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Seabrook Buddhist Temple

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Basic information
Address:
Seabrook Buddhist Temple, 9 Northville Rd, Bridgeton, NJ, USA
Sectarian affiliation(s):
  • Mahayana
Cultural, linguistic, ethnic affiliation(s):
  • Japanese
  • Asian American (native English speaking)
  • Caucasian
Geographic Origins of Institution or Founder:
  • Japan
Best time to visit:

See website

Date last visited: April 29, 2018
Currently active?: As of the last time it was visited by our research team, this location was open.
Other Basic Information:

Jodo Shinshu temple affiliated with Buddhist Churches of America. The organization was founded in 1945, and the current facility was built in 1966. Its architecture is not distinctively Asian on the exterior, but the property includes a Japanese-style garden and a number of cherry trees. The main hall contains church pews and a traditional-style altar. The basement houses a community center which is used by local Japanese American cultural organizations as well as the temple itself.

Local setting, neighborhood, demographics

The local Japanese American community relocated to NJ after being released from internment camps during WWII. Japanese American families came to the area to work in the Seabrook Farms food processing operation, and the temple served as a religious organization and community center for Seabrook Village. Today, the temple community includes Caucasian members and those of mixed ancestry. However, the community is still predominantly Japanese American and the temple serves as a touchstone for Japanese Americans both locally and regionally.

Connections with medicine, healing, wellness

The temple served as a valuable cultural center for the local Japanese American community, and played a vital role in the process of social healing from collective trauma experienced during internment.