Temple Celebrates a Century of Buddhism in Oregon

November 30, 2003

Source: The Oregonian


On November 30, 2003 The Oregonian reported that members of the Oregon Buddhist Temple are celebrating a century of Buddhism in Oregon. Their temple was founded by immigrant Japanese laborers in November 1903. According to the article, "The first building, at 312 N.W. 10th Ave., had the temple on the ground floor and hotel rooms above for the single male laborers who made up most of the Japanese population in Oregon in 1903." The number of women later increased, and the temple members even held services while they were interned in camps during WWII. "In 1966, the temple moved to Powell Boulevard. The language spoken there gradually shifted from mostly Japanese to mostly English... Membership in many Northwest temples is dwindling, said Carol Saiget, 52, a third-generation temple member. But the Oregon Buddhist Temple is holding steady with 200 families because it is open to diversity, she said. About 20 percent of members aren't of Japanese heritage at all."