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Ichiro Tamura
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To mix other practices with this Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is a grave error.
Uncle Norman Tamura took us hunting many times in the California desert.
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I placed these various articles before the Lotus Sutra
What happiness! What happiness!
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Whether or not your prayer is answered depends upon your faith
Can it be that Shakyamuni Buddha or the Bodhisattvas of the Earth have entered into your body?
How admirable, that you have read the entirety of the Lotus Sutra with both body and mind!
There is no greater happiness than having faith in the Lotus Sutra.
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you should singlemindedly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo morning and evening, day and night
I can erase the grave offenses of my past and, for the first time, attain Buddhahood.
The character myo changes and becomes Shakyamuni Buddha seated on a lotus pedestal.
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However, you are increasingly demonstrating the depth of your faith and accumulating good deeds.
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And this is only the beginning: be convinced that your great reward is yet to come.
how wretched and meaningless it would be to fall victim to an epidemic or simply die of old age!
on the path of attaining Buddhahood, one is certain to meet some great trial that will demand of him
Ichiro Tamura
If master and disciple are not of the same mind, they cannot accomplish anything.
Rather it has come about as a response to the true words contained in the Lotus Sutra.
Be firmly convinced that the benefits from this offering will extend to your parents
A passage from the Lotus Sutra reads, "...difficult to believe and difficult to understand."
Tsukimaro must have chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with her very first cry at birth.
We common mortals can see neither our own eyebrows, which are so close, nor heaven in the distance.
"With easy labor they shall bear a fortune child."
Your own offerings were not made to me, Nichiren, but to the Lotus Sutra.
Nevertheless, I am an ordinary person dependent on other things for my existence.
When one comes to the end of his good fortune, no strategy whatsoever will avail.
The lion, king of beasts, is said to advance three steps, then gather himself to spring,
I can hardly find words to say how much I appreciate your sincerity
but never once did I die for the Lotus Sutra or suffer persecution for the daimoku.
Yet King Chou's army lost because of disunity
Seihou High
These offerings demonstrate your profound sincerity.
Doesn't a fire burn more briskly when logs are added?
Tientai construed the character myo [of Myoho-renge-kyo] to mean that which is beyond ordinary co
Some are swept away by the strong currents, some fall prey to eagles
Even those who are free from illness cannot escape the transience of life
But if we truly yearn for Shakyamuni Buddha, how could he ever fail to reveal himself to us?
This represents the two principles of object (kyo) and subject (chi), or reality and wisdom.
Another sutra passage says that children are a treasure.

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I found some really nice information on the history of the Tamura's in Hawaii.  It is information on an interview that Helen Onuma did back in 1989.  It was very interesting what I had learned about. 
 
Eleanor's father name was Ichiro Tamura, ranch people called him "Murata", he was a honeybee caretaker.  He also made Kiawe charcoal, grew watermelons, raised pigs and chickens, and made okolehao.  (I think this was some kind of alcohol because the ranch cowboys would come over and drink this.)  Ichiro Tamura was from somewhere in Sendai, Japan.  His wife's name was Ayako Tamura, was from Aki-gun, Hiroshima.  She came from Japan as a picture bride.  That meant she did not know Ichiro until she arrived on Lani.   She was 21 years old when she came from Japan.  In Japan she did not work, just went to school.  When she came to the Islands she made Japanese kimonos and flower arrangements.  They lived in Keomuku on Lani.  That was were all the children were born, Helen, Norm, Thelma, Eleanor, Ellen and Ross.  When Helen was five she moved to Ko'ele to go to school and stayed at a private home for a year.  Eventually the whole family moved there.  I guess that is where the oldest three had started going to Japanese school after English school.  Helen also took up sewing school on Saturdays. 
 
This was kind of a funny story about Helen, she was four or five years she dropped her sister (who was Eleanor born in 1927) in the pigpen.   This was in ko'ele. 
 
They ate lots of dried fish and vegetables.  They went to Maui on the boat, but Ichiro would plant eggplants and papayas. 
 
When Ayako Tamura came from Japan with the other picture brides they were going to Honolulu, some on Maui and other islands.  She was ashamed to say she was going to Keomuku, so she said she was going to Maui.  She was the only one that came to Lanai. 
 
Well I hope you guys find this interesting, I'm just taking brief parts of the interview, there is more, but I haven't had a chance to finish reading all of it. 
 
Jennifer,
 
Hope this will help you know the family some more.  I sure learned more than I even new. 

Dear Jennifer,

 

When I think of how Ichiro had to cope with his life in Hawaii, it makes me sad.  He, having moved to a new country at the age of only 17, then building a life there, with all of the lonliness and difficulties of learning a new language, it couldn't have been easy.

 

I remember he used to drink cheap wine while living with us in Santa Ana, California.  I guess he used to get some kind of government check on a monthly basis.  I regret to say that I stole money from his Buddhis alter from time to time.  I even lied to my mother about it, and she believed me.  It reminds me of the time when I lost the respect of one of my aunts, because I admitted years later, that I had lied to her.

 

So, my grandfather never spoke English even though he had lived in Hawaii and California for over 50 years. He used to go to his Buddhist church in downtown Los Angeles, taken there by my mother on some Sundays.  It was the only times that I remember him smiling.  I don't remember him talking at the meetings, but I do remember seeing some kind of satisfaction written all over his face.

 

Once, my grandfather interrupted our play, rather angrily as I remember.  We were play fighting in the front yard.  I guess my mother had asked him to look after us, maybe because of the "criminal element" in our neighborhood, there were a lot of gangs in the late 50's.  I think my grandfather pushed one of my friends. My friend gave my grandfather a surprised look, and my grandfather slowly went into his karate or martial arts pose.  It got a few chuckles from some of my friends.  But, my grandfather was serious.  He scolded me in Japanese and walked away.  Later that evening, my mother probably scolded my grandfather. Things started to change after that.

 

Once my grandfather, Ichiro Tamura, pulled me down to the floor and started to teach me hiragana, a kind of Japanese writing system.  My mother again scolded him and made him stop.  My mother wanted us kids to learn American ways.  My mother grew up after the second world war and was careful to act American, not Japanese.  I don't think she was ashamed of being Japanese American, but something was amiss. 

 

Anyway, getting back to his moving to America and what kinds of effects it has had on family, I have noticed that the family in Japan has forgotten about Ichiro.  And, they don't know about me.  Well, at least they haven't contacted me even though I wrote to some of them many years ago.  So, I hesitate to go and visit them or even telephone them. 

 

That brings me to the time when some of them came to California and talked about how Ichiro left Japan in disgrace, something to do with gambling the family money.  I always thought it was a mean thing to bring up.  But, when I think of my own circumstances, probably in a few years, only the bad things about me will be remembered by people in Santa Ana, the place where I grew up.

 

Howard Ahner
ahner1@hotmail.com

 

Norman Tamura

http://ahner-miyazaki.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/norm-and-mia-coffee.jpg.w300h296.jpg

 

Alexander Tamura

http://ahner-miyazaki.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/alexander-tamura.jpg

 

 

  

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