Sanbo Kyodan’s first American member was Philip Kapleau, who first travelled to Japan in 1945 as a court reporter for the war crimes trials. The name Buddhist Churches of America was adopted at Topaz Relocation Center in Utah; the use of the word “church”, which normally implies a Christian house of worship, was significant.

One of the results of this outreach is that Soka Gakkai has been much more effective than any other group at attracting non-Asian minority converts, chiefly black and Latino, to Buddhism. For various reasons, it is not easy to arrive at an accurate idea of the number of Buddhists in the United States. In 1985, he founded the Chung-hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies in Taiwan, which now sponsors a variety of Chinese Zen activities in the United States. His early life was depicted in glowing terms in Hollywood films such as Kundun and Seven Years in Tibet. However, the direct influence of the Vipassana movement would not reach the U.S. until a group of Americans returned there in the early 1970s after studying with Vipassana master in Asia. The U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2004 indicates that 1.0% of the U.S. population is Buddhist, which would mean a total of 3,000,000 Buddhists (give or take about 100,000). But you're not bald!". His successors and their network of centers have organized as the White Plum Asanga. Another notable Korean Zen teacher in America is Samu Sunim, who moved to America in 1968 and founded Toronto’s Zen Buddhist Temple in 1971. He was first introduced to Zen as a prisoner in Japan during the Second World War. A U.S. branch was formally organized on October 13, 1960. 3) What are some of the biggest misconceptions you have encountered about Buddhism in America? Hsi Lai was at the center of a bizarre incident in the history of American Buddhism, when a 1996 fund-raising event by Vice President Al Gore provoked a controversy; at the time Hsi Lai was often referred to in the media as simply «the Buddhist temple». Japanese immigrants also faced hostility; by 1924, the exclusionary policy was expanded to include quotas that further restricted the entry of immigrants seen as nonwhite. The first Buddhist temple in America was built in 1853 in San Francisco by the Sze Yap Company, a Chinese American fraternal society. In 1967, he and his supporters founded the Zen Center of Los Angeles. After internment ended, some members returned to the West Coast and revitalized churches there, while a number of others moved to the Midwest and built new churches. One American who made his own attempt to establish an American Buddhist movement was Dwight Goddard (1861-1939) . Aitken travelled frequently to Japan and became a disciple of Yamada Koun, Yasutani’s successor as head of the Sanbo Kyodan. In 1959, while still a Zen student himself, he founded the Diamond Sangha, a zendo in Honolulu, Hawaii. There have also been teachers of Chinese Zen (also known as Chan), Korean Zen (or Seon), and Vietnamese Zen (or Thien). At the first-ever gathering of Buddhist teachers of black African descent held at New York’s Union Theological Seminary, two panels of leading Buddhist teachers took questions about what it means to be a black Buddhist in America today. Another prominent Gelugpa teacher is Geshe Michael Roach, the first American to be awarded a Geshe degree, who has established centers in New York, NY, and at Diamond Mountain in Arizona.

Both groups soon built Buddhist temples in America; by 1875, there were eight temples in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Despite these difficulties, several scholars have investigated this question. Another Zen teacher, Sokatsu Shaku, one of Soyen Shaku’s senior students, arrived in late 1906. The first Buddhist high school in the United States, Pacific Buddhist Academy, opened in Honolulu in 2003. During the occupation of Japan, some American soldiers became aware of it, and it was the Japanese wives of veterans who became the first active Soka Gakkai members in the West. Initially, his students were mostly ethnic Chinese, but he eventually attracted a range of followers. After returning to the United States, he began studying with Nyogen Senzaki in Los Angeles in the early 1950s. Buddhism first entered America in the middle of the 19th century when Chinese workers arrived in Hawaii and the West Coast. It also began to publish two periodicals, one in Japanese and one in English.

However, as the passing of time produces congregations increasingly dominated by persons born in America, which is especially common among Japanese Buddhists, questions arise about how their religious customs should adapt.

It is rooted in the reformist teachings of Harada Daiun (1871-1961) and his disciple Yasutani Hakuun (1885-1971), who argued that the existing Zen institutions of Japan, the Soto and Rinzai sects, had become complacent and, with few exceptions, were unable to teach real Dharma. The term engaged Buddhism was coined by Thich Nhat Hanh, who developed the idea during his years as a peace activist in Vietnam.

Engaged Buddhism is an attempt to apply Buddhist values to larger social problems, including war and environmental concerns. An African American viewer didn't know it was possible to be a Buddhist if you are Black. In 1931, his small group incorporated as the Buddhist Society of America, later renamed the First Zen Institute of America.

How do you think this series is turning some of those misconceptions over on their heads? Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Harada had studied with both Soto and Rinzai teachers and Yasutani founded Sanbo Kyodan in 1954 to preserve what he saw as the vital core of teachings from both schools. Nichiren Shoshu proper maintains six temples of its own in the U.S. and another Nichiren group exists which is primarily the domain of ethnic Japanese. It is affiliated with the Hompa Hongwanji Jodo Shinshu mission, which had already run an elementary and middle school. In 1985, Larry Rosenberg founded the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1970, Hsuan Hua founded Gold Mountain Monastery in San Francisco and in 1976 he established a retreat center, the City Of Ten Thousand Buddhas, on a 237 acre (959,000 m²) property near Ukiah, California. For instance, the first Japanese temple in the Hawaii was built in 1896 near Paauhau by the Honpa Hongwanji branch of Jodo Shinshu. The first four-year Buddhist college in the U.S. was the Naropa Institute (now Naropa University), which was founded in 1974 by Chögyam Trungpa. A 2010 Pew Research Center survey recorded Buddhism as the fourth largest religion in the United States after Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism, with 1.2% of the nation identifying as Buddhist. Advocates like Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder, and Allen Ginsberg placed Zen Buddhism at the cutting edge of the American literary and cultural scene.... Read more about Zen Boom, Throughout the late 20th century, the Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana streams of Buddhism grew rapidly in the United States. Because its membership tends strongly to be among educated, white, native English speakers, import Buddhism has come to enjoy a higher level of prominence and prestige than other types of Buddhism in America. The Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii has 36 temples throughout the state of Hawaii. Another Buddhist university is the University of the West, which is affiliated with Hsi Lai Temple and was, until recently called Hsi Lai University. Also, in 1927, the Soto sect of Japanese Zen opened its own mission with Zenshuji temple in Los Angeles, although it did not make attempts at the time to attract non-Japanese members. Buddhism is a religion with millions of followers in the United States, including traditionally Buddhist Asian Americans as well as non-Asian converts. The Ray’s tone was, in the words of Rick Fields, “ironic, light, saucy, self-assured .. one-hundred-percent American Buddhist” (Fields, 1981), which was by all means a novel development in that time and place. Soryu Kagahi, was dispatched from Japan to be the first Buddhist missionary in Hawaii. At Nakagawa’s recommendation, he began to study with Harada and later with Yasutani, whose disciple he became. It was not unusual to be shunned by other kids because I did not believe in God the same way they'd been taught in church.

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