The Enduring Legacy of Jane Imamura

Through countless causes and conditions, the Imamuras engaged the efforts of an international community of scholars and artists and influenced the interest in Buddhism far beyond Berkeley, where Rev. Imamura was the minister and Jane was the Bomori.


Jane Imamura, the eldest daughter of Mrs. Shinobu Matsuura, a major BCA figure herself, continued her mother’s tradition in building a music tradition and was a key contributor to many BCA gathas that continue to be sung today. The article was written by the couple’s eldest daughter, Hiro Imamura David, on behalf of the BCA Music History Subcommittee.

Jane Imamura’s legacy continues today through her many gathas, the Institute of Buddhist Studies and musical programs that she inspired.


Jane Imamura’s parents, Issei and Shinobu Matsuura, were Buddhist pioneers and their example helped to form Jane’s development and outlook.


Jane was well-versed in her future role as Bomori from a very young age. Born in 1920, two years after her mother arrived as a young bride in America, she learned the art of selflessness, growing up in a temple, sharing her parents — not only with her siblings — but with the many children living in the Gua