History of the Vancouver Buddhist Temple

The Vancouver Buddhist Temple is a member temple of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada www.jsbtc.ca. The organization is affiliated with the Nishi Hongwanji Temple of Kyoto, Japan, the mother temple of the Jodo Shinshu ( True Pure Land ) sect of Buddhism. The sect follows the teachings of Shinran Shonin (1173 - 1262). It is a teaching wherein we are endowed with the ultimate goal of Enlightenment symbolized as the Pure Land.
In 1904, fourteen Buddhist followers gathered to discuss the construction of a Buddhist temple in Vancouver. They decided to build a new temple and to request the mother temple in Kyoto to send a minister to Canada. Rev. Senju Sasaki arrived as the first minister in Vancouver on October 12, 1905. On November 9,1906, property at 32 Alexander St. was purchased. This location became the centre of activity for Jodo Shinshu followers.
As a result of the Second World War, all Canadians of Japanese descent were ordered to evacuate the west coast. Consequently, the Buddhist temple was closed. In 1949, the War Measures ? Act was lifted and Japanese-Canadians were permitted to return to the coast. In 1951, the Vancouver Buddhist Temple was re-organized. In 1954, the Methodist Church building at 220 Jackson Ave. was purchased. This renovated building served the needs of our members until 1978 when it was decided that a new building on the site should be built. In 1979, the new temple was completed and has been the location of the Vancouver Buddhist Temple to present.
To learn more about Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, please visit www.livingdharmacentre.ca

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