Paia Mantokuji is a Buddhist temple of the Soto Zen tradition of Japan. It is the only Soto Zen Buddhist Temple on Maui. The official name given to this temple by the Head Temple in Japan is Bachozan Mantokuji.
The following is an explanation and translation of this name. First of all, in Japan, every Soto Zen Buddhist Temple is given a “sango (山号)“ along with their temple name. Sango literally means “mountain name”. Although Mantokuji is not located on a mountain, historically, temples were founded on a mountain, and therefore each was given this “mountain name” which signifies the location and surroundings of the temple.
Mantokuji’s sango is “Bachozan”. “Ba” means horse, “Cho” means summit, and “Zan” means mountain. When we write Maui in Japanese it is usually written with the katakana letters, “マウイ”, however, there is a way to write Maui in Kanji (Chinese characters) also. This is the way Maui is written in Kanji: 馬哇. “Ba” comes from the first character of “Maui” written in kanji, as “ma” can also be pronounced “ba” depending on the word. “Cho” or summit points to Maui’s world famous mountain, Haleakala, for which its summit is well known. And every sango ends with “Zan” or mountain.
Mantokuji’s “Man” means to fulfill or complete, “Toku” means virtue, and “Ji” means temple. So Mantokuji can be translated as the “Temple of Complete Virtue”.