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
Bridge into shrine (ddr-densho-359-107)
img Bridge into shrine (ddr-densho-359-107)
Caption in Japanese in the bottom left hand corner.
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.

Fujin Home (ddr-densho-2-3)
img Fujin Home (ddr-densho-2-3)
The Fujin Home, which was affiliated with the Christian Baptist Church, was located at 11th and Spruce in Seattle, Washington. It offered shelter for people such as orphans, the handicapped, and women who were recently divorced or widowed and who had nowhere else to go. Various types of classes and social activities were organized by the ...
Japanese American and white men and boys at St. Marks church (ddr-densho-259-110)
img Japanese American and white men and boys at St. Marks church (ddr-densho-259-110)
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 ...
Issei gathered for memorial service (ddr-densho-259-364)
img Issei gathered for memorial service (ddr-densho-259-364)
Caption by Homer Yasui: "A group of mostly adult Issei men and women in formal dress in a small meeting hall. I believe that this was the Knights of Pythias Hall which the early Issei pioneers rented for their events. [In this picture,] the Issei remembered their comrades who had earlier died in Hood River...A friend ...
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."
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."
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 ...
Community celebration (ddr-densho-25-95)
img Community celebration (ddr-densho-25-95)
This photo was taken at the White River church.
Reverend and Bukkyo Fujinkai members (ddr-densho-38-11)
img Reverend and Bukkyo Fujinkai members (ddr-densho-38-11)
The newly formed Bukkyo Fujinkai (Buddhist Women's Association) with Reverend Hoshin Fujii (front row, third from left).
Obutsudan enshrinement processional (ddr-densho-38-3)
img Obutsudan enshrinement processional (ddr-densho-38-3)
In 1933, an obutsudan and accessories were donated by a group started by Miyakichi and Kazuichi Terao and Kenichi Masuda. This procession 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 Temple, ...
Reverend and Bukkyo Fujinkai members (ddr-densho-38-13)
img Reverend and Bukkyo Fujinkai members (ddr-densho-38-13)
Bukkyo Fujinkai (Buddhist Women's Association) members with Reverend Hoshin Fujii (front row, center) in front of the Seattle Buddhist Church at 1020 Main Street. The Seattle Buddhist Church is now known as the Seattle Buddhist Temple and is currently located at 1427 South Main Street.
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).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 104, No. 5 (February 6, 1987) (ddr-pc-59-5)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 104, No. 5 (February 6, 1987) (ddr-pc-59-5)
Selected article titles: "Redress Co-Sponsor Sala Burton Dies at 61" (pp. 1, 3), "'Altar of Peace' a Labor of Love for JA Woodworker" (pp. 1-2), "Broadcaster's Remarks Sparked Controversy: Philadelphia's Blacks, Asians Start Dialogue" (p. 2), and "INS Official Explains Details of New Immigration Rules" (p. 10).
Gateway to Shinagawa Shrine (ddr-densho-299-219)
img Gateway to Shinagawa Shrine (ddr-densho-299-219)
Caption: "Torii or gateway to Shinagawa Shrine. Completed 1636 after 12 years of labor by 15,000 men"
Joseph Norio Uemura Interview Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1014-3-13)
vh Joseph Norio Uemura Interview Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1014-3-13)
Father's reaching out to an African American church group; witnessing their services
API