Buddhist Church Turns 100

November 5, 2007

Author: David Castellon

Source: The Buddhist Channel


Visalia, CA (USA) -- While their lives have taken them to different parts of California, sisters Kikuko Nishi, Yoko Umeda and Seiko Tamura all came back Sunday to help celebrate the 100th anniversary at the Visalia Buddhist Church.

"It's home to us," said Umeda, 76.

That's because their father, who came to Visalia with his family to lead the Japanese congregation in 1940, essentially oversaw the building of the temple where it now stands at 514 E. Center St. Before that, the congregation —which began as gatherings of Japanese immigrants, mostly farmers, who finally formed a church in 1907 — met at the Japanese Community Hall on east Center.

Nishi and her sisters were among about 100 people who gathered Sunday for a service that also marked the church reaching its centennial year.