The official release date for American Sutra is February 19, 2019 — Day of Remembrance — and it is a significant day for the Japanese American community.
Day of Remembrance commemorates the World War II incarceration of over 110,000 Japanese Americans on the day in 1942 that Executive Order 9066 was issued by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
We are building a campaign around the launch of American Sutra in early February to lift up the voices of those who drew on their faith at a time of loss, dislocation and uncertainty and found a way to be both 100% Buddhist and 100% American. These lessons from the WWII period are relevant in today’s political climate and still resonate in conversations around nationalism, race, and religion.
We need your help.
We feel that the stories in American Sutra have an urgent spiritual and community building message that is relevant to us today as individuals, and us as a society in America, and are assembling a team of supporters to help give the book a major national boost to the kick off during the pre-launch period before February 19, 2019 and during launch week (February 18-23, 2019). By joining our team, you help us spark and build the momentum in getting the book out into the world.
As a way to thank you for your involvement, we would like to offer you a small token of appreciation when you purchase American Sutra and join the team, to acknowledge your contribution to the team.
Limited Edition Print
3 or more copies
Limited Edition Print
American Sutra Limited Edition Print
by Shumyo Kojima (Zenshuji Soto Zen Mission)
“The Buddha Emerges from Behind Barbed Wire” is an ink drawing of the persistence of Buddhist faith behind the barbed wire fences of the wartime confinement sites. The painting references the Buddhist concept of the “lotus flower blossoming above muddy waters” or the idea that awakening and freedom can rise above the muddy karmic circumstances one finds oneself in. Artwork by Shumyo Kojima, abbot of the Los Angeles Zenshuji Soto Zen Mission.
Japanese American Confinement Sites pilgrimage book
Inspired by Nancy Ukai
This handmade pilgrimage book was inspired by the temple stamp books used by Buddhist pilgrims as they journey to sacred sites in Japan. Visits to spiritual sites are memorialized by receiving each temple’s stamp and calligraphic mark on the pages of the “goshuincho.” This accordian-fold book, made to honor the publication of “American Sutra,” may be used to collect a stamp or create a memory as you travel to WW2 Japanese American confinement sites, whether on a group pilgrimage or on a personal visit. It was inspired by the memory of collecting temple stamps in Japan by 50 Objects project director Nancy Ukai.