Rev Sister Yoshie Maruta is the Chief Nun at the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple. Architect Tom Hancock a Buddhist, met the teacher of the Nipponzan Myohoyji order, which was building pagodas all over the world. Tom persuaded the Development Corporation to host one in Milton Keynes. The Milton Keynes Peace Pagoda, set in The Park Trust’s Campbell Park near Willen Lake, was built by the monks and nuns of the Nippon Myohoji, who have a temple nearby. Sister Maruta helped supervise its construction and mix the cement. Building work began in April 1979, and was completed in September 1980, with an inauguration ceremony led by Nichidatsu Fujii, founder and teacher of the Order of Nipponzan Myohoji. The Pagoda is the first to be built in the western hemisphere. It is a symbol of world peace and seeks to promote unity among all regardless of race or creed. In promoting peace, Sister Maruta is very active in supporting the many activities at The Milton Keynes Rose, latterly these being the vigils held by people in the community to remember those who suffered in the Paris, Manchester and London terrorist attacks, and also the many celebratory events throughout the year.
A quote from Sister Maruta’s teacher, Fujii Guruji,
“In order to build a model city of peace, it is not enough to build houses, plant trees and flowers. We need to build spiritual pointers and sow seeds of peace in the hearts of people.”