Seattle Betsuin Music Page

Gatha recordings currently offered
To supplement the audio recordings made available on the BCA Chanting and Music webpage ,
please find the following audio recordings offered here as part of the gatha audio project begun for the gatha book publication Sing Namo Amida Butsu.
Music copyright by the individual composers, produced by Seattle Betsuin.

Master Ganjin’s Journey by Linda Castro. Sandy Cressman, vocalist and Kemi Nakabayashi, piano.

Lyrics “Master Ganjin’s Journey” by Linda Castro

A Special Place” Gatha by Linda Castro

Lyrics “A Special Place” by Linda Castro



Sing Namo Amida Butsu

Northwest District Convention Workshop

In gratitude of supporters and contributors to Sing Namo Amida Butsu

The late Linda Castro (nee Luebke) is remembered for her gathas published in 1990 in Six Songs for Buddhist Children. After organizing her first choir in 1977 at Buddhist Church of San Francisco, she formed and directed the Seattle Betsuin choir shortly after arrival with Rev. Don Castro in 1986.

The late Helen Chizuko Iwanaga and her husband Rev. Yoshio Iwanaga, who introduced Bon Odori to the mainland U.S., were appointed the directors of the Music and Recording Department of the BCA in the late 1940s. Mrs. Iwanaga arranged Buddhist gathas, most memorably Nembutsu, and served as choir director for a number of BCA temples throughout her lifetime.

Takeo Kudo, a professor of music at University of Hawaii, was commissioned by Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai’i to compose the music for May Peace Prevail.

Carrie Kawamoto wrote the poem May Peace Prevail, used as the lyrics for this gatha

Donna Sasaki, Michiko Yukawa, Dii Lewis, Misaye Abiko Shin Buddhist Choir Festival, Mountain View Buddhist Temple,


Shinji Eshima, Kemi Nakabayashi, Marion Dumont, Ken Tanimoto Jodo Shinshu Center 10th anniversary celebration, 10/22/2016

Shinji Eshima, Dennis Yamashita, Yoko Yanari after the Northwest Ballet premiere of RaKU, ballet music composed by Shinji, 4/13/2018

Kemi Nakabayashi and Hiro Imamura in Seattle, 2/13/2018

Francis Okano, chairperson of Hawaii Music Committee, with Kemi Nakabayashi and Choralfest choir director Nola Nahulu,

Honolulu, 9/30/2018

Yumi Hojo and Reiko Iwanaga in San Jose, 4/28/2019

Debbie Kubota from Hawaii while visiting Seattle 4/29/2019


Dr. Kent Matsuda, BCA President and composer of Shinran’s Familyand Goodbye.

Gordon Ah Tye is an active musician and temple leader from the Fresno Betsuin. His gathas include Say Namo Amida Butsu and I’m a Link in the Golden Chain

BJ Soriano is a singer-songwriter and choir director from Hilo Betsuin. She has generously introduced her music to BCA members in the mainland U.S. at gatha workshops in temples, for FDSTL, and most recently at the World Buddhist Women’s conference in San Francisco in 2019.

Dana for World Peace for convention app workshop SATB 1.14.20


Seattle Tacoma gatha book

Our long awaited Gatha book project was completed in 2019!

The Seattle-Tacoma Gatha Book Project committee is proud to announce publication of
Sing Namo Amida Butsu. The general gatha book and separate accompanist’s book contain the music service sutras Ju Sei Ge and San Butsu Ge along with 90 gathas.

The original goal of the Seattle-Tacoma Gatha Book Project was to republish the music of the late Linda Castro and the music in the Dharma School Service Book and Gassho ‘Round the World, publications of Tacoma Buddhist Temple (TBT), including original music by Donna Sasaki.

The scope of the project was expanded to include newly published music and Japanese gathas published with original lyrics and English translated lyrics. The number of translated gathas was increased beyond the prior work of the TBT Dharma School Service Book Committee with the cooperation of the Hawaii Music Committee. Most of the gathas are notated with chords for guitar or ukulele.

The Seattle-Tacoma Gatha Book Project recently received a Bishop’s Project grant from the Federation of Dharma School Teachers League (FDSTL) to subsidize partially the second printing of the gatha books. We are grateful to FDSTL to encourage and enable more temples outside of the Northwest District to use the gatha books. Courtesy copies of the books were distributed to BCA temples in late Spring of 2019. Shipments of the second printing were sent to interested temples requesting purchase of Sing Namo Amida Butsu. An audio recording project is now underway!

For additional information or questions please contact us at