Series Four Volume 3

Japanese Buddhist Women in Hawai‘i: Waves of Change

Beginning in the latter half of the nineteenth century, successive waves of Japanese Buddhist immigrants settled in the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, bringing with them a variety of Japanese Buddhist schools and traditions. Overcoming many hardships, Japanese immigrant women worked with great devotion to help establish numerous temples in the Hawai‘i through Buddhist women’s associations known as Fujinkai. These dedicated women not only maintained ancestral Buddhist practices but also integrated Japanese Buddhist, native Hawaiian, and other cultural elements in ways that were entirely new. Persevering through the war years and through successive waves of cultural adaptation, they transmitted and protected Buddhist values with humility, generosity, and compassion. This is a story of cultural integration, social transformation, and spiritual resilience told through the lives of women in Jōdo Shinshū (True Pure Land), the largest branch of Japanese Buddhism.