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The Institute of Buddhist Studies would like to thank all the panelists, participants, and guests who made the 2010 Buddhism Without Borders Conference such a wonderful success!

Overview | Conference Schedule | Paper Abstracts | Film Screening |

Buddhism without Borders: Contemporary Developments of Buddhism in the West

at the Institute of Buddhist Studies
Berkeley, California
March 18 - 21, 2010

Panel II: Buddhisms in America, 9:30 - 12:30

Onward Buddhist Soldiers: Japanese American Buddhists in the U.S. Military during World War Two

Duncan Ryuken Williams, University of California, Berkeley

This paper explores the role of faith in the lives of the first major group of Buddhists to join the U.S. military — Japanese American Buddhists volunteering or being drafted primarily from Hawaii and the mainland War Relocation Authority camps. Employing oral histories, military records, letters, and diaries, the paper analyzes the development of an “American Buddhism” in the crucible of a war when ethnic/religious identity and loyalty as an American was at stake.

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