By Carl Ichikawa
The temple’s 70th Anniversary and dedication of our new Japanese Legacy Garden will take place on Sunday, June 22.

We are grateful to our Nisei members, who together with their Issei parents laid the foundation for what has grown into a diverse, multi-generational Sangha. Their generosity and hard work has expanded the temple from six charter members to more than 225 families and individuals.

And while it is important to understand our history, the Nisei remind us that it is even more important to focus on our future. Just look at the 21 Dharma School students and their families who have brought new energy to the temple. Introduce yourself to the many new faces at the temple and understand the bond that brings us together.

This anniversary celebration is just the beginning of a series of events over the coming year to celebrate the times to come. But first, how did this all start?

MBT was founded by Rev. Gyodo Kono, one of the dynamic Issei ministers who helped establish Buddhism in the United States. Following his release from the Rohwer, Ark., Relocation Camp, Kono sensei settled in Chicago and held the first service of the Midwest Buddhist Church on July 10, 1944, at the South Parkway Community Hall. The growing membership moved to the Uptown Players on LaSalle Street, which was destroyed when a fire broke out on Hanamatsuri 1946. Church activities moved to the Olivet Institute on Cleveland Avenue before members bought a permanent location in 1948 at 1757 North Park Ave.

North Park was the scene of the first Ginza Holiday in 1956, with the intersection of Menomonee and North Park closed to traffic for three days as parked cars were replaced with a temporary stage and booths. The church also participated in the Old Town Art Fair, where for years, we were the exclusive food vendor serving our famous chicken teriyaki. Obon was held in front of the church with the street closed to traffic.

In 1970, after years of planning and fundraising, ground was broken for our beautiful temple at 435 Menomonee St. The new building was dedicated on Nov. 7, 1971 and we officially became the Midwest Buddhist Temple. Kono sensei passed away suddenly in 1976.

The temple is honored to welcome Kono sensei’s nephew, Rev. Gyosho Kono, who joins us for our anniversary celebration. Gyosho Kono is the 16th generation to lead the family’s temple near Hiroshima, Japan, and provides a unique bond to MBT’s very beginning.

The day also marks the dedication of the Japanese Legacy Garden. This beautiful garden honors our members, especially the Issei and Nisei, whose legacy will continue as a wonderful, welcoming place for all who seek the Dharma.

The garden was designed by the world-renown Japanese landscape architect Hoichi Kurisu of Portland, Ore. Kurisu-san designed the famed Anderson Garden in Rockford, considered to be among the most authentic Japanese gardens in the U.S.

The east viewing garden can be enjoyed from the sidewalk, as well as from an enlarged walkway to the parking lot.  From huge boulders that seem to defy gravity in their placement, to sturdy 40-year-old maples, to the roof tiles used as a border, the garden invites the viewer to enjoy nature’s harmony.

The west garden is entered through a traditional wooden gate, crafted in Oregon, shipped to Chicago and assembled by two master carpenters.  A flowing walkway leads you past the soothing sounds of the water basin and to the statue of Shinran Shonin. This peaceful place is a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Be sure to come to the temple, your temple, where we honor our past and eagerly move
forward toward an exciting future.

When: 11:30 am June 22
Where: At the temple

Visit, learn and enjoy the new MBT Legacy Garden on July 19

We are thrilled to introduce the MBT Legacy Garden to you—our neighbors, supporters, and old and new friends. Please join us at the

Midwest Buddhist Temple from 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday, July 19,  for light refreshments and to experience the beauty and serenity of our
Japanese temple garden within a city environment. Come inside as well and tour the temple.
For more information about the MBT Legacy Garden and how it came to be, visit mbtgarden.org or visit us on Facebook, facebook.com/mbtgarden.

If you have additional questions, please call us at 312.943.7801.

What happens when  you marry Irish and Japanese cultures, the Chicago Tribune's Rick Kogan wondered?

"It was very moving," Irish tenor Paddy Homan tells him in Kogan's "Sidewalks" column in the March 14 Chicago Tribune, speaking about the collaboration of Irish and Japanese musicians at the MBT Legacy Garden Benefit Concert on March 9. "Some of the songs we chose worked so well with the [Japanese taiko] drums, giving the songs a greater feel, sometimes a haunting feeling. The experience reminded me of how rich and diverse Chicago is, and I think I may have found my percussion section for future concerts."


The Perfect Way to Celebrate St. Patty's Day...

Give a listen to Ho Etsu Taiko members Jason Matsumoto, Ori Kawahara and Tiani Pyer-Peereira when they visited with Rick Kogan on his "After Hours" program on WGN-AM Radio and gave Chicago a preview of music to come at the MBT Legacy Garden Benefit Concert.

Listen here...

MBT Legacy Garden
Learn more about our Japanese temple garden.


All are welcome
"Come as you are"

Sunday services
* Zen Shin meditation
8:30—9:30 am

* Family service
10:30 am


Try Zen Shin meditation
6—7 pm

Upcoming Sunday services

September Memorial
September 7– 10:30 am

Upcoming events

Wednesdays in September

Introduction to Shin Buddhism
classes with Rev. Ron  Miyamura. Time: 7-8:30 pm

Cost: $15 members, $20 nonmembers

Sept. 3, 10, 17 and 24.

Sept. 13

MBT Yard Sale from
9 am-3 pm. Buy a table for $25 or donate your salable things.

Sept. 21

There will be a Pot Luck Lunch for Rev. Koshin and Mayumi Ogui in the Social Hall at 11:30 am after the Ohigan service.