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 (186)

186 items
Japanese American and white men and boys at St. Marks church (ddr-densho-259-262)
img Japanese American and white men and boys at St. Marks church (ddr-densho-259-262)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "St. Marks Church in Hood River, showing [Masuo Yasui], several Issei men, a Caucasian minister, and remarkably, a Japanese minister not Isaac Inouye. St. Marks was either a Catholic or Episcopalian church--or maybe it was a Lutheran church. In any event, the two clerics are wearing their collars backwards, as Catholic and ...
Seattle Buddhist Church picnic (ddr-densho-38-24)
img Seattle Buddhist Church picnic (ddr-densho-38-24)
Reverend Ishikawa playing a game at this picnic, which was held at Lincoln Park. (Identification on front of the photograph.)
The Northwest Times Vol. 4 No. 94 (November 25, 1950) (ddr-densho-229-256)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 4 No. 94 (November 25, 1950) (ddr-densho-229-256)
"One Out of Every Three Doesn't Believe in God, Japanese University Student Poll Discloses" (p. 1), "New U.S. Law Affects Issei" (p. 1), "Tacoma Buddhists to Note 30th Year of Their Church" (p. 1), "Walter Bill, Hawaii Statehood Head ADC Agenda; Congress Meets Monday" (p. 2).
Buddhist ministers at Sante Fe internment camp (ddr-densho-310-1)
img Buddhist ministers at Sante Fe internment camp (ddr-densho-310-1)
A group photograph of the Buddhist ministers interned at Sante Fe internment camp. Etsuko Osaki's father, Tatsuya Ichikawa, is in the second row, third from the left. Ichikawa was picked up by the FBI in April 1942. He remained separated from his family for two years before they reunited in Crystal City internment camp.
Postcard send to Kinuta Uno at Fort Missoula (ddr-densho-324-20)
doc Postcard send to Kinuta Uno at Fort Missoula (ddr-densho-324-20)
Correspondence from Rev. K. Iijima updating Kinuta Uno on his family.
Buddist Church Garden (ddr-jamsj-1-1)
img Buddist Church Garden (ddr-jamsj-1-1)
The Association helped landscape the Buddist Church in 1958
Dave Tatsuno Interview Segment 7 (ddr-jamsj-2-6-7)
vh Dave Tatsuno Interview Segment 7 (ddr-jamsj-2-6-7)
Prewar activities: YMCA and church groups

This interview was conducted by the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, and is part of a project entitled "Lasting Stories: The Resettlement of San Jose Japantown," a collaborative project between the Japanese American Museum of San Jose and Densho.

Asano Terao Interview I Segment 42 (ddr-densho-1000-108-42)
vh Asano Terao Interview I Segment 42 (ddr-densho-1000-108-42)
Changing religions from Jodo Shinshu to Nichiren Buddhist (Japanese language)

This interview was conducted in Japanese and was translated so as to convey Mrs. Terao's way of speaking as closely as possible. For example, there are instances in which she makes some grammatical errors. These mistakes are conveyed through similar grammatical errors in English in ...

Mara Mihara Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-194-2)
vh Mara Mihara Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-194-2)
Influence of Christianity on Spokane's Japanese immigrants

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.

Ryo Imamura Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-27-15)
vh Ryo Imamura Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-27-15)
Reflecting on the need for a broader, more inclusive vision of Buddhism, father's influence
Ryo Imamura Segment 30 (ddr-densho-1000-27-30)
vh Ryo Imamura Segment 30 (ddr-densho-1000-27-30)
Discussion of prewar discrimination against Buddhists and social pressures to convert to Christianity
Tsuguo
vh Tsuguo "Ike" Ikeda Interview III Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1000-125-1)
Working on race relations within the Church Council of Greater Seattle during early 1960s

As a teenager prior to World War II, began keeping scrapbooks with newspaper articles and memorabilia, a lifetime habit.

Gordon Hirabayashi Interview I Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-17-4)
vh Gordon Hirabayashi Interview I Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-17-4)
Father's conversion to Christianity prior to immigration to the U.S.
Ryo Imamura Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-27-6)
vh Ryo Imamura Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-27-6)
Role of early Buddhist ministers as community leaders, advocating social justice
Ryo Imamura Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-27-2)
vh Ryo Imamura Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-27-2)
Parents' backgrounds, a family history revolving around the Buddhist ministry
Ryo Imamura Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-27-11)
vh Ryo Imamura Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1000-27-11)
Evolution and adaptation within the Japanese American Buddhist Church: the challenge of introducing new ideas and practices into existing traditions and rituals
API