D a t a   S h e e t
Name of Religious Site: The Montreal Buddhist Church
Tradition: Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, Nishi-Hongwanji division
Address: 5250 St. Urbain Montreal, QC H2T 2W9
Contact Name and Title Mr. Abe, President
Phone Number: 1 (514) 577-2070
Date Center was Founded: April 1947
Lay Leader and Title: Shig Kojima, Lay Leader
Membership/Community Size : 30-40 members
Ethnic Composition : Japanese and Japanese-Canadian (mostly the latter)
Date: Monday, April 15, 2002

Affiliation with Other Communities/Organizations:
The Japanese Canadian Culture Center, Montreal Buddhist Youth, Montreal Dana-Fujinkai and the Montreal Sangha Society. 
Most of the members are elderly 2nd generation Japanese-Canadians (nisei) who moved to Montreal from British Columbia after World War II.  There are a few younger members: some are descendants of those from British Columbia, some originally from Montreal and others who have moved to Canada from Japan.  Most of the older members speak Japanese and English.  For many of them English is their first language; it is such for all of the 3rd generation members (sansei), many of whom do not speak any Japanese.  Services are conducted in English and Japanese. 
Center Activities:
There are two services per month: the service for the families of the late, usually held on the first Sunday of every month at 10:30 a.m., and the regular service held on the third or fourth Sunday of every month, the occasion for which changes every month according to the Nishi Hongwanji sacred calendar.  Mr. Abe gives Japanese lessons to two or three students every Friday night from 7:00-8:30. 
One characteristic of particular interest about the MBC is the markedly Christian look: it is called a church rather than a temple, its religious leaders are called ministers, at services hymn-like adaptations of gathas are sung, and services are held on Sundays. 
Researcher Notes:
The MBC deserves a more thorough study than is possible in one semester.  Since the church only meets twice a month, it is difficult to gain the full trust of the congregation that is needed in such research.  Many members only seemed comfortable speaking with me on special occasions, when there was a visiting minister and the atmosphere was more conducive to socializing.  That said, I feel that quite a lot was accomplished with this project, even if it is only a starting point for a more complete study.

This project is being conducted by the Asian Religion and Ethics Research Unit at McGill University