“American Sutra”  A story of faith and freedom in the second world war.

Talk and Book Signing by Prof. Duncan Williams

1:00 pm, Sunday, June 9, 2019, at the Buddhist Temple of San Diego.

Co-sponsored by the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego.

Free admission.

“American Sutra” tells the little-known story of how, in one of our country’s darkest hours, Japanese Americans fought to defend their faith and preserve religious freedom. The WWII mass incarceration of Japanese Americans is not only a tale of injustice; it is a moving story of faith. In this path-breaking account, Duncan Ryuken Williams reveals how, even as the were stripped of their homes and imprisoned in camps, Japanese American Buddhists launched one of the most inspiring defenses of religious freedom in our nation’s history, insisting that they could be both Buddhist and American.

Why not come early?

10:00 am – Family Service with Prof. Duncan Williams is the Guest Dharma Speaker

11:30 am – Teriyaki Chicken Luncheon $8 – contact BTSD to purchase tickets (619)239-0896




JAHSSD Gallery at San Diego History Center:


Letters from Santa Anita: Children’s Thoughts on Internment

Clara Breed was a librarian with San Diego Public Library where she became good friends with many of the young Japanese Americans who visited the library. Many of them carried on a regular correspondence with her during their time in internment camps which provides an interesting insight into how these young people viewed their situation. Using the letters written to Clara Breed from her young friends in Santa Anita, this exhibition reveals their thoughts and opinions on internment in their own words.









Japanese Businesses in Downtown San Diego Prior to WWII

Before WWII, the area around Fifth and Island in downtown San Diego was the center of the Japanese business community. The map featured in this exhibition shows the location of the various businesses and the diversity of services they provided. To accompany the map are images of the various businesses and their owners and staff.









A Window into History: Curiosities from our Collections

Currently on exhibit in our new artifact exhibition space:


Forge and Anvil – used by the Oyama family in Chula Vista.                       




Invitation Program for Japanese American Students – June-July 2019

11th Japanese American Student Program (sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan will sponsor a group of four Japanese American high school students to travel to Japan June 29  July 9, 2019 for the opportunity to learn about Japan and to promote mutual understanding and exchanges between Japanese and Japanese American younger generations.  Those with multiracial backgrounds and children of first generation Japanese immigrants (shin issei) are highly encouraged to apply.  This is the eleventh group of students to be invited for the program.  The itinerary in Japan is scheduled to include a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tours of Tokyo and the Kansai area, and a homestay experience.   

 Applicants should submit materials to their local consulate general. 

For Los Angeles consulate region applicants:

Please submit materials via email or mail to Jennifer Usyak, Advisor

Email: j.usyak@ls.mofa.go.jp  

Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles

350 South Grand Avenue, Suite 1700

Los Angeles, CA  90071

For more details and Application Form: