Fresno Japanese Buddhist Temple  


  The First Japanese arrived in the San Joaquin Valley in the 1880's. The first gathering on record was 1889, when a group of devout Buddhists gathered for a religious service led by priest from San Francisco. They built a Buddhist temple in 1901 at Kern and E Streets. That wooden structure burned in 1919 and the present brick temple was built the following year at the same site.

The blending of Japanese and European architecture has made a handsome and unique building which attracts much attention. It cost $30,000. A Japanese language school with a dormitory building was added in 1910.

Around 1920, with many picture bridges arriving, the Isseis were married and the families increased. As the children grew, they came from the outlying areas to stay at the dormitory to attend both Japanese school and public school (Lincoln Elementary).

They found it very difficult to send their children into Fresno for school. Starting in 1923 the outlying towns built their own Sunday Schools. Some are now temples but Fresno is the center. Del Rey was the first one to start Sunday school in their own town in 1923. Bowles followed the same year. The next year Madera started a school. By 1926 came Fowler, and by 1929 Reedley, West Fresno and North Fresno started Sunday Schools. Most of these schools are still active, or have become churches.
  Location: 1340 Kern Street - Fresno, CA 93706   VIEW MAP >>  

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