Source: Sacramento Bee
On February 20, 1999, the Sacramento Bee published an article on the Buddhist Church of Sacramento, which is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year. Emigrants from Japan founded the church in 1899 and it functioned as a haven for first and second generation Japanese Americans from discrimination and segregation. Rev. Bob Oshita, a minister at the church for 15 years, emphasized that the church "was a religious and cultural center, the center of their community" for the early Japanese immigrants. Today's Japanese Americans in Sacramento, though living in different circumstances than their parents and grandparents, are still active at the Buddhist Church. Though membership has declined by 20% over the past two decades, there are still 900 families who belong to the church in Sacramento, making it the second largest in the denomination. The church is beginning a $1.5 million fund-raising campaign to build an 800-niche nokotsudo, or columbarium, to store the ashes of the dead and to enlarge meeting rooms and seating capacity.