Spirituality and Aging in the San Francisco Japanese Community

Ronald Y. Nakasone

in Religion and Healing in America

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780195167962
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850150 | DOI:
Spirituality and Aging in the San Francisco Japanese Community

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Although Japanese and Japanese Americans believe in and rely on the efficacy of modern medical practices and pharmacology, their cultural traditions are important resources for health maintenance, healing, aging, dying, death, and grieving. In an attempt to reconcile its traditional culture with its modern American experience, the Japanese American community of San Francisco, California initiated a unique experiment in community-based education for elder care as part of the newly built Kokoro Assisted Living Facility. In envisioning a seamless blend of modern medicine and spirituality in caring for Japanese American elders in a multicultural and multifaith setting, the Japanese America Religious Federation of San Francisco (JARF) commissioned the design and implementation of a graduate course called “Spirituality and Aging in the Japanese Experience”, offered through the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley in partnership with Sanford Geriatric Education Center in Palo Alto. This chapter describes the context, conceptual framework, implementation, and outcomes of the course. It traces the history of JARF and its role in responding to the housing needs of the Japanese community.

Keywords: Japanese Americans; California; spirituality; graduate course; housing; aging; elder care; Japanese America Religious Federation; Kokoro Assisted Living Facility

Chapter.  4798 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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