Mantokuji History

On November 18, 1903, Rev. Sokyo Ueoka, head minister of Tokujuan Soto Zen Temple in Honichi, Nuta Higashi Village. Toyota—gun (present day Mihara City), Hiroshima Prefecture. received an assignment to become a visiting minister to Japanese immigrants in Hawaii. Arriving in Honolulu on July 9, 1904 he built a temporary temple in the Aiea plantation.

Upon the request of Japanese residents on Maui, he moved to Lower Paia on November 7, 1906 with his wife, Tomiyo, who joined him from Japan. Through the initiative of Sukesaburo Yamazaki, Kikujiro Soga, and Unosuke Ogawa, he leased a half-acre of land for 15 years from local Hawaiians. This site was adjacent to the present Paia Fire Station and behind the former County Courthouse.

The construction of the temple began in March 1907 with a ceremony officiated by Rev. Ryoun Kan of Zenshuji Soto Zen Temple of Kauai. Rev. Kan is considered to be the honorary founder of Mantokuji with the title "Kanjyo Kaisan", while Rev. Sokyo Ueoka is the official founder or "Kaisan" of Mantokuji.

The official title of the temple, given by the head temple in Japan, is “Machozan Mantokuji".

In March 1909, a proposal was made to erect a memorial monument and bell tower in honor of the deceased soldiers of the Sino- Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War. In the same year, Soto Shu headquarters in Japan sent Rev. Kaiseki Kodama to assist Rev. Ueoka with work at the temple. In 1914, Rev. Kodama was transferred to the island of Hawaii, where he founded the Kona Daifukuii Temple.

On February 23, 1911, a cannon shellhead was donated by Commander Rokuro Yashiro of the Japanese Training Fleet and placed on the Memorial Monument.

In 1912, the Japanese Training Fleet delivered the bronze temple bell. in July 1912, through a loan from Kikujiro Soga, the present temple site was purchased and 3 acres of the 8.3 acre site were set aside for a Japanese cemetery. Mr. Soga fell ill in July 1914 and returned to Japan. On November 21-23, 1914, services were held for the deceased and the installation of the temple bell.

On January 1919, the site was paid for. Construction of a new temple began in early 1921. On July 21-23, 1921, a dedication cere- mony took place for the main hall and installation of the Buddha image. Archbishop Sekizen Arai Zenji presided over the ceremony and wrote an inscription on the War Memorial Monument.

On August 31, 1921, the Mantokuji Kyodan was organized. In place of membership fees, “hatsumai", the first harvest of rice was donated to the temple on the Nirvana (Nehan—e) Service Day and during O—Bon.

In 1922, Rev. Kozan Goto was assigned to Mantokuji as an assistant minister.

In July 1933, the War Memorial Monument was moved and rebuilt through the contributions of Harry Baldwin, Manager of Maui Agriculture Company, and the County of Maui. On July 15-16, an unveiling ceremony of the relocated War Memorial Monument and a War Memorial service were held.

On July 1, 1935, a Youth Association (Seinen Kai) was formed and in 1937, the Kasei Women's School was established to teach sewing, cooking, flower arrangement, Japanese language, and other arts. Residing nuns from Japan and temple family members (Jizoku) served as instructors. Rev. Kendo Kojima, Rev. Kozui Shida, and Rev. Kanzen Ito (who arrived in July 1940) also served as instructors. The school was closed on December 7, 1941.

Plans to build a Crematory on the temple grounds were discussed in September 1935 and, after planning and fund raising, the operation of the Crematory was approved in January 1938. The Crematory was damaged by the April 1, 1946 tsunami, but was repaired and operated until 1965. Portions of the Crematory remain on the beach.

In 1940, Rev. Sokan Ueoka was appointed the second resident minister of Mantokuji upon the retirement of his father, Rev. Sokyo Ueoka. Sokan's wife, Toshiko, assumed the duties of "okusan".

During this period, Rev. Sokan Ueoka made the O—Jizo sama statues that are in front of and inside the temple.

Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Rev. Sokan Ueoka and Rev. Kanzen Ito were detained as enemy aliens and interned on the mainland. In 1943, on his way back, Sokan disembarked in Singapore and became a chaplain for the Japanese army. In Sokan's absence, Rev. Sokyo Ueoka came out of retirement to perform the duties of resident minister.

On April 1, 1946, April Fool's Day, a tsunami hit Maui and damaged the minister's residence and washed away cemetery gravestones. The entire Congregation immediately Came out to repair the minister's residence and restore the Cemetery.

On December 11, 1949, Rev. Shuko Stanley Ueoka, Rev. Sokan Ueoka's eldest son, was ordained as a minister by Rev. Kogan Yoshizumi to assist his ailing grandfather, Rev. Sokyo Ueoka.

On August 11, 1954, after a 13-year absence, Rev. Sokan Ueoka returned to resume his duties as resident minister, while Rev. Shuko Ueoka went to Japan to study at Kornazawa University and enter the monastery thereafter.

On March 11, 1955, at the age of 86, Rev. Sokyo Ueoka passed away.

In August 1955, Mantokuji hosted the annual Hawaii Soto Mission Association (HSMA) and the Soto Y.B.A. of Hawaii convention for the first time.

The Shinsanshiki (Inauguration Ceremony for New Minister) for Rev. Sokan Ueoka was held on November 11, 1956.

On January 8, 1963, Rev. SoKan Ueoka passed away at the age of 59. Rev. Shuko Stanley Ueoka was appointed the third resident minister of Mantokujt. His wife, Eiko, became the "okusan". The Women's Association - Fujinkaé —— was founded later in that year.

In March 1965, repair and remodeling of the main hall commenced.

In 1966, the downstairs hall was constructed and a ceremony was held in December to celebrate its completion.

In August 1966, Mantokuji hosted the HSMA and Hawaii Soto Y.B.A. Convention.

In March 1967, the Baika-ko was formed.

In March 1969, a Shinsanshiki Ceremony was held for Rev. Shuko Ueoka.

The Columbarium was constructed in March-May 1970 and a ceremony was held in celebration of its completion. Meyer Ueoka made a donation for the pavement of the Mantokuji driveway.

Mantokuji hosted the 7th United Hawaii Soto Shu Women's Association (UHSSWA) Convention in May 1972 chaired by Clara Sodetani.

In June 1974, Mantokuji hosted the Hawaii Soto Y.B.A. Convention.

On September 10—11, 1977, Mantokuji's 70th Anniversary Celebration and Rev. Shuko Ueoka's Kessei Ceremony took place.

In May 1978, Mantokuji hosted the 13th UHSSWA Conference, chaired by Violet Y. Moto.

On November 19, 1978, the first Mantokuji Bazaar was held.

On December 18, 1978 the old minister's residence was demolished and construction of a new residence begun. The residence with a conference room (office) and a garage was completed in June 1979.

In June 1982, Mantokuji hosted the HSMA and SYBA Conference.

On April 24-26, 1987, Mantokuji hosted the UHSSWA Conference, chaired by Shizuka Owara.

On August 28, 1990, Rev. Shuko Ueoka passed away at the age of 59. Following his death, his widow, Eiko, served as interim lay minister.

On March 14, 1992, Rev Seigo Hanuki was appointed by the Soto Shu Head Administrative Office in Japan to be the 4th resident minister of Mantokuji. His wife, Jinko, became the okusan.

Mantokuji hosted the 20th UHSSWA Conference on April 22-24, 1994, co-chaired by Violet Y. Moto and Sachie Toyota.
On October 3, 1994, a 40-foot shipping container was donated by Noriyuki Ueoka.

In November 19, 1994, eleven members participated in the Jukai (Receiving Precepts) Ceremony officiated by Bishop Gyokuei Matsuura.

On December 21, 1994 the Sanmon (Main Entrance Gate) was repaired. A new roof for the Sanmon was donated by Clara Sodetani, Marion Watanabe, Sally Yoshina, and Carol Lau.

The 90th Anniversary of Mantokuji Mission was celebrated on November 16-17, 1996. Mantokuji Mission hosted the 49th HSMA Convention in conjunction with the 90th Anniversary.

On July 12, 1998, Rev. Seigo Hanuki returned to Japan after completing his term on Maui.

On August 11 1998, Rev. Ui Otani arrived on Maui to assume duties as the 5th resident minister of Mantokuji. His wife, Ayako, became the okusan.

On April 27-28, 2002, Mantokuji hosted the 37th UHSSWA Conference, chaired by Harriet Sibonga.

On March 27, 2003, Rev. Ui Otani returned to Japan after completing his term on Maui.

Rev. Kenji Oyama arrived on March 12, 2003, to assume duties as the 6th resident minister of Mantokuji. His wife, Naoko, became the okusan.

On October 26, 2003, during the Hawaii Soto Mission Centennial Celebration, the late Robert N. Ueoka was recognized for a special award for providing long years of outstanding assistance to Paia Mantokuji Mission.

On October 26, 2003, during the Hawaii Soto Mission Centennial Celebration, the late Robert N. Ueoka was recognized for a special award for providing long years of outstanding assistance to Paia Mantokuji Mission.

On January 8, 2006, a Japanese garden installed by Allen Nikaido in front of the minister's residence and a Japanese rock garden near the Fellowship Hall entrance were dedicated.

After two years of planning and fund raising. in the summer and autumn of 2006 the temple and minister's residence were reroofed. the structural members of the temple and breezeway reinforced. the interior and exterior of the temple repainted, the exterior of the minister's residence repainted. the interior tights of the temple upgraded, and the temple re-carpeted.

In October, 2006, Bailey House Museum, in Waituku. featured an exhibit of Mantokujis Centennial.


Please go to our Projects page to see our current activities.


    Through the years. Mantokuji Mission has hosted many dignitaries and organizations. Among them were:
  • 1953: Rosen Takashina Zenji. Archbishop of Soto Shu
  • 1955: Rev. Taio Sasaki. Admin strative Director of Soto Shu Administrative Headquarters (Shumucho)
  • 1960: Koho Chisan Zenji. Archbishop of Soiji Head Monastery
  • 1962: Rev. Shoshun iwamoto, Vice Archbishop of Sojiii Head Monastery
  • 1962: Rev. Shuichi Kongo, Ad_m nistrative Drector of Soto Shu Administrative Headquarters
  • 1971: Rev. Renpo Niwa. Chief Director of Tokyo, Betsuin
  • 1975: Rev. Nendo Matsunaga and Los Angeles Zenshuji Members
  • 1978-. Rev. Suigan Yogo, Head Abbott of Saijoji Monastery
  • 1982: Rev. Shirietsu Fukushima and Los Angeles Zenshuii Y.B.A. Members
  • 1985: Rev. Kodo Nagai, Administrative Director of Soto Shu Administrative Headquarters
  • 1985: Bishop Kenko Yamashita. Los Angeles Zenshuii
  • 1987: Rev. Dainin Katagiri. Head of the Minnesota Zen Center
  • 1990: Rev. Kosho Hatamoto, Taisoji Temple in Tokyo
  • 1996: Rev. Myogen Otake, Administrative Director of Soto Shu Administrative Headquarters
  • 1996: Rev. Nendo Matsuriaga. Head of the Zen international Department of Eiheijiji Head Monastery
  • 1996: Rev. Genshu Terajima. Delegate of the Soto Shu Administrat ve Headquarters
  • 1996: Rev. Soryu Kanehira, Director of the Soto Shu Tokyo Office (Shumusho)
  • 1996: Rev. Daien Bennage, Abbess of Mt. Equity Zendo
  • 2003: Rev. Keigaku Miyagawa, Head of Propagation Department of Soto Shu Headquarters


On August 31, 1921, the Mantokuji Kyodan were organized. In place of membership fees, "hatsumai", the first harvest of rice was donated to the temple on the Nirvana (Nehan-e) Service Day and during O-Bon. In the beginning, the resident minister served as president of the Kyodan, as was the case in other Soto Shu Temples in Hawaii. Minokichi Fujioka was the first lay president and he was followed by Shinichi Sato, Kaoru Moto, and Robert Ueoka.


coming soon


coming soon