Oshiro, Ernest

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    Reviving the Lotus: Japanese Buddhism and World War II Internment
    (University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2014) Nishigaya, Linda ; Oshiro, Ernest
    The World War II internment of American civilians and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry at Honouliuli Internment and POW Camp in Central O‘ahu, Hawai'i included mostly male leaders in the Japanese immigrant community. Religious leaders, especially those identified as Buddhist priests, figured prominently among those detained. The religious designation of Buddhist/Buddhism and the ethnic/racial category of Japanese were commonly viewed as synonymous and membership in either was cause for suspicion and internment. Buddhist priests numbered among the first civilians of Japanese ancestry to be arrested and detained, many until the end of the war. Most of the priests were transferred to one of the internment camps on the US mainland and records indicate that only seven were interned at Honouliuli for any length of time. The internment of the Buddhist priests at Honouliuli and other camps on the US mainland severely curtailed Buddhist religious services and activities in the Hawaiian Islands. On a larger scale, its effects on the future of Buddhism in Hawai'i and the US mainland were institution and life changing. This paper examines Buddhism and World War II internment and the aftermath of the war and uses rational choice theory to clarify the decisions and changes that followed.