Interlinking Past & Present: A Conversation and Reading About Race, Religion, and American Belonging

  • en

5:00p.m. - 6:30p.m.


While the story of how over 125,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated in American internment and concentration camps during WWII has become widely recognized, little has been told about the ways in which Japanese American Buddhists and Christians alike drew on their faith to survive forced removal, incarceration, family separation, and unjust deportation. 

Join Duncan Ryuken Williams, co-curator of the exhibition Sutra and Bible: Faith and the Japanese American World War II Incarceration, who will be in conversation with Sherman Jackson (USC King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture and author of Islam and the Blackamerican) and Russell M. Jeung(Professor of Asian American Studies at SF State University and Co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate) about the links between the wartime Japanese American experience with other forms of religious and racial animus and exclusion in the United States. 

This discussion will be followed by a Japanese renga (linked-verse-poetry)-style prayer of interconnected readings including excerpts from Dharma talks or Christian sermons delivered during the wartime removal or incarceration as well as letters, diaries, and poems written in the camps. Readers are Buddhist and Christian clergy as well as descendants of the wartime writers including Rev. Marvin Harada (Bishop, Buddhist Churches of America), Rev. Mark Nakagawa (West District Superintendent, United Methodist Church), Rev. Ron Kobata (retired, Buddhist Church of San Francisco), Kevin Kowta (lay leader, Union Church of Los Angeles/grandson of Rev. Sohei Kowta), Hoshina Seki (President, American Buddhist Study Center [NYC]/daughter of Rev. Hozen Seki), Satsuki Ina (Co-Founder, Tsuru for Solidarity), and Mitch Homma (President, Amache Alliance/Vice-President, American Baptist Historical Society/great-grandson of Rev. Masahiko Wada). 

Together, the program will interlink faith leaders from the Buddhist, Christian, and Muslim traditions, literary memories across time and place, and provide a community vision of freedom and equal justice through insight and compassion. 


Photo credit: Hanamatsuri, the celebration of the Buddha's birth, held at Gila River concentration camp, Arizona, 1944. Gift of Tamotsu Ikemoto (93.104.6)


JANM . 更新日 2022年3月18日




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