Hongwanji Mission School
Head of School's Welcome,
Aloha, Welcome to HMS!
We are looking forward to seeing your children develop and grow as learners and citizens. There are very exciting things happening at HMS, and we hope you will join us as your children thrive and grow.
Technology Literacy and Project-Based Learning continue to be focal points for our program. Our teachers create a setting in which students own their learning. Students are immersed in a 21st Century Learning environment, which allows them to use technology to synthesize their knowledge and create original Presentations of Learning.
As always, Buddhist values and character education continue to provide stability for our students. Social and academic balance is achieved through our many resource classes and after-school programs. HMS recognizes that there is a positive correlation between academic achievement and the arts, drama, physical education, and learning another language. A well-balanced, student-focused program makes HMS a great place to learn.
Head of School
We Are Responsible for Each Other's Success!
“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.” - MLK Jr.
"A man's errors are his portals of discovery." - James Joyce
Hongwanji Mission School, the first Buddhist school outside of Japan, was established in 1949 during the time of Bishop Kodo Fujitani. The school was built on land purchased from Mary Foster (of Foster Botanical Gardens) for $6,000. Mary Foster, who was from a Christian missionary family, became a devout Buddhist after traveling to India and finding a personal teacher. Mrs. Aiko Fujitani, wife of the bishop, was instrumental in the building of the school and was at the center of school activities as the executive secretary of the school board.
The first classes were held during the summer of 1949 for students in grades K through 8 and for special English classes for Kibei adults (those born in the U.S. and educated in Japan). Mrs. Marion Winters, a graduate of Vassar, was the first principal of the school.
HMS develops children academically, physically, socially, and spiritually through programs guided by Buddhist Values.
The aim is to make every HMS student an able, willing, and responsible learner. The hope is that every eighth grade graduate will be capable of enrolling and excelling in any private or public high school.
Teaching is organized and carried out in classes that are small, personalized, and safe.
Over the years, the composition of the school varied. At times, the school was for students in grades K-8, while at other times, it was an elementary school with grades K-6. In 1950, Mrs. Mollie Yap, a Department of Public Instruction retiree, became the principal, and daycare classes were added. In 1951, Mrs. Blanche Hino was appointed the director of the Daycare and Kindergarten department.
Reverend Tsumika Maneki became the principal in 1955 and was at the school for the next ten years. During this time, there were classes for non-English speaking children, and special certificates were available for students who came from Japan to study at the school.
During the tenure of Mrs. Edith Tanaka as principal (1965-1972), fundraising luaus were held, and, as a result, a three-story building was erected on the former grounds of the Hawaii Chugakko. Mrs. Cecelia Lindo became a vice-principal and also served as acting principal while Mrs. Tanaka was abroad for a year. The Alma Mater was written in 1970, with music composed by Jane Imamura. Mrs. Tanaka was succeeded by Mrs. Joyce-Lynn Kimura who was the principal for ten years.
In 1983, Mr. Morris Otoshi, a retired DOE principal, became head of the school. Mr. Craig Tsutsui was his vice principal. Mrs. Rene Kimura joined the administrative team as a second vice principal in 1991. Dr. Gaylord Conquest assumed the leadership in 1992, and Mrs. Theodora Yagi joined the administrative team as vice principal in 1993. The middle school building was completed in September 1993 and the Class of 1994 was the first class to occupy it.
Mrs. Lois Yasui, a retired DOE vice principal, became the HMS principal in 1998. It was during her tenure that kindergarten through eighth grade was accredited by WASC and HAIS. In May 1999, the school celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a School Fair. In 2003 the Pacific Buddhist Academy opened its doors for high school students. This has allowed students to complete their secondary education within Buddhist philosophies.
Dr. Carol Riley was the Head of School from 2008 through October 2011. HMS was one of a small group of private schools to be awarded funding under a Schools of the 21st Century grant. In 2010, HMS was accredited from preschool through eighth grade from WASC and HAIS.
The current Head of School is Mr. David Randall, whose technological knowledge has helped HMS evolve into a “‘bring-your-own device” school. This year, HMS celebrates 73 years of providing quality education based on Buddhist values.