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Buddhadharma : Summer 2019
112 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY pillaged, castigated, excluded, or ignored Japanese American Buddhists who faced severe discrimination. Due to this history of prejudice and discrimination, Japanese American Bud dhists underwent a complex process of adaptation, assimilation, and innovation. Umbrella organizations and individual temples began to negotiate what, and to what extent, they should adopt from Chris tian cultural trappings to avoid the ire and prejudicial actions of the US government, camp administrators, and military guards. The legacy of this process is still evident today. One of the largest Buddhist orga nizations in North America, the Buddhist Churches of America, a branch of the Jodo Shinshu sect, adopted the architectural for mat of a church building and pews while retaining their traditional naijin, the Pure Land Buddhist altar with Amida Buddha as the central figure. In addition to chant ing sutras in the traditional SinoJapanese, they adopted English hymnals, the earliest versions of which were often composed by Christian hymnalists. More recently, new Englishlanguage hymnals, with greater Japanese Buddhist flavor in both word ing and melodies, have replaced the older, heavily Christianinfluenced ones. Williams also vividly recounts some of the most extreme circumstances and prejudice faced by Japanese American Buddhists. One such account is that of Richard Sakakida, the only Japanese American Buddhist identified by the US military as a spy—an American spy work ing against Japan. Coming from a devout Buddhist family in Hawaii, Sakakida was an American citizen who enlisted in the counterintelligence corps, advanced to the rank of sergeant, and was deployed deployed to the European theater, all assigned chaplains were Christian, even though the vast majority of soldiers were Buddhist. Field burials were conducted using Christian rites, without exception, and resting places were marked with a cross. When internees were released from the camps, Buddhists were often not allowed to return to their temples, or even gather for religious services, violating their right to freedom of religion. This was a very different outcome from that of their Christian counterparts, who often received significant aid from Christian ministers and churches. Williams includes accounts of excep tional individuals who did come to the aid of Japanese American Buddhist intern ees, including such figures as Rev. Julius Goldwater, a pioneering Buddhist minister, scion of the wealthy Goldwater family, and cousin of Arizona senator Barry Goldwa ter. Julius Goldwater drew on his family’s resources and reputation to provide texts, ritual implements, and opportunities to hold Buddhist services in the camps, and continued his assistance in the postintern ment and postwar period, even as other white Americans hurled racial slurs at him for being a “sympathizer.” These friends to the Japanese American Buddhists even included some Christian ministers, who, while favoring Japanese American Chris tians, offered assistance either out of a sense of religious purpose or simply their humanity. Among their numbers was Rev. George Aki, a Congregationalist who helped to arrange a Buddhist service for internees at the camp in Jerome, Arkan sas. Yet the actions of these rare individu als were the exceptions that proved the rule: the vast majority of white America