The Buddhist Church of San Francisco (BCSF), established in 1898, is the oldest Japanese American Buddhist church (temple) in the United States. The church and its key members played a leadership role in shaping the pre-WWII Japanese American community. Distanced from the mainstream American Christian community and often associated with its close ties with Japan, many Buddhist church leaders were arrested by the FBI after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. Because of this historical background, pre-WWII Japanese American Buddhist records have rarely survived today, creating a gap in our understanding of Japanese American history in the critical period of the 1930s leading up to the outbreak of the Pacific War. The archival committee of BCSF entrusted Hoover Library & Archives to be the new home for their historically valuable items: women’s association’s journals, church records, images of church events, and fund-raising activities for the post-war relief effort in Japan. The new acquisition has already cultivated renewed interest among scholars in this under-represented chapter of Japanese American history.
Kaoru "Kay" Ueda PhD
Kaoru “Kay” Ueda (B.A. Kawansei Gakuin University, MBA, University of Chicago, Ph.D., Boston University) has unique experience both in business and academic worlds.