Over the decades, those of us fortunate to live in the San Francisco Bay Area have been able to enjoy Benkyodo's omanju.
The making of the traditional Japanese confection, while in recent years a dying art, was carried on by founder Sueyoshi Okamura's grandsons, Ricky and Bobby Okamura.
Benkyodo was established in 1906 in San Francisco's Japantown. A visit to Japantown would not have been complete without a stop at Benkyodo for some manju.
On March 31, Benkyodo closed its doors after serving the local community for 115 years.
Benkyodo has had a long association with the Buddhist Churches of America.
When you needed omanju for osonae (offerings for the temple altar) for a funeral or memorial service, or for celebrations such as weddings or major observances, or if it was just to have as dessert with family and friends, Benkyodo was the place for local BCA temple members to turn to for omanju for all occasions. And the BCA is grateful to Benkyodo for its annual donation of numerous sets of the traditional New Year Okagami mochi offerings for the BCA Headquarters.
On March 31, Rev. Michael Endo, Executive Assistant to Rev. Marvin Harada, Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of America, visited the shop and presented a Certificate of Appreciation to the Okamura family on behalf of the BCA.
Rev. Endo expressed his gratitude on behalf of Bishop Rev. Harada to Ricky and Bobby Okamura for their many years of support of the BCA and the BCA’s local temples and members.
Thank you, Ricky and Bobby for carrying on your grandfather's legacy. And thank you for the sweet memories!