First Shinto Shrine in the U.S.
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Shinto is the native religion of Japan and was the state religion until 1945. Along with Japanese Buddhists who came to Hawaii in the 19th century to work in the plantations, were followers of this indigenous practice.

The Shinto immigrants built their shrine with the help of experts who came from Japan to oversee the construction. The result was Old Yamato Jinia (now called Hilo Daijingu) on November 3, 1898. The shrine had to relocate several times because of land lease issues. Then, during World War II, the shrine was closed upon orders of the U.S. Army. The military allowed the shrine to become active again in 1955.
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Hilo Daijingu- image courtesy Hilo Daijingu
Book/Journal Source(s)
Tweed, Thomas A. and Stephen Prothero (Eds.), 1999. Asian Religions in America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Web Source(s)
Hilo Daijingu website
Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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