Inside This Issue
The 73rd Cowra Service of Respect 1-3
Dana Ceremony at Phuoc Hue Vietnamese Temple 3
Rev Watanabe completed Sydney Marathon 4
HBMA News – Welcome /Matsuri /Scripture Class 4
Rev Watanabe officiated at The Cowra Sakura Matsuri
– Service of Respect –
At Cowra Japanese War Cemeteries on Sunday 24 September 2017
Rev Watanabe was once again invited to present at the final Cowra Sakura Matsuri event, the “Service of Respect” on Sunday 24 September.
This year was the 73rd anniversary since the Cowra Prisoner of War Breakout in 1944.
At ten O’clock sharp, the dedicated master of ceremonies, Mr Tony Mooney OAM ORS, director of the Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre, declared the start of the service at the Australian War Cemetery. The Australian National Anthem was performed by Sydney Sakura Choir lead by the well-known conductor Mr SadaharuMuramatsu.
Then, wreathes were presented, in chronological order, for the memory of Australian Soldiers, Private Ralph Jones GC, Private Benjamin Gower Hardy GC, Private Charles Henry Shepherd, Lieutenant Harry Doncaster, who all died during the Prisoner of War Breakout.
The Mayor of Cowra – Councillor Bill West, and Mr Hideaki Matsuo – Deputy Consul-General of Japan in Sydney presented the first wreath; Mr Masahiko Suenaga – President of Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industry Sydney Inc, Mr Shinichi Kobayashi – President of Society of Sydney Inc, Mr Bob Griffiths – Chairman of Cowra Japanese Garden & Cultural Centre presented the second wreath; and Rev Watanabe, Mr YushiroMizukoshi -President of Japan Club of Sydney Inc. and Mr Gordon Rolls – President of Cowra Breakout Association & Mrs Lyndell Rolls presented the third wreath.
After that, we all turned to face the West for the “Last Post”, which is the final bugle call of the day and signals the passing of another day. Today we sound the last post in memory of all those who passed away in the service of their country.
And “Ode of Remembrance” was read by Mr Mooney:
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
Then we all recited the concluding words,
“Lest we Forget”
Finally, we all turned to the East for the “Reveille”, and Mr Mooney read following;
“The “Reveille” is the first bugle call of the day. It Signals a new day as we go forward with the ideas and freedom gained by those we salute.”
The sounding of the Last Post and Reveille were beautifully played by Mr Glen McLeish from Cowra Band.
Then we all moved on to Japanese War Cemetery.
Mr Mooney introduced the proceedings as follows;
“In 1962 Officials from the Japanese Embassy, impressed with the respect shown towards the graves of the war dead, approached the Cowra Shire Council to discuss the possibility of one cemetery for all the war dead who died on Australian soil and for that cemetery to be located in Cowra.
In 1964 a Japanese War Cemetery, designed by Shigeru Yura, was built. The cemetery contains the remains of all Japanese Nationals who died in the Cowra Breakout, the attack on Darwin and the Australian Internment and POW Camps.”
The Sakura Choir again performed the Japanese National Anthem which was followed by another wreath laying ceremony, and again three wreathes were presented, and an additional wreath was presented by Mrs Lyndell Rolls.
The ceremony was followed by Buddhist chants.
First of all, Rev Eijo Doherty of Tendai Buddhism Australia – of Brisbane, Queensland officiated a service, which was followed by Rev Watanabe.
Following Hyobyaku-mon (Adoration) was read before his chanting;
– Adoration –
We are gathered here today in the Cowra War Cemetery on this 24th day of September 2017, to commemorate those who lost their lives during World War Two. As we observe the Buddhist service of Respect commemorating the 73rd Anniversary of Cowra breakout, as representatives of Japanese community, we would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to the people in Cowra for their heartfelt long time hospitality, and for looking after this cemetery where many Japanese were buried.
73 years have already passed since the Cowra Breakout. There is no doubt that it resulted in many tragedies, much misery and sadness to many people.
Those who were left behind should always remember that it was a very difficult time for all human beings and we must never ever let history repeat itself.
It is said that,
“Circumstances can force human beings to do things that they would normally not even consider.”
However, our supreme Buddha knows all there is to know about human beings.
In His Vow, He promised all human beings enlightenment on birth into the Buddha Land.
That is Amida Buddha’s compassion. That is Amida Buddha’s wisdom. These are the free gifts from Amida Buddha.
Those who have faith in Amida Buddha will live within the purity of His radiance and they shall find peace and happiness, and hope eternal shall dwell within their hearts.
Therefore, let us accept Buddha’s free gifts as they are, and let us express our appreciation and indebtedness to the Buddha by reciting His sacred name,
Namo Amida Butsu.
After the chanting, the Sakura choir performed two Japanese songs, “Hana waSaku” and “Furusato” and the ceremony was all concluded.
When the ceremony was over, Rev Watanabe extended his appreciation to Mr Shane Budge for his special contribution to HBMA on this occasion. We also express our big “Thank you” to Mrs Yoshiko Gault for her support of the Cowara mission. In Gassho,
The Dana Ceremony at
Phuoc Hue Buddhist Monastery on Wednesday, 6 September 2017
The Senor Venerable Thich Phuoc Tan OAM, Abbot and the Executive Committee of Phuoc Hue Temple invited Rev Watanabe to attend their special service celebrating Dana Day.
This service is very similar to our service of Obon/Ullambana. They introduced the story of Mokuren/Maudgalyayana, one of the ten disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha. In this story, Mokuren saved his beloved mother who was in the hell of hungry demons by sharing lots of food for everyone. So those who attended the service were pleased to have such a variety of vegetarian food after the service.In Gassho,
Rev Watanabe completed the 42.195 km run for the World Peace and the future of HBMA
Rev Watanabe made a pledge to run the full Marathon of the Sydney Running Festival 2017, wishing for World Peace and also for the future of HBMA. He was able to complete the 42.195 km run in his 4 hours 10 minutes and 42 seconds.
Big “Thank you” goes to Rev George Gatenby, Mr Roy Cooke, Mrs Ayako Mitsui-Browne, Mr Norman Fung, M/M Kazushi and Eriko Ishida for your support on this occasion, your help was much appreciated. In Gassho,
Welcome to Australia!“Matsuri Japan Festival” in Willoughby 2017
The third annual Japanese festival was held in Chatswood (Willoughby council) on Saturday 9 September and many Japanese community members were involved in this fun event!
LEPS Buddhist Scripture Class is on the move!
We are learning the life of Buddha (Aug-Sep/2017)
During the month of August and September, Scripture class students in Lindfield East PS learnt about Buddha’s life by watching cartoon movie! In Gassho,