In 1962, two Zen students in California wrote to his temple in Japan seeking a teacher, and Joshu Roshi was selected. He arrived with little more than a pair of dictionaries, Japanese to English and English to Japanese. He set up in a garage in Los Angeles until founding what became his lead temple,
the Rinzai-ji Center on Cimarron Street, where he and his wife still live. By 1970, he had created a Zen training center from a former Boy Scout camp at Mount Baldy in the San Gabriel Mountains. In 1972, a supporter sought to draw him to New Mexico. “You find hot springs, I come,” he said. She did — and he did, founding Bodhi Manda, or enlightenment circle.