g A Smilling Monkh Jakucho Setouchi
I have been known Mr. Ara for more than 50 years. Our first meeting was when I traveled to Hawaii with the group of Etai Yamada, a monk of Tendai. Ryokan Ara was@host at the Tendai mission of Hawaii. At that time the temple of the Tendai was not fancy, but was poorly built compare with other temples. Mr.Ara built the temple little by little at his own expense. The Tendai mission was relatively late in coming overseas, since others had already come long before.
There were some paintings of the Buddha on the wall. When I asked who painted them, Mr. Ara said, gYes I painted all of them.h He had a nice smile on his face like a young boy. I gazed at his work and prayed. I felt that his work gave out a light.
We walked up the hill somewhere, I, my sister, and him. He explained that his son had disabilities, and he found that there was an appropriate hospital in Hawaii. That is why he quit his job and moved to Hawaii with his family. He also said, gMy family had a hard time thinking of my sonfs situation. I had no idea what I should do at that time. But I found that my son gave me the energy to live. Thanks to my son, I could bring the Tendai mission to Hawaii. He is my Buddha. I always think of him and pray all the time.h
I and my sister cried softly as he talked. I recognized his face as Buddha.
* Quoted from the calendar of Ryokan Ara, Eseppo calendar