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Origins of Now: ReBuilding Community, An Excerpt from an Exhibit on the Resettlement of Japanese Americans in Chicago

D_Burns
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Religion

Religion -
Religion played a key role in uniting the Japanese American community in Chicago. The Japanese United Church served the small community prior to the war. When the FBI closed it down on the afternoon of December 7, 1941, the minister Ai Chi Tsai bravely requested meeting space at the Fourth Presbyterian Church. In May 1942, the Church Session (Board) just as bravely offered refuge to the worshippers, and they met there throughout the war. As resettlers flooded to Chicago, they joined the church that later became the Church of Christ Presbyterian. Resettlers overcame War Relocation Authority instructions not to congregate and also formed several other Christian churches and Buddhist temples that thrive today.

Discrimination even affected the deceased ミ many cemeteries would not allow those of Japanese ancestry to be buried on their property. The Japanese Mutual Aid Society (JMAS) was founded in 1934 to help Japanese locate and purchase burial plots at area cemeteries, and to notify relatives in Japan for those without family here in Chicago. They purchased land and, in 1937, built a mausoleum at Montrose Cemetery, Foster Avenue and Pulaski Road, Chicago. The JMAS expanded their mission during the war to assist Japanese Americans resettling in Chicago in finding social, legal and medical services. As other organizations like the Chicago Resettlers Committee were formed, they returned to their original mission.

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Religion
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Religion - Religion played a key role in uniting the Japanese American community in Chicago. The Japanese United Church served the small community prior to the war. When the FBI ... More »


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