About the Cleveland Buddhist Temple

Cleveland Buddhist Sangha / Temple

The Cleveland Buddhist Temple, the oldest Buddhist Temple in Ohio was founded in 1945 by the Japanese American Buddhists who came to Cleveland after the dismantling of the World War II relocation centers.

The temple was founded by Harvey Iwata, Tokuo Yamamoto, and Mashashi Tazumi. The first service was held on 7 Jan. 1945 in the Unitarian Society Church in Cleveland and was conducted by Rev. Fusa Tokumoto. Subsequent services were held in members' homes until 1955, when the first edifice was dedicated on E. 81st St. A Japanese-language school was started in 1960.

During the Cleveland Hough riots of 1966, the congregation had to resume having services in their homes. In May 1970 a new temple was completed on Euclid Avenue and E. 214th St. in Euclid, Ohio.

In Jan. 1976 Rev. Koshin Ogui became the resident minister of the temple. In addition to serving members of his congregation, he began to reach out to non-Buddhists who were interested in Buddhism. Zen Shin Sangha was founded in 1985.

The Cleveland Buddhist Temple was a member Church of the Buddhist Churches of America, founded in 1899. The Buddhist Churches of America is a Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji ha denomination that is headquartered in Kyoto, Japan.

The spring of 2020 changed life for all of us with the Covid pandemic. Impermanence is a foundation of Buddhist teachings.  It is true of all things.  When we remain attached to what we know and are comfortable with and resist the changes needed as our world changes, we suffer.

In order for the Cleveland Buddhist Temple to continue to share the Buddha Dharma and Shin Buddhist teachings, the Board and the membership of the CBT voted to dissolve the formal structure and simplify how we follow the Shin Buddhist teachings.  We are a gathering of individuals who desire to follow the Shin Buddhist teachings of Shinran Shonin.

What are these changes?

  • Sharing the Buddha-dharma is our purpose
  • Free of organizational burden, we aspire to use our resources and talents to reach more people as we explore new ways of sharing Shin Buddhist teachings.
  • Tokudo minister, Rev. Anita will continue local leadership
  • The BCA supports our efforts to explore this new path for Shin Buddhism with a special informal affiliation.
  • We encourage formal membership in the BCA. Please consider joining Midwest Buddhist Temple in Chicago (mbtchicago.org), our Supervising Temple.

Rev. Ron Miyamura the resident minister of Midwest Buddhist Temple and head of the Eastern District of the Buddhist Churches of America, became the Supervising Minister of the Cleveland Buddhist Temple in ????.  Rev. Ron will continue to provide guidance and support to the CBT.

The Cleveland Buddhist Temple welcomes everyone to: Come as you are!