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A South Jersey Farm Town with a Hidden History

Japanese-Americans from around the country travel to Seabrook, a place that welcomed their forebears who were interned during World War II

Seabrook Farms is widely known for its frozen creamed spinach. Less known, though, is that the farm and its hometown, Seabrook, N.J., represents a mythic place to Japanese-Americans around the country.

Many travel to the Buddhist temple that has been in the rural south Jersey community since it welcomed Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II.

Seabrook holds a traditional Japanese Buddhist celebration, the Obon Festival, which honors the spirits of ancestors with a day spent eating Japanese food, listening to taiko drums and watching traditional dancing.

“It’s like, ‘Are you going back to Seabrook this Obon?’ It’s not, ‘Are you going back to Seabrook this Thanksgiving,’” said Dr. Sonny Yamasaki, who grew up in the town. “It’s because people want to come back — Obon is the excuse to come back.”

Read the full story on WNYC News, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.

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