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[Dedication service for the image of Amida Buddha and Enmanji or Sonoma Buddhist Temple, Sebastopol, Sonoma Co., California, Apil 15th 1934]

[Dedication service for the image of Amida Buddha and Enmanji or Sonoma Buddhist Temple, Sebastopol, Sonoma Co., California, Apil 15th 1934]
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panoramic photograph
H: 8 in, W: 34 in

Sonoma, Calif., April 15, 1934


Buddhist Churches of America Archives


1 photographic print : sepia toned

Panoramic group portrait of Japanese community gathered in open area in front of the Enmanji or Sonoma Buddhist temple on the occasion of the dedication of the image of Amida Buddha and the newly constructed temple in Sonoma, California, November 12, 1934. The image is dominated by a large building with layered tiled roof, tall keyhole shaped windows and sign above door in Japanese, "Emanji"; string of lanterns extends from back of temple to top left edge of image. Rows of men, women and children pose in open area, curving around sides. Six ministers stand in center behind two rows of children dressed in chigo costume of kimono and elaborate headdresses. The clergy are identified (L to R): Bishop Kenju Masuyama (3rd), Rev. Goto Shodo (4th), Rev. Tansai Terakawa (5th). The rest of crowd wears western clothing of suits, dresses and hats. There is a small building to the left of temple with shoji windows and an American flag hanging on porch. Large tree behind a wall with Japanese writing on strips of paper to right. Partial view of an arch of ferns with lanterns and an American flag hanging down. Man in suit walks away from viewer in foreground, right.

Printed in white on image, BLC (In Japanese): Printed in white on image, C (In Japanese): Showa 9 nen 11 gatsu 12 nichi. Stamped in blue on back, C: Tsuji Photo 'Studio / 814 Franklin Street / Oakland California / Glencourt 5548.

The temple was constructed entirely without nails and faithfully represents a 12th century Kamakura-style Japanese temple, particularly the roof. "Enmanji Temple was granted special recog[n]ition from the Mother temple in Japan, by receiving the name and designation of ji, or temple. Literally the name translates to mean 'Garden Fulfillment Temple. At that time, Enmanji was the only temple in North America permitted to use the title of ji in its name. Another way of pronouncing the characters of En-man-ji is Sono-ma-tera. This may explain why these particular characters were chosen for the name of this temple."

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