The San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin BWA was first organized in 1908. A detailed history is not available as all records were destroyed before the members were relocated to various internment camps. During the time of the Reverend Tokujo Tsumura’s leadership (1930-1934), the BWA grew with the encouragement and leadership of Mrs. Fumiko Tsumura, and its scope of activities widened.
In 1948, upon the return of many members from these camps, the BWA was reorganized with 152 members. The BWA and its members encountered many difficult times in the past: the pre-World War II depression era, relocation during World War II, and the post-war years of uncertainty. From 1949 to the present, the membership has continued to grow. That they have overcome these hardships is an eloquent testimony to their deep faith in the Way of Nembutsu.
In 1973, Reverend and Mrs. Ejitsu Hojo wrote and composed the San Jose Fujinkai no Uta. This song, which is the San Jose Buddhist Women’s Association song, proclaims that the women who live in the Dharma, even faced with the hardship of daily challenges, are steadfast.
Today it is the most viable and well-organized of the many affiliated Betsuin organizations. Originally, composed of married women, the membership has changed. Women, married and single, are active participants. Over the years, the members have contributed generously in both finances and effort toward various church projects and building undertakings, toward maintenance and refurbishing of the office, sanctuary and annex building, and annual donations to Betsuin-sponsored organizations. They have undertaken many fundraising drives in order to help reach their goals. They are staunch supporters of the Dharma School and youth programs, and much involved in the propagation of the Buddhist religion and the practice of the Buddhist way of life.
We hope that you will find useful information about our organization and our role in helping to propagate Buddhism. BWA membership is open to women of all ages – please join us!
Our objectives are:
- To promote and cultivate appreciation of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist teachings
- To propagate the Buddha-Dharma in association with the Buddhist Churches of America and the BCA Federation of Buddhist Women’s Associations
- To participate in social welfare services in gratitude for the Amida Buddha’s compassion
- To promote the betterment of our family, church and society