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 (228)

228 items
Issei making sushi (ddr-densho-38-10)
img Issei making sushi (ddr-densho-38-10)
Issei members of the Bukkyo Fujinkai (Buddhist Women's Association) making sushi for the church bazaar. Left, front row: Mrs. Yamanaka, Mrs. Fukei, Mrs. Mizuta, Mrs. Takahashi, Mrs. Aoyama, Mrs. Tsuye, Mrs. Teramoto, Mrs. Shimokon, and Howard Sakura. Left, back row: Mrs. Nagamatsu, Mrs. Hashimawari. unidentified, Mrs. Watanabe, and unidentified. Right, front row: Mrs. Yasui, Mrs. Kihara, ...
Buddhist procession (ddr-densho-38-2)
img Buddhist procession (ddr-densho-38-2)
In 1933, a Butsudan and accessories were donated by a group started by Miyakichi and Kazuichi Terao and Kenichi Masuda. This is the procession that made its way from the Terao brothers' residence at 10th Avenue and Lane Street to the Seattle Buddhist Church at 1020 Main Street. The Seattle Buddhist Church, now known as the ...
Seattle Buddhist Church picnic (ddr-densho-38-21)
img Seattle Buddhist Church picnic (ddr-densho-38-21)
Reverend Y. Shimizu issuing prizes at the Seattle Buddhist Church picnic. (Identification on front of the photograph.)
Bukkyo Seinenkai (ddr-densho-38-5)
img Bukkyo Seinenkai (ddr-densho-38-5)
The Bukkyo Seinenkai marked the beginning of the Seattle Buddhist Church. It was established by Chojiro Fujii and Jiro Iwamura on November 15, 1901, to meet the varied needs of Issei immigrants. By 1902, this small house at 624 Main Street in Seattle's Nihonmachi was being rented for church services. The Seattle Buddhist Church, now known ...
Seattle Buddhist Church picnic (ddr-densho-38-22)
img Seattle Buddhist Church picnic (ddr-densho-38-22)
This picnic was held at Lincoln Park. Back row (left to right): unidentified, Molly Fukutani, and Harue Mori. The child in front is unidentified.
Gordon Hirabayashi Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1012-2-2)
vh Gordon Hirabayashi Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1012-2-2)
Parents' religious background: the "non-church" movement (audio only)

This interview is audio-only. It contains raw footage used by Steven Okazaki in his 1985 film Unfinished Business.

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this ...

Joseph Norio Uemura Interview Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1014-3-6)
vh Joseph Norio Uemura Interview Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1014-3-6)
Father's work as a pastor in Spokane, Washington, and Portland, Oregon
Etsuko Ichikawa Osaki Interview Segment 2 (ddr-one-7-56-2)
vh Etsuko Ichikawa Osaki Interview Segment 2 (ddr-one-7-56-2)
Growing up as the daughter of a prominent Buddhist minister

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of ...

Yasashi Ichikawa Interview I Segment 27 (ddr-densho-1000-111-27)
vh Yasashi Ichikawa Interview I Segment 27 (ddr-densho-1000-111-27)
Moving the Seattle Buddhist Temple to a new location (Japanese language)

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

Yasashi Ichikawa Interview I Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1000-111-12)
vh Yasashi Ichikawa Interview I Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1000-111-12)
Participating in the Buddhist temple in Fresno, California (Japanese language)

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

Sumi Okamoto Interview Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-192-6)
vh Sumi Okamoto Interview Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-192-6)
Memories of prewar Methodist church

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.

Paul Nagano Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1000-65-14)
vh Paul Nagano Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1000-65-14)
Role of the Berkeley Buddhist Temple in providing housing and serving the community during the postwar resettlement period
Paul Nagano Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-65-3)
vh Paul Nagano Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-65-3)
Family's religious background and joining a Japanese Baptist church as a young boy
Toru Sakahara - Kiyo Sakahara Interview I Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-76-9)
vh Toru Sakahara - Kiyo Sakahara Interview I Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1000-76-9)
Parents' prewar life, becoming Christian

This interview was conducted over two days at the Sakaharas' home.

Shigeko Sese Uno Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-98-7)
vh Shigeko Sese Uno Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-98-7)
Activities at Seattle's Japanese Baptist Church: cooking classes, sports, the Young Peoples Christian Conference, and prayers for peace
Tsuguo
vh Tsuguo "Ike" Ikeda Interview I Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1000-123-6)
Enjoying family atmosphere of Epworth Methodist Church's Japanese American congregation

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

Ryo Imamura Segment 31 (ddr-densho-1000-27-31)
vh Ryo Imamura Segment 31 (ddr-densho-1000-27-31)
Present day relations between Japanese American Christian community and Japanese American Buddhist community
API