1976 Santa Barbara News Press article about Rev. Masao Nippashi
A retyped Santa Barbara newspaper article about my
first Nipponzan Myohoji teacher friend, Nippashi whose
name in English means "sun bridge" (rainbow) and whose
first name Masao sounds like the Hopi word for the Great
Spirit who rules the Earth, usually spelled Massau:
[Photo, not shown here, captioned:]
A Buddhist monk from Tokyo, Japan, Rev. Nippashi has hopes
of building a "peace pagoda" in Santa Barbara.
--- News Press Photo
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara News Press
Thursday Evening, November 11, 1976
Buddhist Monk on peace mission
For the past several days, the Rev. Nippashi, a Japanese Buddhist
monk, has walked the streets of Santa Barbara, beating a drum
and chanting a mantra.
Nippashi is one of several monks from the Nipponzan Myohoji
sect of Buddhism who joined the Bicentennial summertime
"peace walk" from the West Coast to Washington, D.C. The
sect's mission is to further the cause of worldwide peace.
He and two fellow monks, the Rev. Kato of India and the
Rev. Tshushiya of Japan, arrived in Santa Barbara last week.
Nippashi said that his religious leader, Master Nichidatsu Fujii,
gave him permission to settle anywhere in the United States
for the purpose of constructing a "peace pagoda," one of the
first of its kind in this country.
The others were on their way elsewhere for similar purposes,
one to New England and one to San Francisco.
Nippashi said he chose Santa Barbara because of its beauty
and because he felt this community would support his endeavor.
The monks have taken vows of poverty and must depend on the
community to provide them with funds.
Walter Boye, a local supporter of the movement, said that
some 50 peace pagodas have been built elsewhere -- in Japan,
India, Switzerland, and Sri Lanka -- by the monks "concentrating
their energies for the cause of peaceful coexistence." He said
that Nippsahi plans to walk five hours a day, covering 15 miles,
to carry his message here.
The mantra is "Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo," which NIppashi says
stands for "peace, nonviolence, respect for each other and make
salutations to everyone."
On December 1, he is to be established in rented quarters at
308 W. Yanonali and he plans to have a ceremony declaring
the beginning of his mission January 1.
"We hope that the energy of the people in Santa Barbara is
enough to have him stay here until the project is completed,"
--- Sharon Diriam
-------end article (Nippashi did fasting and drumming and
chanting December 1-7, 1976 in a tipi near the tent where
I was living in Santa Barbara and encouraged us to join, which
I did the last few days and got the "message" and took up the drum
David Crockett Williams