Buddhist Churches of America

Licensing

The Buddhist Churches of America, or the BCA, is a religious organization that attributes its roots to the arrival of Shin Buddhism Reverend Soryu Kagai, who came from Kyoto's Hompa Hongwanji Temple to Hawaii in 1889 to serve the growing Japanese population there. The BCA now has over 100 temples throughout the United States.

The BCA serves as the center of daily life for its members, as well as a spiritual center. The temples provide activities for people of all ages, from young children to seniors. The BCA houses many different organizations as well. Some organizations include Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Junior and Senior Young Buddhist Associations, Buddhist Women's and Men's Associations, and Young Adult and Adult Buddhist Associations.

This collection provides old panorama pictures of various BCA celebrations, conferences and other gatherings in the 1930's and 1940's. To see more panorama pictures, please visit The Japanese American National Museum. For the sake of comparison, this collection also includes pictures of these same temples as they look now, in 2007. To see additional modern pictures, please visit The Buddhist Churches of America website.

Copyright for the Buddhist Church of America panorama pictures is held by the Japanese American National Museum. Short-term educational use with limited circulation is permitted. For all other uses, please contact the Hirasaki National Resource Center at the Japanese American National Museum hnrc@janm.org

Slides in this album 

Handa wedding portrait at Berkeley Buddhist Temple, Berkeley, California, 1925-1927

Berkeley Buddhist Temple was started over 90 years ago by Issei pioneers. The formal dedication of this temple was on February 13, 1921. This wedding portrait was taken only 4 years after this dedication.

Handa wedding portrait at Berkeley Buddhist Temple, Berkeley, California, 1925-1927
Contributed by: eishida

Berkeley Buddhist Temple, 2007

The Berkeley Buddhist Temple celebrated its 90th anniversary in 1991, and soon after began temple renovations. Renovations included new pews, carpets, floors and windows.

The Berkeley Buddhist Temple provides and supports many activities and organizations for its members, including a Dharma School, the Jr. YBA SLO Retreat, obon festivals and …

Berkeley Buddhist Temple, 2007
Contributed by: eishida

San Jose Buddhist Church 25th anniversary celebration, California, September 4, 1927

The San Jose Buddhist Church was established in 1902. In 1907, the church's Japanese language school was established. Seventeen years later, in 1924, the San Jose Sunday School was formed.

To commemorate San Jose Buddhist Church's 25th Anniversary celebration, someone proposed the purchase of the property north of the Church …

San Jose Buddhist Church 25th anniversary celebration, California, September 4, 1927
Contributed by: eishida

San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, 2007

The San Jose Buddhist Church now offers weekend services, a dharma school, lectures, discussions, a library, a japanese language school, boy scouts, Jr. YBA and obon festivities every year!

San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, 2007
Contributed by: eishida

North American Federation of Y.W.B.A. Leagues, Guadalupe, July 21-25, 1930

The Guadalupe Buddhist Church was established in 1909 and finished in 1914. The first congregation was led by Jinjo Izumida. In 1910, 32.5% of the Guadalupe population was Japanese, so this church was definately beneficial.

North American Federation of Y.W.B.A. Leagues, Guadalupe, July 21-25, 1930
Contributed by: eishida

Guadalupe Buddhist Church, 2007

The Guadalupe Buddhist Church is located in Guadalupe, California. The Guadalupe obon festival is going to be on July 22, 2007. For more information, please call (805) 343-1053

Guadalupe Buddhist Church, 2007
Contributed by: eishida

North American Federation of Y.W.B.A. Leagues' summer conference, San Diego, California, July 23, 1931

The Buddhist Temple of San Diego was the first Buddhist Temple in the San Diego county, established in 1926, right in the middle of the Great Depression. Similar to enduring the Great Depression, the members of the Buddhist Temple of San Diego have endured many hardships throughout the temple's history, …

North American Federation of Y.W.B.A. Leagues' summer conference, San Diego, California, July 23, 1931
Contributed by: eishida

Buddhist Temple of San Diego, 2007

The temple currently thrives, and has the ability to offer a wide range of activities and events. Some of these include Sunday services, meditation classes, buddhism classes, obon festivals, new year's celebrations, and more.

Buddhist Temple of San Diego, 2007
Contributed by: eishida

Dedication of new Tacoma Buddhist Church, Tacoma, Washington, March, 1, 1931

The temple was officially established on April 8, 1919, and the Sunday school was started in 1926. Because of the growing population, the temple decided to expand. This picture shows the result of the expansion. The new two-story building was 46' by 108' and had an underground auditorium, a banquet …

Dedication of new Tacoma Buddhist Church, Tacoma, Washington, March, 1, 1931
Contributed by: eishida

Tacoma Buddhist Temple, 2007

The temple currently hosts two major fundraisers every year, and sponsors lecture series, retreats and seminars. Its Dharma school enrolls approximately 35-40 students every year, and the temple also sponsors the Young Buddhist Association.

Tacoma Buddhist Temple, 2007
Contributed by: eishida

Salinas Ochigo : building dedication celebration, California, November 27-28,1926

A group of Issei came together in 1924 to discuss the need for a Buddhist temple in Salinas, CA. Construction began early in the year of 1926, and was completed that same year.

Salinas Ochigo : building dedication celebration, California, November 27-28,1926
Contributed by: eishida

Salinas ochigo: installation of bell tower on tenth anniversary of Salinas Buddhist Church, Salinas , CA, November 17, 1934

The bell tower was installed at the height of the Great Depression, in 1937. It houses the largest bell of its kind, the bonsho. The bell was imported from Japan.

Salinas ochigo: installation of bell tower on tenth anniversary of Salinas Buddhist Church, Salinas , CA, November 17, 1934
Contributed by: eishida

Buddhist Temple of Salinas, 2007

The Buddhist Temple of Salinas now celebrates each summer with an obon festival, has its very own Japanese language school, and also hosts an all-you-can-eat udon lunch! How tasty!

Buddhist Temple of Salinas, 2007
Contributed by: eishida

Ochigo at Oakland Buddhist Church on the occasion of the church's 30th anniversary, Oakland, California, January 27, 1935

The permanent land for the Buddhist Church of Oakland was acquired in 1902, and in 1905, Reverend Mokuji Fujii became the first residnet minister there. Here, the members of the Buddhist Church of Oakland celebrate their 30th year in existence.

Ochigo at Oakland Buddhist Church on the occasion of the church's 30th anniversary, Oakland, California, January 27, 1935
Contributed by: eishida

Buddhist Church of Oakland, 2007

Recent upgrades and improvements of the church include the installation of new carpets and new floors, as well as the purchase of a new curtain for the Social Hall stage. Today, the church's organizations include a Dharma school, a Japanese language school, a Jr. YBA, and the Oakland Buddhist Women's …

Buddhist Church of Oakland, 2007
Contributed by: eishida

Watsonville Buddhist Church 20th anniversary celebration, California, August 15, 1926

The Watsonville Buddhist Temple was established in 1906. This panoramic photograph shows the celebration of the temple's 20th anniversary. And, in 2006, Watsonville Buddhist Temple celebrated its 100th year in existence with a new roof, new restrooms and more!

Watsonville Buddhist Church 20th anniversary celebration, California, August 15, 1926
Contributed by: eishida

Watsonville Buddhist Temple, 2007

Watsonville Buddhist Temple now hosts an annual Obon and Hanamatsuri. The temple's organizations include the Adult Buddhist Association, the Buddhist Women's Association, the Young Buddhist Association and the Watsonville Dharma School.

Watsonville Buddhist Temple, 2007
Contributed by: eishida

Xth. anniversary N.A. Federation of Y.W.B.A. Leagues' conference, Los Angeles, California, July 21st-26th 1936

This is another picture of the Los Angeles Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo. It was the first Buddhist temple built in Los Angeles. It is now the Japanese American National Museum's Historic Building, and houses the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy.

Xth. anniversary N.A. Federation of Y.W.B.A. Leagues' conference, Los Angeles, California, July 21st-26th 1936
Contributed by: eishida

Los Angeles Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 2007

This current temple was built in November of 1969. Through this new building, the temple serves its community through obon festivals; memorial services, Jr. YBA seminars, conferences, and much much more.

Los Angeles Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 2007
Contributed by: eishida


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