Konko Missions in Hawaii
Welcome to the Konko Mission of Wailuku
2267 Mokuhau Road
Wailuku, HI 96793
Services and Grand Ceremonies:
3/25 Sunday 10:00am Spring Memorial Service
5/6 Sunday 11:00am Tenchi Kane no Kami Grand Ceremony
9/23 Sunday 10:00am Autumn Memorial Service and Rev. Takiyo Nakai 50 Year Memorial Service
11/4 Sunday 11:00am Ikigami Konko Daijin Grand Ceremony
The History of the Konko Mission of Wailuku
The Wailuku mission began July 1, 1957 when the founding minister, Rev. Takiyo Nakai came to Wailuku town from Honolulu, Oahu.
Rev. Nakai was born in Koloa, Kauai to Japanese immigrants. She married and was blessed with five children but her husband died and by herself struggled to raise her children. Faced with various problems such as lack of money and trouble in her family, she seeked religion. In 1931, she was introduced to the faith by Rev. Sonoda, founding minister of the Konko Mission of Waipahu. At the age of 32, she began worshipping at the Konko Mission of Honolulu under their founder, Rev. Masayuki Kodama. Under Rev. Kodama’s tutelage, Nakai practiced faith sincerely and wholeheartedly. In turn she invited other people who struggled through life as she had, to the church. To this day there are a number of believers in Honolulu who owe their present happiness in part, to the kindness of Rev. Nakai.
As she deepened her faith in Honolulu, she was blessed with a good job and various other blessings with her family. As she further deepened her faith she questioned the depth of her faith. “Being grateful, receiving blessings... I should be capable of more.” She began to feel her faith was at a plateau, neither rising nor lowering. In her journal she wrote, “My faith has grown mold.”
From being on the receiving end only, she wished for something more... fulfilling, stronger. She felt she was lacking in her faith somehow. Something that truly filled her heart with gratitude and fulfillment, unlike what she felt now. She searched for something more in her life. She “threw” these feelings at her teacher, Rev. Kodama, asking for guidance and direction. As she practiced faith she continued to seek mediation on how to reach the next level.
At the age of fifty, she received these words from Rev. Kodama. “Nakai san, do goyo for Kami Sama.” Rev. Nakai later wrote, “At that moment my feelings of lacking, of something missing, disappeared from my heart.”
After training at Honbu and Amagi church, she received her minister’s license in 1955. Two years later, on July 1, 1957 all alone and knowing no one else on the island, Rev. Nakai began missionary work on the island of Maui. She was fifty-three.
When she began her work, she knew nobody. Often she would call out to people passing on the street to talk about faith. The way of faith did not open easily and she often felt like howling to the heavens in frustration. Compared to Honolulu, Maui was far less developed. Many conveniences she had come to enjoy in Honolulu were still lacking here. Feelings of homesickness, a longing to speak to her children on the phone filled her days. (No phone at the time)
Then one day she received a revelation to think of Maui as a wonderful place. Nakai changed her heart and finally accepted Maui as her new home. She continued to practice faith and often told members at the mission that she wished for Maui’s continued growth. Today Maui has a population of over one hundred thousand and is the second busiest island in Hawaii, just as Rev. Nakai prayed for.
August 28, 1962 the first building for the Konko Mission of Wailuku was opened at 2147 D Main Street in Wailuku town. Nakai began work as the founding minister of the Konko Mission of Wailuku. This is recorded as Wailuku church’s birth.
In 1967 due to her illness, Nakai returned to Oahu for medical care. In her absence, Rev. Katsuo Yasutake managed the mission.
In May of 1968 the mission was moved to 2233 Vineyard Street. That year’s Spring Grand Service was the last time Rev. Nakai performed goyo. Complications due to diabetes had already cost her eye sight, but in the photos that remain, we can see how with the help of the membership, she performed her last goyo with dignity.
Rev. Takiyo Nakai, our founding minister passed away in Honolulu on September 8, 1968. She was sixty-three years and five months old.
Following her death, young Rev. Kiyotaka Yasutake, who had been at Honolulu church training, succeeded. On February 11, 1970, Rev. Yasutake was named the second head minister of the Wailuku mission.
As second head minister, Rev. Yasutake began Sunday school and performed goyo to help create youth programs for Hawaii. He began Japanese language broadcasts for the Nikkei population of Maui. He worked hard to preserve the seeds of faith left behind by the late Rev. Takiyo Nakai.
He performed administrative office goyo for 22 years, helped organize the fiftieth anniversary of propagation in Hawaii celebration, and arranged for Hawaii to host the very first Konko Youth Goodwill mission. It often seemed that he did what he felt the previous generation wished to see done. He performed goyo with enthusiasm and helped the Konko Missions in Hawaii grow. The Wailuku mission’s membership reached its highest level during his administration.
Roughly fifty percent of the membership was fourth and fifth generation Nikkei. In order for the Hawaii born believers to understand, Rev. Yasutake incorporated Japanese, English and pidgin into his sermons. His style was not so much to teach as practice faith together.
Rev. Yasutake also hosted a radio show on KNUI. He played popular Japanese music and gave short sermons for the local Japanese audience. The show began September 14, 1976 and aired early Sunday morning.
In February of 1977, in fulfillment of a dream of the founding minister, Rev. Nakai, the Konko Mission of Wailuku was able to obtain land for a church building. Until this point in our history, all missionary work and services had been performed in leased or rented homes. Finally the Konko Mission of Wailuku had its own land! In May of that year the blessing service for the new Wailuku hiromae was observed.
June 13-14, 1981 the Konko Mission of Wailuku hosted that year’s KMH Conference. Over a hundred believers attended.
August 1982 Wailuku welcomed the Third Konko Youth Goodwill Mission group from Japan. The Wailuku believers welcomed the students into their homes as hosts and everyone enjoyed the ‘Aloha’ picnic.
From 1984, Rev. Yasutake did his best to continue his church and administrative office duties, despite fighting Muscular Sclerosis. Members often commented, “Sensei, even though you’re sick you never complain about the pain. You’re always smiling and joking, making us laugh...”. Rev. Yasutake would reply, “I’m so grateful. Having received so much blessings through Kami Sama, Konko Sama, Oya sensei (The second head minister of Amagi church was often referred to as Oya sensei) I find that I haven’t the heart to complain or argue with people. It’s truly thankful. Our generation should be satisfied with being stepping-stones for the next generation. I will sacrifice myself so that the next generation can prosper.”
1985 the twice-weekly Japanese class is began.
In April of 1992, Rev. Yasutake attended the Joint KCNA KMH administrative office meeting in Honbu headquarters. He seemed very happy that he was able to perform his duties as the Vice president of KMH.
It was on December 27 of that year that Rev. Kiyotaka Yasutake passed away. He was 50 years and nine months old.
His eldest son, Roy Mineharu Yasutake was training at the Konkokyo Seminary when Rev. Kiyotaka Yasutake passed away. He did not return for the funeral stating that, “My father’s greatest wish was for me to become a minister after him. I won’t come home until I graduate.”
In June of 1993, Roy received his appointment as a minister of Konkokyo and returned to Maui. As his father had wished, he performs goyo at the Wailuku mission to this day.
In February of 1993, Rev. Hisayo Yasutake was named the third head minister of the Konko Mission of Wailuku.
When Rev. Hisayo was pregnant with her eldest child (Rev. Roy Yasutake) she had several complications. At one point the heart beat of the unborn child was lost. Rev. Kiyotaka, as well as family and friends in Hawaii and Japan prayed for the safety of both mother and child. Rev. Hisayo soon realized that since she still had not accepted Maui as her new home, Kami sama was forcing her to make a decision. Rev. Hisayo then promised Kami Sama, that upon a successful birth, she would make Maui her home for the rest of her life. “Unless I can truly become a part of Hawaii’s society it would be difficult to try and teach people about this faith here.” On July 11, 1970, she was blessed with a successful birth and the rest is history.
1993, as per the wishes of the second head minister of Wailuku; the Thirtieth Anniversary service for the Konko Mission of Wailuku was observed. The service was held on August 22 with Oya sensei (second head minister of Amagi church, Rev. Fumio Yasutake) as the head officinal. Many people attended from Japan as well.
August 26, 1995 Wailuku’s new hiromae and the minister residence completion thanksgiving service are observed. Despite being ill with lung cancer, Oya sensei again performed duties as the chief officinal of the service. This was to be his last service goyo as he passed away later that same year.
August 1997, Rev. Kanae Yasutake of the Konko church of Yoshii arrives. Having made a formal request to do goyo with her younger sister, Rev. Hisayo, her family in Yoshii gave their blessings. The two sisters combined their talents and strengths to further their goyo. Currently, Rev. Kanae serves as the service music director, accountant and head of landscaping for the Konko Mission of Wailuku. (She also makes sure a certain young minister stays on his toes)
Beginning in 1998, Wailuku introduced the Faith Practice Theme as part of our daily faith practice.
August 14, 2000, the Fifth Konko Sama and his wife, their eldest son, Rev. Kiyoji Konko, Rev. Hajime Suzuki and Rev. Matsuda visited our church after attending the 100th year Independence celebration of Konkokyo. The celebration coordinated jointly by KCNA and KMH was held in Hilo, Hawaii. The reverend Konko’s English speaking skill dazzled the Wailuku members. Had the founding and second head ministers lived to see that day, they would surely have been overjoyed and filled with such gratitude for the blessings.
On August 25, 2002, the Konko Mission of Wailuku held its 40th Anniversary celebration.
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