Asako Morinaka - BWA Member Highlight

Asako Morinaka is a dedicated member of the Buddhist Temple of San Diego and the Buddhist Women’s Association. Each year during Hanamatsuri, she and her family donate beautiful orchids that decorates the entire temple. Through its exquisite beauty, the flowers remind us of the significance of the Hanamatsuri service and Buddha’s birthday.  She has been donating these orchids as a request that her husband had made before he passed away. 

Asako was born in Sedgwick, Colorado in a farming town called Ovid where her family grew sugar beets.  In this town, a small Japanese community existed and each month, Tamae Sensei from the Denver Bestuin would come to preside services for the community of Buddhist families.  During the war, she married and in 1945 she gave birth to her first son.  In 1947 and 1949, she gave birth to two more sons.  In 1949, she and her family moved to San Diego where her husband worked on the tuna boats as a fisherman.  He did this for a while but because the fishing industry in San Diego was declining, he eventually decided to get into gardening and began growing orchids in 1957.  During this time, Asako also had developed her own business and operated a neighborhood beauty shop which she did for the next 40 years!  She continued to work until she finally retired at the young age of 82!!!

Close to the age of 100, Asako continues to be an articulate woman who remembers dates and events in her life as if it just happened yesterday.She is indeed a true pioneer who is an inspirational role model for us all