Sutra and Bible: Faith and the Japanese American World War II Incarceration

Accompanying thge Japanese American National Museum’s 2022 eponymous exhibition, Sutra and Bible: Faith and the Japanese American World War II Incarceration explores the role that religeous teachings, practices and communities played while Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II. From the confines of concentration camps and locales under martial law to the battlegrounds of Europe, Japanese and Americans drew on their faith to survive forced removal, indefinite incarceration, unjust deportation, family separation, military service and resettlement at a time when their race and religion were seen as threats to national security. Coedited by Emily Anderson abd Duncan Ryuken Williams, Sutra and Bile weaves visual storytelling with auxiliary essays from 32 prominent voices across academic, arts, and social justice communities.

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Sutra and Bible: Faith and the Japanese American World War II Incarceration

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Duncan Ryuken Williams is Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity, Chair of the USC School of Religion, and the Director of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. He has also been ordained since 1993 as a Buddhist priest in the Soto Zen tradition and previously served as the Buddhist chaplain at Harvard University, where he earned his PhD. Williams’ latest book, American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War (Harvard University Press, 2019) is the winner of the 2022 Grawemeyer Religion Award and a LA Times bestseller. Williams is also the author of The Other Side of Zen (Princeton) and editor of seven volumes including Hapa Japan (Kaya), Issei Buddhism in the Americas (Illinois), American Buddhism (Routledge), and Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard). Find him online at duncanryukenwilliams.com.

Emily Anderson is Project Curator at the Japanese American National Museum and a specialist on modern Japan. Having received her PhD in modern Japanese history from UCLA in 2010, she was assistant professor of Japanese history at Washington State University (Pullman, Washington) from 2010-2014, and postdoctoral fellow at University of Auckland in 2014. She is the author of Christianity in Modern Japan: Empire for God (Bloomsbury, 2014) and the editor of Belief and Practice in Imperial Japan and Colonial Korea (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017) as well as a number of articles and book chapters on religion and imperialism in Japan and the Pacific. She also has extensive experience developing museum exhibits, including co-curating Boyle Heights: Power of Place (JANM, 2002-2003) and Cannibals: Myth and Reality (San Diego Museum of Us, 2015-ongoing).

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