Welcome to Fresno Buddhist Temple

Rev. Matt Hamasaki

My name is Matt Hamasaki and I am the newest ministerial addition to the Central California District. To everyone that I have met, I would like to thank everyone for being so welcoming! And I would like to thank you all for so graciously helping me remember your names as I continue to meet many new people. And to everyone I have not met yet, I would like to give a bit of an introduction of myself: I was born and raised in Berkeley, California and grew up going to the Berkeley Buddhist Temple. I often participated in the Dharma School activities and was active in the Jr. YBA. After graduating from Berkeley High School, I went to the University of California, Davis, where I majored in Religious Studies. I continued to participate in the College YBA activities and completed the Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course. Following that, I moved back to Berkeley where I continued my education at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. During my time studying there, I was able to help out as a Minister’s Assistant at the BBT and through the Minister’s Assistant Program I was able to prepare for the first level of ordination, called Tokudo, which I received in 2012. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to study for a year as an exchange student in Japan through the partnership of the IBS and Ryukoku University in Kyoto. The coursework was an intensive Japanese Language program since I had never learned how to speak. It was a wonderful experience to be there! I came back this past February and finished up my thesis to graduate in May. I went back to Japan and completed the second level of ordination, called Kyoshi, in June and upon returning to America I went to the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple and shadowed the minister there before moving here! It has been quite a whirlwind these past couple months and I have jumped right in here since I started on August 1st. I am still getting used to the area—and the weather! But I am excited to be here and I can’t wait to start getting to know everyone better!