BYU Asian Studies Journal


Joshua Bernhard


BYU Asian Studies, Chinese, Joss House, immigration


“From the theater we went to the principal church or joss-house,” an anonymous author wrote about the San Francisco Chinatown for the Christian Recorder in September 1875. “Up three flights of stairs, rickety, worn, and uneven, and through the dark passages full of sickening odors, I reached a dismal, dreary, mysterious, and silent worship-house of this mysterious and superstitious people. Here and there in the temple a dim taper burned, but there were no lights in the halls, stairs, and passages, and the flickering flames only added to the oppressive and, if I may so call it ghostly feeling that overtook me” (Anonymous 1875).