Remembering the Late Reverend Dr. Yehan Numata
Yehan Numata was born in Hiroshima on April 12, 1897 into a Jōdo Shinshū temple family. At the young age of 19, he left Japan and went to Hawaii as a Buddhist priest, and in 1918 he moved to California, where he graduated from Hollywood High School and later from UC Berkeley. He returned to Japan with B.S. and M.S. degrees, and in1934, he established the Mitutoyo Company, and began manufacturing precision measuring instruments. Today Mitutoyo is an international leader in its field.
In 1965, Yehan Numata established Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai (BDK), the Society for the Promotion of Buddhism, and developed it into an international organization dedicated to distributing its own publications, establishing academic programs at major universities, and translating scriptural texts. BDK continues to carry out his vision of promoting Buddhism in creative ways to foster human happiness and peace.
Yehan Numata received honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Hawaii and Ryukoku University, and was twice decorated by the government of Japan for his economic and cultural contributions. The Rev. Dr. Yehan Numata passed away at the age of 97 on May 4, 1994.