First Year Memorial Service

On July 26 Rinzai-ji held a First Year Memorial Service (Isshūki) for Kyōzan Jōshu Rōshi attended by 70 people. Noritake Rōshi led the service as Dōshi. A memorial poem sent by Jakusho Kwong Rōshi from Sonoma Mountain Zen Center was read. The service was followed by a touching short film and slide show with images from Kyōzan Jōshu Rōshi’s 52-year teaching history in the U.S., as well as images from his youth in Japan. After the memorial service we all enjoyed a catered lunch reception. In addition to brief testimonials by members of the extended sangha, Noritake Rōshi, Minakawa Rōshi, Seiya Oshō, and Nankei Oshō expressed their heartfelt gratitude at the luncheon and spoke with enthusiasm about returning next year. Meanwhile, three musicians, violinists all!—shared performances during the luncheon. That evening, the Zendo was packed as we sat all night in honor of our teacher. We concluded the Memorial Service the early morning of July 27th, 2015, after a moving service with all of us offering incense to Kyōzan Jōshu Rōshi’s memorial monument.