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 (1199)
Religion (245)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Paul M. Nagano

245 items
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 …
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 …
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
Chapter 6 and 7 personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-34)
doc Chapter 6 and 7 personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-34)
Journal entries written by high school students discussing their observations and perspectives on a variety of topics including living in barracks, block noise, lack of privacy, mess hall dining, nosy neighbors, jobs, leisure time, sports, movies, church attendance, the Young Buddhist Association (YBA), family dynamics, social changes, dating, and rumors. Each entry includes the full date …
History of the Tule Lake Union Church as told to James Sakoda by Rev. Kuroda (ddr-csujad-26-9)
doc History of the Tule Lake Union Church as told to James Sakoda by Rev. Kuroda (ddr-csujad-26-9)
Summary of an interview conducted with Rev. Andrew Kuroda describing the beginnings of the Lake Union Church at Tule Lake including how the church was named, election of ward stewards, the organization of the Church Board of Directors and the congregation. Interview conducted as part of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS). See this …
Christian church in Tule Lake (ddr-csujad-26-7)
doc Christian church in Tule Lake (ddr-csujad-26-7)
Report on the majority Protestant Christian church at Tule Lake and the development of a community church which became known as "Tule Lake Union Church." The report describes church organization, leadership issues and changes, schedules, facilities, church-centered groups and activities, finances, languages and membership. Report compiled as a portion of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement …
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
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 …
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.
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.
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. …
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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