January 1 ATLANTA DOJO                                     New Year's Gathering:                                                                                                                      Prayers at 11 a.m.,

                                                                              Open House through the afternoon 


March 2 thru 7 PEACE PILGRIMAGE           Selma to Montgomery

                                                                                            Peace Pilgrimage

                                                                                            54th Anniversary

Sat., April 6, 11 a.m. @ ATLANTA DOJO              Flower Festival                                     

Sat., April 27, 11 a.m. @ PEACE PAGODA           Flower Festival                                    

May 4 through 27 @ PEACE PAGODA                 Spring Work Party                                  

Sat., July 13, 11 a.m. @ ATLANTA DOJO               Ancestors Ceremony

July 28 through August 6 PEACE PILGRIMAGE            Oak Ridge

                                                                                                            Peace Pilgrimage

​                                                                                                                  74th Anniversary


Sat., August 17, 11 a.m. @ PEACE PAGODA           Ancestors Ceremony                                         

September 7 though 22 @ PEACE PAGODA               Fall Work Party    

November 9 through 17    PEACE PILGRIMAGE      Peace Pilgrimage to                                                                                                               Close the

                                                                                                     School of the Americas

2019 Schedule 

Nipponzan Myohoji-Atlanta Dojo &

Great Smoky Mountains Peace Pagoda &

Celebrating 20 years at the Atlanta Dojo

April 7, 2018 

Peace Pilgrimage to

Close the School of the Americas

​November 9 through 17, 2019

It has been four years since we have walked a Peace Pilgrimage from Atlanta to Fort Benning, supporting SOA Watch's holy effort to close a US military training school that has been implicated in the training of assassins, torturers and oppressors of the poor. When SOAW decided to move the annual gathering to Nogales, AZ, we were unable to make that long trip work in our annual schedule.

This year, SOAW is bringing the demonstration back to Georgia to mark the 30th year anniversary of the San Salvador massacre that killed six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter. It was those killings that inspired Father Roy Bourgeois to found the SOA Watch in the first place. We will again walk from Atlanta to join this sacred gathering at the gates of Fort Benning, GA.

A Brief History of the Atlanta Dojo

            The building that was to become Atlanta Dojo of Nipponzan Myohoji was purchased at the end of 1993 for $12,000. That is the correct number of zeros, and no, the price was not reduced by way of a gift. The place was a wreck. It had been owned for decades by a woman who at one time had run it as a brothel and later as a boarding house. When she became ill, it devolved into a space for squatters and drug dealers. When we purchased it, there was no plumbing nor electricity, and every window was broken. With great energy and innocence, we believed we would have it fixed within a year. It took more than four.
            During the renovation time, Brother Utsumi and Sister Denise lived at First Iconium Baptist Church, and that was pure gift offered by Rev. Timothy McDonald and the congregation. The church’s incredible support along with the help of friends and volunteers made it possible to transform 1127 Glenwood into a temple using mostly salvaged material and Utsumi-shonin’s incredible gift for creating beauty from other’s discarded things.
            Since the dedication of this temple in April 1998, it has offered hospitality to peace walkers and activists of all kinds. Many have gathered here throughout the years for ceremonies and peace-oriented events.  Primarily it is a temple, and visitors have frequently commented on the deep quiet that pervades this space. We have no explanation for that quiet, given the location next to very busy streets. But we are grateful for the respite it offers everyone from the noise and chaos of daily life.
            Since we spend so much time now building the Peace Pagoda in East Tennessee, it is natural that people ask if we intend to sell the Atlanta Dojo. No, the loss would be too great. We’d lose memories, the multitude of offerings that built this temple, the enjoyment of its beauty, neighbors, the confidence it gave us in subsequent work. Any money from its sale would soon be gone, leaving us so much poorer if not materially then spiritually.
            Our teacher, Guruji, said dōjōs are built to emulate the Pure Land. In the sutra we recite during the ceremony, Buddha says, “This Pure Land of mine is never destroyed.” Nor is it bought or sold.

Happy Anniversary, Atlanta Dojo!

      We were invited to participate in the Memorial Service for Muhammad Ali on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, KY.

    Muhammad Ali wanted a multi-faith service for his memorial; his lawyer and friend who was on the committee for the service knew another lawyer who is a friend of our order; and of all of Nipponzan Myohoji members, we were geographically the closest.

    Life can surprise you.What an honor and special day it was.

2019 Fal l Work Party

September 7 thru 22, 2019

Past Event Photos

Click on the link above to view photos albums of past ceremonies at the Atlanta Dojo and the Great Smoky Mountains Peace Pagoda