Posts Tagged With: Dennis Makishima

Berkeley Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple garden evolved

Continuing our journey from Atlanta to the West coast, Bill and I ended up in the Bay Area in late June. Wandering down a street in Berkeley, we came to the Higashi Honganji Buddhist temple at 1524 Oregon Street.

Berkeley Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple

Built in the 1930s, the Berkeley Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple now serves a diverse congregation.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

A long-time member of the sangha told us Rev. Ken Yamada is the current minister and more information on the temple is available at their web site or by phoning (510) 843-6933.

Berkeley sangha member

Dick Fujii tells K.T. Cannon-Eger about the history of the temple.(photo by Bill F. Eger) 

Established in Berkeley in 1926, the current temple was built in the late 1930s. A social hall and classroom building was added in the 1960s and was undergoing repairs the day we were there in June.

evergreen by front gate

Carefully shaped, the evergreen hugs the top of the front fence adjacent to the gate.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

“The present garden evolved from the beginning through a time when we had a lawn to the present garden which was installed on the occasion of the temple’s 60th anniversary,” said Rev. Yamada. “The pine tree inside the fence is close to 100 years old Many of our members were in the landscape gardening business.”

Berkeley Higashi Honganji

The front garden replaced a lawn on the occasion of the temple’s 60th anniversary.
(photo by Bill F. Eger)

As members aged, maintenance of the trees became difficult. About 10 years ago Dennis Makishima, former president of the Golden State Bonsai Federation, got involved with the garden. His mother is a member of the sangha. Dennis got a call from the minister which resulted in the temple garden being added to the Merritt College Aesthetic Pruning Club volunteer events calendar twice a year.

pine tree

The pine tree at the left side of the yard is close to 100 years old.

Dennis Makishima started an aesthetic pruning course at Merritt College in Oakland which led to the formation of the pruning club in 1987. Members of the club also volunteer monthly at the Lake Merritt Japanese Garden and at Hakone Gardens in Saratoga.


Espaliered camellia bushes line the minister’s residence and the driveway between the home and temple. The social hall and classroom building is visible at the end of the driveway.

Higashi Honganji doorway detail

detail of the doorway

Comments on this article and other stories on this blog are welcome.

Photographs not otherwise credited are by K.T. Cannon-Eger. To view any photo full size, just click on the image.

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More photos from Lili`uokalani Gardens in Hilo, Hawaii

Dennis Makishima demonstration

Dennis Makishima demonstrated pine tree pruning at Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo to County workers and Master Gardeners April 2011.


Still learning how to format and layout text and photos. Here are a couple of photos from Dennis Makishima’s visit to the Big Island in April 2011.

Photos not otherwise credited are by K.T. Cannon-Eger. Click on any image to see it full size.

Dennis Makishima demonstration

County workers and Master Gardeners listen to Dennis Makishima before beginning several projects. photo by Bill Eger


A recent sunny day in Hilo at the zig-zag path leading to the red bridge…
photo by Bill F. Eger 2012

UPDATE: This 2012 view by Bill F. Eger was the basis for graphic art used for the 2017 Priority Mail stamp. This was the first U.S. stamp to feature a Japanese garden. It was Hilo’s first time on a stamp.

Short N Sweet Bakery and Cafe on Kino`ole Street in Hilo created the tasty cake made to look like a first day of issue envelope [photo by K.T. Cannon-Eger]

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