Midwest Buddhist Temple
435 West Menomonee Street
phone 312-943-7801 • fax 312-943-8069
web site: MidwestBuddhistTemple.org • email: office@midwestbuddhisttemple.org
Office hours: 9 am to 4:30 pm – Monday through Friday

Facebook icon

Midwest Buddhist Temple
Weekly Dharma Talks (MP3)
Directions to Temple
Temple Minister
Religious Observances
Temple Event Calendar
Temple Photo Album
Temple Special Events
Temple Special Programs
Temple Organizations
Guide to Financial Giving
Buddhist Symbols
Buddhist Wheel
Temple Etiquette
How to offer incense
Free Parking
English Services
Handicapped Accessible
Contact us

Special events

Ginza Holiday

August 8, 9 and 10, 2014

Midwest Buddhist Temple's annual celebration of Japanese crafts and culture, the Ginza Holiday is an annual three-day event held the second weekend of August. The Ginza Holiday showcases the cultural heritage of those who founded the temple and allows members to share this with the public through demonstrations of traditional Japanese art forms, crafts, cuisine and performances.

  • One highlight of this festival is The Waza, a group of "living treasure" craftsmen
    who visit from Japan in order to demonstrate their skills and share their creations.
  • Dharma talks are presented regularly during Ginza by a resident minister,
    and tours of the temple are held.
  • A raffle, which benefits temple programs and operation, is held each year;
    tickets are available from MBT members, at the temple office, or at the event.

Midwest Buddhist Temple held its first Ginza Holiday in 1956 at its former site several blocks east of the current temple. The festival took its name from The Ginza, a busy and colorful shopping center and the most famous district in Tokyo.

But 300 years ago, the area was famous for duck hunting, as it was originally a vast swampland. Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered the reclamation of the area in 1603 and gave the work to several feudal lords, thus the lots were named for them - such as Owari-cho, Yamashiro-cho, Kaga-cho and other streets.

The name Ginza dates to 1612 when Ginza, or the official silver mint, was opened there. Later, in 1873, the construction of two-story brick houses and brick sidewalks gave birth to The Ginza we know in Tokyo today.


Obon Festival – Saturday, July 12, 2014

2014 Practice dates

To be announced

The public is invited to participate in the temple's Obon Festival, an outdoor Japanese folk dancing festival. It is held each year on the second Saturday in July and is followed by the religious observance of Obon on Sunday, when loved ones who have passed away are remembered.

The dancing takes place in the temple parking lot under Japanese lanterns, with dancers encircling a yagura, or tower, which is seen as an expression of joy in the Buddhist teachings. With a taiko drum placed atop the yagura, the Special events sound of drumming and Japanese folk music fill the night air as dancers, many wearing kimono or cotton yukata, join in the simple folk dances.

The Obon is one of the most widely celebrated and colorful of the Buddhist observances, dating back some 15 hundred years.

Its origin is linked to the Ullambana sutra which is related to the story of Maudgalyayana, one of the great disciples of the Buddha. In this story, Maudgalyayana sees his departed mother suffering in the fiery domain of the Hungry Devils, a domain where hunger and thirst know no bounds. Everything that is touched immediately bursts into flames. Grieving at what he sees, he attempts to relieve her suffering, but his attempts are futile. In desperation, he goes to the Buddha and the All Compassionate One shows him the way. Following the path shown him, he finally succeeds and his mother's suffering is relieved. He is overjoyed. He and his friends rejoice, expressing their joy and gratitude with music and dancing.

The Obon is symbolic of that occasion. It is a free event, with beverages available for sale.





December 12, 2014
10 am to 12:30 pm

December 13, 2014
8:30 am to 1 pm


Mochi-tsuki video from 2012

Each year in late December, members of Midwest Buddhist Temple and friends gather to pound sweet rice to make mochi, or sweet rice cakes, in the traditional Japanese manner. They use wooden
mallets and time-honored methods of creating mochi for the New Year. Sponsored by the Adult Sangha, the Mochi-Tsuki prepares hundreds of pounds of rice to make mochi, which are then offered for sale for eating and for traditional New Year's offerings. For times and information, call the temple at 312-943-7801.