The first temple located at the corner of Nuuanu Ave. and School St. (1921)

The history of this temple began in 1913 on Hall Street, in Honolulu. Ryogo Mitsunaga donated a Buddhist Hall to the Soto Sect and in 1913, Rev. hosen Isobe of Yamaguchi prefecture arrived in Hawaii opening the temple using the hall.

In 1919 the temple moved to its second location on the corner of Nuuanu Avenue and School Street. This is when the temple for the first time got its structure as a temple as the first temple located on Hall Street was more of using a hall instead of a structural temple building. The temple was completed in 1920 and dedicated in 1921.

Wakei Gakuen Opening Ceremony (1933)

In 1932, a Japanese language school for elementary and intermediate students was established and named Nuuanu Wakei Gakuen.

In 1933, a large Eleven-faced Kannon statue, which is one of the temple’s main Buddha, was created by Soun Onodera and donated by Kiyoshi Shikata of Honolulu.

On December 7, war with Japan broke out. THose considered as leaders of the Japanese community, including many Buddhist priests, were detained on Oahu or sent to internment camps on the mainland. Bishop Zenkyo Komagata was relocated to Honouliuli Detention Camp and Shunan Fujisawa, the resident priest, was interned at Crystal City Camp, Texas. All Buddhist propagations were halted. Temple business was continued by You Komagata, wife of Bishop Zenkyo Komagata and Ryukai Muroga, resident priest (nun).

Current temple dedication ceremony (1953)

On August 14, 1945, the war ended. After a four-year absence, Bishop Zenkyo Komagata returned to continue his religious work.

In 1952, the temple once again moved, this time to the current location and dedicated in 1953.

In September 1990, the temple ventured into another phase of education. Soto Academy, an English day school for boys and girls from kindergarten to sixth grade opened.

Soto Mission of Hawaii’s Centennial Celebration (2013)

Commemorating the Centennial celebration, Hoko Jizo (Six Jizo Bodhisattva) was enshrined in the Japanese garden on the side of the temple and dedicated at the Centennial Celebration.

On November 9 and 10, 2013, the temple celebrated its Centennial Anniversary with guests from Neighbor Islands, Mainland, Japan, France, Brazil and other countries.