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 (66)
Concentration camps (618)
Religion (214)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Paul M. Nagano

214 items
Chapter 8, 9, 10 personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-35)
doc Chapter 8, 9, 10 personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-35)
Journal entries written by high school students discussing their observations and perspectives on a variety of topics including movies, dances, dissatisfaction with recreation, family dynamics, desire to leave camp, cultural and generational differences, and weather. Each entry includes the full date and student name. The entries were part of a class assignment and collected for the …
Religious life in the Gila community (ddr-csujad-26-30)
doc Religious life in the Gila community (ddr-csujad-26-30)
Observations and descriptions of Buddhist, Christian, and Shinto practices by incarcerees including the establishment of Buddhist Church, funeral arrangements and ceremony, Bon festival, and events taking place in and around the churches established at Gila River. Compiled as a portion of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS). See this object in the California State …
Japanese couple (ddr-csujad-26-124)
img Japanese couple (ddr-csujad-26-124)
Photo of a Japanese American couple wearing crucifix pins pose outdoors. A crowd is in the background. From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_093
Buddhist church preliminary report (ddr-csujad-26-8)
doc Buddhist church preliminary report (ddr-csujad-26-8)
Description of the development and practices of the Buddhist Church at Tule Lake including Sunday school, adult services and the Young Buddhist Association (YBA). Includes several comparisons to the Christian Church and Christians at Tule Lake. Report compiled as a portion of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS). See this object in the California …
Father Dai (Daisuke Kitagawa) Episcopal minister and his flock (ddr-csujad-26-98)
img Father Dai (Daisuke Kitagawa) Episcopal minister and his flock (ddr-csujad-26-98)
Group photo of parishioners in front of building. Caption on back of photograph reads, "Father Dai (Daisuke Kitagawa) Episcopal minister and his flock." From photo album of Robert Billigmeier. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: mei_05_035
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.
Buddhist funeral (ddr-densho-39-19)
img Buddhist funeral (ddr-densho-39-19)
The elaborate floral wreaths and arrangements for this Buddhist funeral service were probably fashioned from paper by the camp inmates, since they did not have easy access to fresh flowers.
Japanese American in front of Christian church sign (ddr-densho-93-53)
img Japanese American in front of Christian church sign (ddr-densho-93-53)
Original Ansel Adams caption: Tatsuo Miyake (student of divinity) / photograph by Ansel Adams.
Camp Buddhist church (ddr-densho-93-44)
img Camp Buddhist church (ddr-densho-93-44)
Original Ansel Adams caption: People leaving Buddhist church, winter II, Manzanar Relocation Center, California / photograph by Ansel Adams.
Camp chapel (ddr-densho-93-42)
img Camp chapel (ddr-densho-93-42)
Original Ansel Adams caption: Entrance, Catholic chapel (V), Manzanar Relocation Center, California / photograph by Ansel Adams.
Buddhist church service (ddr-densho-93-45)
img Buddhist church service (ddr-densho-93-45)
Original Ansel Adams caption: Buddhist service, Manzanar Relocation Center, California / photograph by Ansel Adams.
Sunday school class (ddr-densho-93-43)
img Sunday school class (ddr-densho-93-43)
Original Ansel Adams caption: Sunday school class, Manzanar Relocation Center, California / photograph by Ansel Adams.
Sunday School class (ddr-densho-106-9)
img Sunday School class (ddr-densho-106-9)
Betty Morita Shibayama is in the back row, sixth from the right.
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