Former BCC Bishop dies

The former Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of Canada has passed away. Rev. Toshio Murakami's life ended on May 26, 2008 at the Pali Momi Hospital in Hawaii. He was 77 years old.

Toshio Murakami was born in Fukuoka, Japan on October 5, 1931. He came to North America in 1959 after receiving his kyoshi certification. His first assignment was at the Berkeley Buddhist Church in California. He was the minister at several temples on the U.S, west coast before working at the BCA headquarters in 1977.

On March 15, 1986, Rev. Murakami began his term as the Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of Canada. Here's a short video clip of Bishop Murakami during a short documentary produced in 1989. In it, he explains his vision for the future of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in Canada.

Canada's current Bishop, Socho Fujikawa writes, "He will be remembered as the Bishop who had helped the 1990 World Buddhist Women’s Convention in Vancouver."

After serving the BCC for seven years, Rev. Murakami served the Australian Jodo Shinshu community. He would eventually retire as the minister of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, but continued to be the resident minister of the Pearl City Hongwanji Mission.

His funeral was held on June 6, 2008 at the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin. It was officiated by Bishop Thomas R. Okano and sponsored by both the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii and the Pearl City Hongwanji Mission.

Rev. Murakami leaves behind his wife, Yoko, two daughters, Mari and Rumi and two grandchildren. If you would like to make a donation, the Murakami family has requested that it should be made directly to the Pacific Buddhist Academy.