Rev. Carol Himaka, whose BCA career spanned 36 years, was honored after the BCA’s Eitaikyo Service on March 13 on the occasion of her retirement.
BCA Bishop Rev. Marvin Harada also paid tribute to the other retiring ministers – Rev. Kenji Akahoshi of the Buddhist Temple of San Diego, who was the featured speaker at the Eitaikyo Service, and Rev. Earl Ikeda of the New York Buddhist Church. (See “San Diego Celebrates 95th Anniversary, Rev. Akahoshi’s Retirement in Combined Event” and “New York, Seabrook Bid Aloha to Rev. Ikeda” in the December 2021 issue of the Wheel of Dharma.)
Rev. Himaka joined the BCA in 1981 and was assigned to the Fresno Betsuin Buddhist Temple in 1985. After taking a leave of absence from 1985 to 1989, she was appointed director of the BCA Department of Buddhist Education in 1989 and served in that role through 1996.
In May 1995, she was assigned part-time to the Enmanji Buddhist Temple, and became Enmanji’s full-time minister in April 1996. She also served as the Supervising Minister for the Buddhist Temple of Marin from 2002 to 2011.
Rev. Himaka’s final assignment was with the Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church in 2012. In Nov. 2018, she took a leave of absence.
She officially retired from the BCA on Oct. 31, 2021.
Rev. Himaka appeared in a Zoom presentation coordinated by her sister, Lynn Fuchigami of San Diego.
Rev. Harada read from the certificate of appreciation to Rev. Himaka “with deepest gratitude and appreciation.
“Thank you for helping to nurture the seed of the Nembutsu teaching here in America,” Rev. Harada said. “May your life continue to be guided by Amida’s Wisdom and Compassion.
“On a personal level, Rev. Carol and I go way, way back to our days at IBS as students and working together to put on the Summer Youth Program,” Rev. Harada continued. “It’s so nice to see you, Rev. Carol. It’s Marvin. Congratulations.”
Rev. Himaka, clearly overcome with emotion, smiled and replied: “Goodness, gosh, amazing …. Thank you very much.”