More Scenes of Buddhist LA

Yesterday I visited Little Tokyo. Our second day of summer. I think it hit 90. It has been unseasonablly cool here in Southern California, and now everyone wishes the marine layer was still here.

Anyway, when I wasn’t busy wiping sweat off my brow, I took a few photos of the Buddhist temples in the area. They might have turned out better if I had been able to see the screen of my digital camera, but the glare from the sun make it next to impossible. That’s one thing I miss about traditional cameras. You can look through the viewer and only if you are pointed directly at light is there any glare.

The building that housed the Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple was built in 1924 by architect Edgar Cline.

Hompa Honwanji

Honpa Hongwanji was a real center of the community. During the 30’s they held Youth Dances, and during the 40’s it was both departure point for the camps and then a relocation center of sorts. Hompa Hongwanji closed in 1969 and was absorbed or transformed into Nishi Hongwanji.

Here’s a closer look at  the ornate entrance.

Hompa facade

I’m not sure when the Shingon Temple, Koyasan, came to Los Angeles, but it was definitely here in 1920. You can see a photo of the first temple on Central Avenue here.

There’s some other interesting Koyasan photos on Discover Nikkei. Check out the 1930 Troop 379. For some reason, the notion of Shingon Boy Scouts strikes me as pretty wild.

The present day KoyosanTemple has been in at least one film. This is almost exactly the same shot as Sam Fuller has in his 1959 film, The Crimson Kimono. A great film noir movie by the way.

Koyasan Shingon Buddhist Temple

You can view more pf my photos of Buddhist LA here.

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