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Buddhist Churches of America records
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The Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) is a national organization of the Jōdo Shinshū Hongwanji sect in the continental United States. Formerly known as the Buddhist Mission of North America (BMNA), the BCA is the largest Japanese American Buddhist organization and is currently headquartered in San Francisco, California. The collection includes correspondence between headquarters in the United States, Jōdo Shinshū Hongwanji Headquarters in Kyoto, Japan, and individual temples, as well as meeting minutes and conference materials, education-related records, publications, financial records, and audiovisual materials in a wide variety of formats.
The Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) organization was originally founded in 1899 but its origins date back to the Meiji Restoration (1868) and the arrival of Japanese immigrants to the mainland United States. In the 1870s, Myonyo Shōnin, the 21st Chief Abbot of the Jōdo Shinshū ("True Pure Land") Hongwanji-ha, began sending priests overseas to study Western methods of religious education and propagation, ultimately laying the groundwork for the formation of the BCA. During this time, there were very few resources for Buddhist immigrants to receive spiritual guidance. A devout Buddhist immigrant living in California requested missionaries in San Francisco to address this issue in the late 1890s. As a result, Reverends Eryu Honda and Ejun Miyamoto visited San Francisco in 1898 to evaluate the spiritual needs of Buddhists living in America. In July 1898, thirty young men gathered at the home of Dr. Katsugoro Haida and formed the Bukkyō Seinenkai (Young Men's Buddhist Association). This association would eventually become the San Francisco Buddhist Church in 1905. Reverends Honda and Miyamoto also visited Sacramento, Seattle, and Vancouver before returning to Japan.
430 Linear Feet (287 record cartons, 123 document boxes, 61 flat boxes and panorama folders)
Property rights to the physical objects belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. All other rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Portions of this collection are restricted due the presence of financially sensitive materials.