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 (242)

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242 items
img "Issei Christian church gathering" (ddr-densho-259-543)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "A very large Issei Christian church gathering in Toppenish, Washington."
Issei minister with violin (ddr-densho-259-147)
img Issei minister with violin (ddr-densho-259-147)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "Formal portrait of the Reverend Isaac Inouye I suspect that this picture was taken before he came to Hood River around September, 1927."
Issei men in front of Buddhist church (ddr-densho-259-332)
img Issei men in front of Buddhist church (ddr-densho-259-332)
A group of Issei men posed in front of a Buddhist temple in Portland, possibly members of the Nipponjin Kai Japanese Association.
Young People's Christian Conference (ddr-densho-259-296)
img Young People's Christian Conference (ddr-densho-259-296)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "Posed group photo of another YPCC [Young People's Christian Conference], this time at the Centenary-Wilbur Church which was on the eastside of Portland." Caption on front of photograph: "Fourth Oregon Sectional Y.P.C.C. Centenary - Wilbur Church, Portland, Oregon, March 28-29, 1936."
Portrait of an Issei minister (ddr-densho-259-143)
img Portrait of an Issei minister (ddr-densho-259-143)
Portrait of the Revered Isaac Inouye. Caption by Homer Yasui: "Some vandal (and as I remember it, that vandal was Shu [Yasui]) had drawn two ink lines along the mouth creases of the good Reverend. Shu and the Rev. didn't get along too well."
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."
Issei members of Portland Methodist church (ddr-densho-259-306)
img Issei members of Portland Methodist church (ddr-densho-259-306)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "Posed group of Issei members of the Epworth Methodist Church in Portland. The ministers at the time were Rev. Osuga and Rev. Frank Iritani."
White missionary family (ddr-densho-259-170)
img White missionary family (ddr-densho-259-170)
Caption by Yuka Yasui: "Missionary family from Hood River. Went to the Phillipines." Caption by Homer Yasui: "This is the Landis family, whom we knew years ago in Hood River."
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 …
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 (ddr-densho-259-365)
img Young People's Christian Conference (ddr-densho-259-365)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "I think that this gathering took place in front of what was then called the Centenary Wilbur Methodist Church, in Portland I suspect that this was a YPCC--Young People's Christian Conference--because many of the Nisei are wearing identification badges."
Issei men in front of Buddhist church (ddr-densho-259-330)
img Issei men in front of Buddhist church (ddr-densho-259-330)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "39-40 Issei men sitting in chairs in front of what surely must have been a Buddhist church in Portland. The swastika on the door indicates that this was a Buddhist temple. I suspect that these men were members of the Nipponjin Kai--sometimes called the Nihonjin Kai--Japanese Association."
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 …
img "Issei men posed in front of Buddhist church" (ddr-densho-259-335)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "Group of Issei men posed in front of Buddhist church. Most probably members of Nipponjin Kai."
Portrait of Caucasian pastor and his family (ddr-densho-259-389)
img Portrait of Caucasian pastor and his family (ddr-densho-259-389)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "Portrait of a Caucasian family On the back of the picture, it says that 'This photo has [sic] presented from Mrs. N Evans Rev. Evans was a pastor of the Methodist Church, and he has apointed [sic] as the pastor of Pendel Aug. 1901.'"
Young People's Christian Conference (ddr-densho-259-304)
img Young People's Christian Conference (ddr-densho-259-304)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "Another posed group of YPCC [Young People's Christian Conference] attendees this time in Hood River, and taken in front of the Hood River High School auditorium."
Hood River Japanese Farmers Association (ddr-densho-259-363)
img Hood River Japanese Farmers Association (ddr-densho-259-363)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "A large group of Issei men and women, some with their children, and all formally dressed, in front of a stone church. This was the Riverside Church, which is a Congregational church, and it still stands in Hood River. I think that this has a connection with a memorial service which the …
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."
Florence Cathedral (ddr-densho-201-236)
img Florence Cathedral (ddr-densho-201-236)
Florence Cathedral, or the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, in Florence, Italy.
Milan Cathedral (ddr-densho-201-440)
img Milan Cathedral (ddr-densho-201-440)
Caption on reverse: "Cathedral in Milano Italy. 3rd largest in the world."
img "Davos Church" (ddr-densho-201-245)
Church spire. Caption on front: "Davos Church."
The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 31 (April 25, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-17)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 31 (April 25, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-17)
"Nisei Priest in Nichiren Church Gets Writeup in "Seattle Scene" (p. 1), "Historian Cites Difficulties of Civil Liberties in Canada" (p. 1).
The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 7 (January 22, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-174)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 3 No. 7 (January 22, 1949) (ddr-densho-229-174)
"Race Parley Slated Here on Jan. 30" (p. 1), "Illinois Representative Keeps Pledge; Tosses ENI Legislation in the Hopper" (p. 1).
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).
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