Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Jose in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin

 
 
San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jordan Yee AKA "Ranger Yee", December 2009
1. San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Marker
This marker is part of the San Jose Historic Walk series of markers.
Inscription. In 1902 a San Jose Buddhist Church was founded as a recognized branch of the San Francisco Buddhist Church. In 1906 property at 630 North 5th Street was purchased and services conducted by the first resident minister from Japan Reverend Honen Takahashi. Brothers Shinzaburo and Gentaro Nishiura built a new church at this site in 1913 which was renamed the Independent Buddhist Mission. In 1917 this church became known as the Buddhist Church of San Jose. The present Hondo was erected in 1937 at 640 North 5th Street by the same Nishiura Brothers under the leadership of Reverend Jokai Kow and the supervision of New York architect George T. Shimamoto.
 
Erected by City of San Jose. Historic Landmarks Commission.
 
Location. 37° 21.001′ N, 121° 53.707′ W. Marker is in San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker is on 5th Street 0.1 miles north of Jackson Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. This marker is erected in front of the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin. Marker is at or near this postal address: 648 North 5th Street, San Jose CA 95112, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Second Buddhist Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Ideal Laundry
San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jordan Yee AKA "Ranger Yee", December 2009
2. San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Marker
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Yasunaga Produce and Transfer Company (about 300 feet away); Mr. Peckham (about 400 feet away); Taihei Hotel (about 400 feet away); Ken Ying Low (about 400 feet away); Nihonmachi (about 400 feet away); Tom & Mary’s Snack Shop & Dr. Watanabe’s Office (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Jose.
 
Regarding San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin. "The Nishiura Brothers and their sons were probably the most prevalent builders in Japantown, with modest residences as well as prominent community structures to their names. The Nishiura brothers, Shinzaburo and Gentaro, were originally from the Mie prefecture in Japan. They were carpenters and builders, responsible for such prestigious projects as the Japanese Pavillion at San Francisco’s 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition. They built many Buddhist temples in California before World War II, expressing their Buddhist faith through their carpentry skills. The San Jose Buddhist Temple was constructed by the brothers in 1937. They were also known to have carved
San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jordan Yee AKA "Ranger Yee", December 2009
3. San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Marker
The San Jose Buddhist Church Besuin is visible in the background.
an elaborate Buddhist altar, or Butsudan, for use in worship at the Heart Mountain internment camp. In 1910, the brothers resided in a boarding house on N. 6th Street; at that time they were both listed as carpenters. The Nishiura name continues to be associated with construction in Japantown through the late 1950s, as the second generation of the family carried on the business. Both Shinzaburo and Gentaro’s sons, Harry and George respectively, are listed as contractors for buildings in the neighborhood, including multiple houses and commercial buildings. For a time, between 1951 and 1966, the Nishiura Construction Company worked out of a shop at 565 N. 6th Street where Soko Hardware is located today."

From "SAN JOSE JAPANTOWN HISTORIC CONTEXT AND RECONNAISSANCE SURVEY"
San Jose, California. October 10, 2006
 
Categories. 20th CenturyAsian AmericansChurches, Etc.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 5, 2010, by Jordan Yee AKA "Ranger Yee" of Fremont, California. This page has been viewed 1,538 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 5, 2010, by Jordan Yee AKA "Ranger Yee" of Fremont, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Close-Up view of marker showing full view of marker text. • Can you help?
Paid Advertisement