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New York Buddhist Church to Celebrate the New Year's Season with Online Fundraising Series

New York Buddhist Church to Celebrate the New Year's Season with Online Fundraising Series

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The New York Buddhist Church (NYBC) is pleased to announce it will present a fundraising celebration of the New Year's season with an online series of demonstrations, workshops, readings, and performances, from Dec. 20 through Jan. 1.  Focusing on Japanese, Japanese American and Buddhist cultural traditions, artists, educators and religious leaders will share their expertise to introduce and experience how the New Year is celebrated in Japan and the United States. All events will stream on the NYBC's Facebook and YouTube channels with links on Suggested donations for the entire series and individual events will support the fundraising effort.

"This holiday season is different from all others as we are confined to our homes and unable to visit and gather with friends and family," said Rev. Earl Ikeda, NYBC resident minister. "We decided to create an online presence that would bring people together to learn about the significance of Japanese New Year's traditions, and how Buddhism influences different practices in the visual, literary and performing arts. It is our wish to share this with the broader community in New York and beyond."

The series begins on Sunday, Dec. 20 (1 p.m. EST) with an online introduction to the New York Buddhist Church – its history, its current religious and educational activities and the affiliated cultural organizations that create a vibrant center on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York. 

Then, from Sunday, Dec. 27 through New Year's Day 2021, online events will provide daily cultural and religious programming of Japanese, Japanese American and Buddhist New Year's traditions. The events will premiere on the NYBC Facebook page and YouTube channel on the following dates and times, and will continue to be available for viewing thereafter:

  • Dec. 27 (Sunday) 2 p.m. EST: Demonstration of Kadomatsu (gate pine) of the traditional Japanese New Year's decoration with Gail Inaba and Don Thompson; and flower arrangements for the New Year with Masako Gibeault of the Ryusei-ha School of Ikebana
  • Dec. 28 (Monday) 7 p.m. EST: New Year's Interactive Poetry Workshop Live on Zoom with Rev. Dr. Mark T. Unno, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Oregon (registration required)
  • Dec. 29 (Tuesday) 7 p.m. EST: Buddhist Sculpture Demonstration with artist Thomas Matsuda who discusses his training in Japan and his singular interpretation of Buddhist sculpture
  • Dec. 30 (Wednesday) 7 p.m. EST: Mochi making demonstration and assembling the Kagami Mochi (traditional New Year's decoration) with Rev. Earl Ikeda, resident minister of the New York Buddhist Church; a reading of the children's book "Thank You Very Mochi" by author Paul Matsushima with his children; and Kakizome (First Calligraphy Writing of the New Year) demonstration with Yuri Ishizuka, calligraphy teacher, Japanese American Association of New York
  • Dec. 31 (Thursday) 7-9 p.m. EST: Joya-e (New Year's Eve) Service at New York Buddhist Church led by Rev. Earl Ikeda; music by shakuhachi flutist Auguste Elder; memorial candle lighting and ringing of the gongs; Toshikoshi Soba (crossing over the New Year's noodles), a preparation demonstration of the traditional midnight meal by Rev. Earl Ikeda
  • Jan. 1, 2021 (Friday) 11:30 a.m. EST: Shusho-e (New Year's Day) Service at New York Buddhist Church with Rev. Earl Ikeda; 2 p.m. EST: Kamishibai Storytelling with Donna Tamaki; and 2:45 p.m. EST: performances by jazz flutist and composer Christian Artmann and Duo YUMENO: traditional and contemporary world music for the New Year with Yoko Reikano Kimura (koto/shamisen/voice) and Hikaru Tamaki (cello)

About the NYBC:

The New York Buddhist Church (NYBC) is a temple of Jodo Shinshu True Pure Land School Buddhism, whose head temple is Nishi-Hongwanji Temple in Kyoto, Japan. Shinran Shonin (1173-1262) is the founder of this school of Buddhism. NYBC was founded in New York City by Rev. Hozen Seki in 1938.

As many institutions have been impacted by the pandemic, the NYBC closed its physical doors in March but built an online presence with weekly online live streams of its Sunday Services, Buddhist meditation and study classes. Donations to the events will provide support to maintain operations. The New York Buddhist Church is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501c (3) of the Internal Revenue code.

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SOURCE New York Buddhist Church

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