Reverend Kawamura Film collection


general material designation


Moving images


61 film reels : b&w, col. ; 16mm, super 8






scope and content


This collection consists of 61 film reels which includes 16mm and super 8 home movies, most of which were created by Reverend Yutetsu Kawamura and Yoneko Kawamura. The films document the Kawamura family’s daily life in Alberta, travels throughout the province, elsewhere in Canada, and abroad to Hawaii, continental United States, and Japan. The films also document Yutetsu and Yoneko’s involvement with not only the Japanese Canadian community in Alberta, but the Buddhist community, and Buddhist Church. Their involvement with the Buddhist Church also extended to trips abroad to Hawaii and Japan. Films in this collection also include commercially produced American propaganda films documenting the Second World War in the Pacific.



15 of the 61 film reels have been digitized and item level descriptions are available.




Reverend Yutetsu Kawamura was the second Buddhist minister of the Raymond Buddhist Church in Alberta. He and his wife, Yoneko Kawamura arrived in Canada in 1934. Rev Kawamura taught the Sunday school and was known for his ghost stories. Yoneko Kawamura was active in the church and played the organ every Sunday. She was also ordained a Buddhist minister and was active in the Fujinkai women’s association. The Kawamuras set up a Japanese grocery store along with the Hironaka family. Rev Kawamura also ministered in Lethbridge, Picture Butte, and Kauai, Hawaii before retiring. In 1986, Rev Kawamura was appointed to be a member of the Order of Canada.



The Kawamuras' son, Rev Leslie Kawamura, was born in Raymond Alberta in 1935. In 1964 to 1973, he became the minister for the Raymond Buddhist Church. In 1976, he completed his Ph.D. in Far Eastern Studies from the University of Saskatchewan. Leslie was a professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary.









Nikkei National Museum