Rev. Tadao Koyama will be the officiating minister of Tacoma Buddhist Temple on August 1, 2020. A West Coast native, he was born and raised in Sacramento California to parents Ken Koyama and Stacie Hiramoto.
His connections to our Temple and the Northwest District were made long ago. He is the nephew of Rev. Dean Koyama of the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple who was Tacoma Buddhist Temple’s was minister from 1996 – 2002 and he studied under Rev. Yuki Sugihara, Oregon Temple’s minister.
Growing up in Sacramento, he attended Natomas Charter School performing and fine arts academy with an emphasis in acting. After graduating in 2007, he attended University of California Santa Cruz to study Political Science but then realized he loved history more. He changed majors and got his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History with an emphasis in Japanese History.
After graduating from U.C. Santa Cruz, he worked for the California State Assembly for two and a half years as a field representative to former Assembly member Mariko Yamada. It was also during this time that he studied to become a minister under Rev. Yuki Sugahara at the Buddhist Church of Florin.
Under the guidance of Rev. Sugahara, Tadao became an official minister’s assistant in 2013 and the following year Tadao received his Tokudo ordination in Kyoto, Japan.
When his time at the Assembly concluded, he began his education at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley California for three years. After graduation, he spent two years in Japan studying first at Nishi Hongwanji’s seminary school, Chūōbukkyōgakuin (Chūbutsu) where he eventually received his Kyoshi, and the next year he studied for the year-long program at ritual and chanting school, Gonshikishidōsho. Tadao is the first North American-born minister to receive the specialized chanting and ritual license from Nishi Hongwanji.
He enjoys practicing Aikido and spending time with his family and wife Cyndi Yasaki. Cyndi was the minister’s assistant at the Gardena Buddhist Church in California and received her Tokudo in the Summer of 2019. Together they will reside in the Temple parsonage and continue to build upon the strength and traditions of the Tacoma Buddhist Temple.