Meet the Ministers

kakihara_senseiReverend Kojo Kakihara was appointed acting Rinban (head minister) of the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple at the beginning of 2017 and is also the resident minister of the Tacoma Buddhist Temple where he has been serving since 2010. Prior to that he served two and a half years as an associate minister at the Los Angeles Betsuin. Rinban Kakihara is originally from Onomichi in Hiroshima-ken, Japan. He is the eldest son of a temple family and will be returning to Japan in late 2017 to his family’s temple, Eisho-ji, where he will become the 16th generation in his family to serve as head minister in the 500+ year history of the temple. Sensei received Tokudo ordination in 1998 and is a graduate of the Kobe City University of Foreign Languages. He and his wife Masayo were married in 2011 and have two children, a daughter Satone and a son Shujo. Email »

Rev. Don Castro photoReverend Don Castro retired as Rinban of the Seattle Betsuin at the end of 2016 after serving the Betsuin for 31 years and is now a BCA Minister Emeritus. He was born and raised in Santa Clara, California. He has a BA in Anthropology from San Jose State, an MA in Buddhist Studies from the Institute of Buddhist Studies, and a California State Teaching Credential from Sonoma State University. Rev. Castro and his wife Shuri live in Seattle and continue to participate as members of the Betsuin’s Sangha. Email »

Rev. Sala SekiyaReverend Sala Sekiya is the Resident Minister at the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple. Born and raised in Japan, Rev. Sekiya finished high school in the USA and has a BS in Hospitality Administration from Boston University. Sensei was ordained in 2012 and served the Shomyoji temple in Shiga, Japan prior to transferring to the Buddhist Churches of America and being assigned to the Seattle Betsuin in September 2015. She is a Hongwanji-ha certified Special Rituals Minister. Email »

Rev. Jim Warrick photoReverend Jim Warrick shares ministerial duties with Reverend Castro. After studying for several years and serving as a minister’s assistant, in 2003 Warrick sensei received Tokudo ordination as a Buddhist priest from our mother temple, the Nishi Hongwanji in Kyoto, Japan. He continued his studies and in 2008 Warrick Sensei received Kyoshi certifcation from the Nishi Hongwanji and was recognized by the Buddhist Churches of America as a part time Kyoshi minister at the Seattle Betsuin. Email »

Minister’s Assistant Irene Goto became a certified Minister’s Assistant in the summer of 2011. “Through high school I attended a Christian church because there was no Buddhist temple near our home. In the mid 80’s when my daughter was in kindergarten she asked me to take her to this place called “church” so I decided to take her to the Buddhist Church. I was pleasantly surprised to find that what the ministers at Seattle Betsuin were teaching resonated with my views. I’ve been attending, participating, and listening ever since. I hope to help keep the Dharma resonating.”

Minister’s Assistants Matt & Rosalie May were certified as Minister’s Assistants in the fall of 2013 and went on to receive their Tokudo ordination together in the summer of 2016 at our mother temple, the Nishi Hongwanji in Kyoto, Japan. Matt works for Adobe and manages their Accessibility organization.



Minister’s Assistant Leonora Clarke became a certified minister’s assistant in the fall of 2013. She has a degree in Comparative Religions and has completed the two year Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course offered by the BCA’s Jodo Shinshu Center. Leonora works for the University of Washington School of Medicine.



Minister’s Assistant Joe Schwab is one of the four members of the Seattle Betsuin’s first class of Minister’s Assistants who received certification in the summer of 2005 (the others were Bill Hirsch, Kevin Tanemura and Jim Warrick). Joe, along with the temple’s other Minister’s Assistants, volunteers at the temple helping to deliver the temple’s religious services. They also assist Rinban in supporting our sister temples in eastern Washington.

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