Religion and churches

Religion and churches played an important role in the formation and development of West Coast Japanese American communities. While Buddhism is frequently seen as most prominent, Christianity was also influential. Initially focused on helping new male immigrants adjust to life in the United States, churches soon began catering to increasing numbers of families. By the mid-1930s, Japanese Americans' religious affiliations were split fairly evenly between Christianity and Buddhism.

Religion and churches (182)

182 items
Young People's Christian Conference (ddr-densho-259-288)
img Young People's Christian Conference (ddr-densho-259-288)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "Posed group photo of many young Nisei This surely must have been another YPCC gathering this conference likely took place at a church in Portland."
img "Issei men posed in front of Buddhist church" (ddr-densho-259-337)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "Group of Issei men posed in front of Buddhist church. Most probably members of Nipponjin Kai."
Group portrait in front of torii in Japan (ddr-densho-259-292)
img Group portrait in front of torii in Japan (ddr-densho-259-292)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "Large number of Japan relatives (my guess) with Michi [Yasui]. There's a fairly large torii [gate] in the background and what seems to be ongoing construction of a mon (Japanese entrance gate)."
Christmas pageant at Japanese Community Hall (ddr-densho-259-179)
img Christmas pageant at Japanese Community Hall (ddr-densho-259-179)
Caption in Japanese at top of photograph: "Iwa Kurisumasu [Christmas celebration]." Caption by Homer Yasui: "A Christmas pageant which was performed by the Nisei members of the Hood River Japanese Methodist Church The girl second left looks like Mika Asai to mel and it might have been Jessie Iwatsuki holding the star on the stick. I ...
Issei missionary (ddr-densho-259-243)
img Issei missionary (ddr-densho-259-243)
Caption by Yuka Yasui: "Rev. Niisato, missionary--he once prayed for our dog Mike who had eye problems."
img "The Hood River Japanese Methodist Church Camp" (ddr-densho-259-285)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "The Hood River Japanese Methodist Church Camp at Tilly Jane Campground in the Mount Hood National Forest We actually camped out in tents then, and the supplies had to be hauled across the Tilly Jane Creek canyon on a cable car [This picture] includes Raymond Hiroshige (a U of O college classmate ...
Young People's Christian Conference (photocopy) (ddr-densho-259-286)
img Young People's Christian Conference (photocopy) (ddr-densho-259-286)
Photocopy. Caption by Homer Yasui: "Posed group photo of many young Nisei This surely must have been another YPCC gathering this conference likely took place at a church in Portland."
Group in front of Seattle Buddhist Temple (ddr-densho-38-8)
img Group in front of Seattle Buddhist Temple (ddr-densho-38-8)
The Seattle Buddhist Temple was located at 1020 Main Street. Reverend Hoshin Fujii pictured in the front row, center, served the church from 1908 to 1922. The Seattle Buddhist Church, now known as the Seattle Buddhist Temple, is currently located at 1427 South Main Street.
Bukkyo Fujinkai members eating (ddr-densho-38-12)
img Bukkyo Fujinkai members eating (ddr-densho-38-12)
Issei members of the Bukkyo Fujinkai (Buddhist Women's Association) eating a meal in the Seattle Buddhist Temple kitchen. Seated (left to right): Cho Goto, Hanako Sao, Kikue Takahashi (behind Sao), unidentified, Taka Toshi, unidentified, Sasae Watanabe, unidentified, Kikue Hirata, Rieko Shimizu, and Fuiko Nakano. Standing: unidentified (back to camera), Kikuyo Tsuye, and unidentified.
Seattle Buddhist Church (ddr-densho-38-4)
img Seattle Buddhist Church (ddr-densho-38-4)
The Seattle Buddhist Church was dedicated at its 1020 Main Street address in Seattle's Nihonmachi on November 15, 1908. The Seattle Buddhist Church, now known as the Seattle Buddhist Temple, is presently located at 1427 South Main Street.
Bukkyo Fujinkai members in front of Seattle Buddhist Temple (ddr-densho-38-14)
img Bukkyo Fujinkai members in front of Seattle Buddhist Temple (ddr-densho-38-14)
Members of the Bukkyo Fujinkai (Women's Buddhist Association) in front of the Seattle Buddhist Temple at 1020 Main Street. The Seattle Buddhist Church, now known as the Seattle Buddhist Temple, is currently located at 1427 South Main Street.
Seattle Buddhist Temple dedication service (ddr-densho-38-7)
img Seattle Buddhist Temple dedication service (ddr-densho-38-7)
The Seattle Buddhist Church was located at 1020 Main Street in Seattle's Nihonmachi (Japantown) area. The church, now known as the Seattle Buddhist Temple, is currently located at 1427 South Main Street.
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 69, No. 13 (September 26,1969) (ddr-pc-41-39)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 69, No. 13 (September 26,1969) (ddr-pc-41-39)
Select article titles: "Future of Japanese Ethnic churches in L.A. studied" (p. 1); "Seattle Issei Complain Lack of Police Action(p.1); "40,000 witness Japan week's civic parade" (p. 3); "Concentration Camp" (p. 4).
Victor Ikeda Interview Segment 16 (ddr-manz-1-23-16)
vh Victor Ikeda Interview Segment 16 (ddr-manz-1-23-16)
The role of the churches in Seattle's Japanese American community
Yasashi Ichikawa Interview II Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-112-2)
vh Yasashi Ichikawa Interview II Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-112-2)
Description of the Seattle Buddhist Temple's social activities (Japanese language)

This interview was conducted in Japanese. The transcript is a translation of the original interview.

Mii Tai Interview Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-186-7)
vh Mii Tai Interview Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-186-7)
Involvement in the Methodist church while growing up

This interview was conducted as part of a project to capture stories of the Japanese American community of Spokane, Washington. Densho worked in collaboration with the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.

Mae Kanazawa Hara Interview Segment 21 (ddr-densho-1000-168-21)
vh Mae Kanazawa Hara Interview Segment 21 (ddr-densho-1000-168-21)
Active involvement in church music program; singing in the church choir
Nobu Suzuki Interview I Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1000-84-12)
vh Nobu Suzuki Interview I Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1000-84-12)
Participation in YWCA activities

References are made to several of Nobu Suzuki's personal papers, which are currently available for public perusal at the University of Washington's Manuscripts and University Archives.

Frank Miyamoto Interview I Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1000-50-14)
vh Frank Miyamoto Interview I Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1000-50-14)
Role of Christian churches in the early Japanese American community
API