American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War


Listen to the inspiring talk given by the author of American Sutra, Rev. Duncan Ryuken Williams, at Buddha Eye on Saturday, April 6th.

Join us for a very special discussion and lecture by Duncan Ryuken Williams, author of the new book “American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War.” This groundbreaking history tells the little-known story of how, in one of our country’s darkest hours, Japanese Americans fought to defend their faith and preserve religious freedom. The mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II is not only a tale of injustice; it is a moving story of faith. In this pathbreaking account, Williams reveals how, even as they were stripped of their homes and imprisoned in camps, Japanese American Buddhists launched one of the most inspiring defenses of religious freedom in our nation’s history, insisting that they could be both Buddhist and American.

 Duncan Ryuken Williams was born in Tokyo, Japan to a Japanese mother and British father. After growing up in Japan and England until age 17, he moved to the U.S. to attend college (Reed College) and graduate school (Harvard University, where he received a Ph.D. in Religion). Williams is currently Professor of Religion and East Asian Languages & Cultures and the Director of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. 

 Copies of“American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War,” will be available for purchase at the temple store. No registration is required for the event on April 6. There will be light refreshments.