Webinar | Sun, Nov. 1 | How Buddhism Has Supported Me for Over 70 Years

West Los Angeles Buddhist Temple Dharma Center Presents…

A Webinar Open to the Public

“How Buddhism Has Supported Me for Over 70 Years”
Young Adults Interview the Silent Generation

Sunday, November 1, 2020 from 11:00am to 12:30pm

Click banner above to download flyer in PDF.

Join us as we listen to members of the younger generation community (Millenials and Gen Z) interview members of the Silent Generation community about how Jodo Shinshu teachings and the temple have impacted and shaped their life experiences since World War II. The webinar will consist of a pre-recorded one-hour oral history interview, followed by a 30-min live Q&A session.

We hope this oral history interview will be educational and meaningful for everyone. We hope the webinar will also be educational especially for those interested in the history of Buddhism in America, Japanese-American history, Asian-American history, and Los Angeles history.

Please click on the links below for more information on the interview participants. This webinar is free and open to the public. Donations are kindly accepted at the Paypal link below Please select “Dharma Center” in the dropdown menu. To register, please click on the link below. A Zoom link will be sent out to all registrants a day before the event.

We look forward to seeing you at the webinar!

Register online here!


Mrs. Noriko Matsumoto

Noriko (Koufuku) Matsumoto was born on January 22, 1939, in Kagoshima-shi (city), Kagoshima-ken, Japan. She attended Jussen Joshi Ko (high school) and graduated in 1957. From there, she moved to Tokyo to work at Shinjuku Takano, returning to Kagoshima at the age of 22. There she had an arranged marriage meeting with Bob Toshimitsu Matsumoto, who had returned to Kagoshima from the United States after obtaining his U.S. citizenship. They married on May 11, 1962, and shortly afterward, returned to the United States. Mrs. Matsumoto had three daughters: Grace (Matsumoto) Mizushima in 1963, Candy (Matsumoto) Meyer in 1964, and lastly Kathy (Matsumoto) Tagawa in 1970. Mrs. Matsumoto owned Sawtelle Tempura House on Sawtelle Boulevard in West Los Angeles, from 1979 to 1989. From 1995 to 2008 she took care of all five of her grandchildren (Kylie & Justin Mizushima, Claire Meyer, Kenna & Nolan Tagawa). She was pre-deceased by her husband Bob Matsumoto in 2008. Mrs. Matsumoto was a member of Asoka Fujinkai, a group formed for Japanese-speaking ladies during Rev Bunyu Fujimura’s tenure at West Los Angeles Buddhist Church (now Temple), (1957-76.) She is currently a member of the WLABT Buddhist Women’s Association, and of the 80-Plus Luncheon Group.

Mr. Sei Shohara

Born in 1930 and raised in Fresno, Mr. Shohara spent World War II in Poston Internment Camp # 2 in Arizona. Returning to Fresno and completing high school, he continued education at UC Berkeley from 1948 to 1956, earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering. He served two years in the U.S. Army as a Radar Maintenance Officer with the 520th signal base depot, near Pusan (now Busan), South Korea, between undergraduate and graduate studies. Mr. Shohara was employed by Hughes Aircraft Company from 1956 to 1965, then by Scientific Data Systems (later Xerox Data Systems) from 1965 until retirement in 1994. Mr. Shohara attended temple in Fresno and the Poston Internment Camp, then at Berkeley and Anaheim (Orange County Buddhist Church), finally at WLABT. He served as a dharma school teacher at Orange County, West L.A., and served in various capacities on the WLABT board of directors, including president. He further served in various related religious organizations, including president, on the boards of the Western Young Buddhist League (WYBL), Southern District Dharma School Teachers League, Federation of Western Dharma School Teachers Leagues, Southern District Council of the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA), and the BCA. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Buddhist Studies and the BCA Endowment Foundation. Mr. Shohara married Yasuko Arakawa in 1956. They had three children: Nori, Sumi, Craig, as well as two grandsons and two granddaughters.

Mr. Ted T. Tanaka

Mr. Tanaka was born in 1939 at the Japanese Hospital in Boyle Heights, son of a co-founder of the WLABT as a branch of the Nishi Hongwanji Betsuin in 1926. He was an active member of the WLABT Dharma School, Junior Young Buddhists Association (YBA), Senior YBA, and was elected WYBL president in 1960. Mr. Tanaka graduated from University High School in West Los Angeles in 1957, then Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge), in 1963. He married Darlene Nami Aso of Richmond, Ca., in 1964 in a ceremony at WLABT officiated by Rev. Bunyu Fujimura and Rev. Arthur Takemoto. They had two sons: Scott and Ryan, and two grandsons. Mr. Tanaka trained and served as a corporate management consultant employed by a company today known as Accenture, the largest global management consultant firm. For the past three decades, he has been a self-employed management consultant, leading United States, Canadian and European Union clients to create joint ventures with Japan companies in next-generation biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. He currently gives community lectures on his World War II internment “Manzanar: A View from Inside,” recounting his experiences in block 24, barracks 2, unit 4, between the ages of two and five. Mr. Tanaka also conducts tours of Sawtelle Japantown, introducing its historic roots to local university students, and serves as emcee for the WLABT annual summer Bon Festival and Odori street folk dance.



Ms. Kylie Mizushima

Kylie Akane Mizushima was born on January 20, 1995 in Los Angeles, California. Her parents are Grace and Greg Mizushima, and her younger brother is Justin Mizushima. Her grandmother is interviewee Noriko Matsumoto. Ms. Mizushima graduated from Pacific Palisades Charter High School in 2013, and from California State University, Fullerton, in 2017, with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science. She aspires to receive her Master’s Degree as a Physician’s Assistant. Her Buddhist activities include: Dharma School, Sangha Teens, Jr. YBA, and Obon Odori Instruction. Her hobbies include playing basketball, playing the Shamisen, singing Minyo, and eating good food.

Ms. Kaylee Takata

Kaylee Mai Takata was born January 16, 2001 in Hawaii, on the island of Kauai. Her parents are Koho and Yuka Takata, and her younger sister is Shanti Takata. She graduated from Arcadia High School in 2019 and is currently attending California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication Design. She has been active in Kizuna Summer Camp, a multi-city program for students in 2nd to 8th grade aimed at building a foundation of Japanese-American culture and heritage, and has also participated in the Nisei Week Foundation. Ms. Takata’s Buddhist activities include Dharma School, Sangha Teens, and Jr. YBA. In her free time, she enjoys listening to a wide range of music and podcasts, dancing, and editing videos.

Ms. Kelsie Yahata

Kelsie Terumi Yahata was born January 23, 1994 in Santa Monica, California. Her parents are Neal and Connie Yahata, and her two older siblings are Allison Yahata and Mitchell Yahata. Her paternal grandfather, Tozo Yahata, was WLABT President in 1963, and her mother, Connie, is currently serving a third term as WLABT President. Ms. Yahata attended Venice Senior High and graduated from San Francisco State University in 2016, with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Criminal Justice Studies. She lives in Oakland, California, where she works for the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SPCA) as the Social Media Specialist. Her Buddhist activities include serving on the Social Media and Outreach Committee for the WLABT, the TechnoBuddha Conference committee, and volunteering at the annual WLABT Obon Festival. Her hobbies include traveling, playing tennis, finding new places to eat, and playing with her dog, Scotty.