Religion

Japanese Americans used religion as one way to handle the stress of the incarceration experience. Church served as both a spiritual comfort and a place for community gatherings. On Sundays, Buddhist and Christian services and Sunday schools were held in the recreation halls. State Shintoism was another popular religion within the Japanese American community but was banned by the U.S. government on the grounds that it included "Emperor worship." Church services initially were given in both Japanese and English, but camp authorities later banned the use of Japanese at all group gatherings (although translation into Japanese was later permitted at some religious services).

World War II (215)
Concentration camps (1245)
Religion (245)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Paul M. Nagano

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245 items
Tsuguo
vh Tsuguo "Ike" Ikeda Interview I Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-123-17)
Participating in camp activities, high school, church, dances

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

George Nakata Interview Segment 25 (ddr-one-7-29-25)
vh George Nakata Interview Segment 25 (ddr-one-7-29-25)
Establishment of churches in camp

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 the Interior.

Kay Matsuoka Segment 33 (ddr-densho-1000-48-33)
vh Kay Matsuoka Segment 33 (ddr-densho-1000-48-33)
Christian missionaries' weekly visits to camp lead to conversion
Paul Nagano Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-65-8)
vh Paul Nagano Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-65-8)
Christian faith and social justice: dealing with so-called "loyalty questionnaire," and military service
Paul Nagano Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1000-65-10)
vh Paul Nagano Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1000-65-10)
Efforts of Caucasian Christian churches to support Japanese Americans in concentration camps
Paul Nagano Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-65-7)
vh Paul Nagano Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-65-7)
Different denominations meld together as one ecumenical church in Poston concentration camp
Cross erected by camp inmates (ddr-densho-11-7)
img Cross erected by camp inmates (ddr-densho-11-7)
This cross, erected by inmates at the Tule Lake concentration camp, sits on top of a formation called Castle Rock. It is being approached by pilgrimage attendees.
Memorial plaque (ddr-densho-11-11)
img Memorial plaque (ddr-densho-11-11)
This plaque was placed at the base of the cross on Castle Rock on October 2, 1982. The plaque honors Christian ministers who served the inmates at the Tule Lake concentration camp.
Camp Catholic church (ddr-densho-37-826)
img Camp Catholic church (ddr-densho-37-826)
Original WRA caption: Poston, Arizona. Children and their parents who once attended the Catholic Church of Father Clement, Maryknoll Priest, are now reestablished in homes back in California or throughout the Middle West and the East. Units II and III of the Colorado River Relocation Center, Poston, Arizona, meet their scheduled closings ahead of the deadline. …
First Communion class (ddr-densho-37-684)
img First Communion class (ddr-densho-37-684)
Original WRA caption: First Communion class of Catholic Church at Minidoka Relocation Center, Hunt, Idaho. The Rev. L.H. Tibesar, Maryknoll Missionary, is pastor. The nuns are Maryknoll sisters from the Maryknoll Mission in Seattle where the Maryknoll group numbered 1000 Japanese Catholics and non-Catholics before evacuation.
First Communion class (ddr-densho-37-683)
img First Communion class (ddr-densho-37-683)
Original WRA caption: First Communion class of Catholic Church at Minidoka Relocation Center, Hunt, Idaho. The Rev. L.H. Tibesar, Maryknoll Missionary, is pastor. The nuns are Maryknoll sisters from the Maryknoll Mission in Seattle where the Maryknoll group numbered 1000 Japanese Catholics and non-Catholics before evacuation.
Funeral service (ddr-densho-37-675)
img Funeral service (ddr-densho-37-675)
Original WRA caption: Reverend L.H. Tibesar, Maryknoll missionary assigned to work with the Catholic group at the Minidoka Relocation Center, conducts a grave side service at the little cemetery cleared out of the sage land adjacent to Minidoka Relocation Center, Hunt, Idaho.
Dedication ceremony (ddr-densho-37-564)
img Dedication ceremony (ddr-densho-37-564)
Original WRA caption: Topaz, Utah. With a fervent prayer, this Japanese Topaz resident, a Christian Minister, opens the dedication ceremonies at the Relocation Center at Topaz.
Group in camp's Catholic church (ddr-densho-37-685)
img Group in camp's Catholic church (ddr-densho-37-685)
Original WRA caption: The Most Reverend Edward J. Kelley, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Boise, Idaho, visited the Catholic church at the Minidoka Relocation Center, Hunt, Idaho, on October 19 to conduct confirmation services for this class of children and adults. The Reverend L.H. Tibesar, Maryknoll missionary, who is pastor of the Hunt church, is …
Thanksgiving day religious service (ddr-densho-37-788)
img Thanksgiving day religious service (ddr-densho-37-788)
Original WRA caption: Gila River Relocation Center, Rivers, Arizona. Sunrise Services (Christian) were held at this center Thanksgiving day.
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