Japanese Buddhist Temple, 1913

Members on the steps of the City and County Building in 1964

Roby Suyekawa, Dicky Suyekawa, Kuni Inouye, Hiroko Masuoka, Charlotte Nakatoni and Eikko Mausoka and Rev. R. Masuoka

A portion of the Ochigo parade in 1964

The Ogden Buddhist Temple was organized by Japanese residents of the city on March 1, 1913. Meetings were first held in a store building at 236 24th Street owned by Sensaburo Nakashima. C. Kiwahara served as the first priest from 1913 to 1916.

In 1915 the group faced protests from citizens of Ogden over plans to build a temple at 2840 Washington Boulevard. The protestors sent a letter to church leaders stating that “such an action would be the means of impairing the good feeling now existing in this state toward our Japanese friends…” S. Tamaki, one of the temple leaders, responded by saying that their plans would be reconsidered and the Washington property sold. The congregation then held meetings at various other locations until 1937, when they purchased and renovated the former Brown Ice Cream building at 2456 Lincoln.

After 1920 the Ogden congregation did not have their own priest, but Jikau Nishinga from Salt Lake City would conduct services once a month in Ogden. In 1943 Rev. Kenryo Kumata, head of the Buddhist Churches of America and a Topaz internee, was released and allowed to serve in Ogden. He founded the Ogden Buddhist Church as an independent organization with branches in Honeyville, Deweyville, Garland, and Corinne. In 1945 another Topaz internee, Rev. Tetsuro Kashima, was appointed Ogden minister.

In 1964 a new temple was built at 155 North Street, where the congregation still meets. Today they are led by Rev. Jerry Hirano.

Abbot Kosho Ohtani of Japan