Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin hosting Spring Seminar

  • George Tanabe

Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin invites the public to its Spring Seminar on March 16-17 with featured speaker George Tanabe, professor emeritus of religion at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Tanabe was born and raised in Waialua, Oahu. He graduated from University High School in Honolulu, Willamette University (Salem, Ore.), and Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University in New York.


From 1977-2006, he taught in the UH Department of Religion. He is president of BDK Hawaii (the Society for the Promotion of Buddhism) and chairman of BDK America. He is a specialist on the religions of Japan, especially Buddhism, and his books have been published by university presses at Columbia, Harvard, Princeton and UH.

He received the Foreign Minister’s Award from the Japanese government in 2007 and was honored with the Imperial Order of the Rising Sun in 2012.

Tanabe and his wife, Willa (professor emerita of Japanese Art History), recently published “Japanese Buddhist Temples of Hawaii: An Illustrated Guide” (UH Press).


The seminar begins with an Interfaith Forum from 7-9 p.m. March 16 in the main temple hall. The forum is free and open to the public.

The session from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. March 17 requires a fee of $10 to cover lunch and materials. Registration must be made by March 14 at the temple office, 398 Kilauea Ave.