Nipponzan Myohoji
History Of The Atlanta Dojo
   In April 1989, Brother Gyoshu Utsumi first arrived in Atlanta, to walk the city streets, beating a drum and chanting a prayer for peace. Initially he lived at a homeless shelter and later was offered places to stay in churches by Christian pastors.

   Brother Utsumi came to the United States to work and pray for an end to nuclear weapons. He chose Atlanta as his base because it is the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose courageous life and commitment to peace and justice through nonviolence is a constant inspiration.

   In December 1993, an abandoned drug house in East Atlanta was purchased and with volunteer labor and salvaged building material rebuilt, expanded and greatly transformed into a beautiful temple and garden. It officially opened in April 1998.

   At the close of 2000, 14 acres of land were purchased in the Great Smoky Mountain region of eastern Tennessee. Work has begun in the construction of a Peace Pagoda, a shrine dedicated to World Peace and offered as a place of prayer for people of all faiths.

   The Peace Pagoda project, located an hour's drive from the nuclear weapons site in Oak Ridge, has drawn peace activists, environmentalists and others who seek to build a better world through prayer and action.