about Ekoji Richmond

Founded in 1986, Ekoji Buddhist Sangha supports the teaching, practice, and study of Buddhism in the Greater Richmond area. We are a fellowship of the Buddhist Churches of America, an association founded over one hundred years ago.

Ekoji is Japanese for “gift of light.” This is reference to the Buddha’s teaching, but also serves as reminder of the gift of the temple itself, which came from the efforts of Reverend Kennryu Tsuji and the Numata Center. We bow in gratitude for their gift and their practice.


The Ekoji Buddhist Sangha of Richmond recognizes that suffering is part of the human condition. However, suffering can be made worse by intentional or unintentional bias towards people of diverse backgrounds. These include race or ethnicity, country of origin, religion, age, ability, socioeconomic status, political stance, gender identity and sexual orientation.

We welcome all who come to seek the Way, and will work towards supporting our common practice while acknowledging our different experiences.

Community Outreach

Ekoji Buddhist Sangha engages in several community programs, including mentoring prisoners, Food Bank donations, and a recovery group. If you would like to join in, ask a group leader for more information.

Brief History

Ekoji Buddhist Sangha was founded by Reverend Kennryu Tsuji (1920-2004), a Japanese-American Pure Land priest. Responding to a request from Pure Land Buddhists for a place to practice in Richmond, he solicited the generous help of Numata Center. A building was purchased and weekly services began in 1986. Soon, other Buddhist groups seeking a temple found their way to Ekoji. Rev. Tsuji offered the space for other forms of Buddhism to practice. In 1991, a Zen group was established at Ekoji. A Tibetan group and a Vipassana group soon followed. In 2005, the Meditative Inquiry group began meeting at Ekoji as well. Biography of Rev. Tsuji

Practice at Ekoji

Buddhist tradition places great value on its lineage of teachers. Lineage is generally traced back the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. Each lineage of the groups that practice at Ekoji has its distinctive forms and character, yet all have the “same taste of truth.”

Ekoji has no resident clergy. However, the different practice groups invite priests and teachers to support practice at Ekoji.