A Joss house is a place or temple where God is worshiped. During the frontier times in western North America, joss houses were a common feature of Chinatown. The earliest available information on the San Jose Joss House was printed in a map in 1872, somewhere between Market and San Fernando Street. On May 4. 1887, a fire destroyed the first Chinatown. After the fire, the Joss House was rebuilt (between the period of 1887 and 1888) in the Sixth and Taylor Street area. It was the practice to utilize the temple for physical and spiritual sustenance. Chinese would come to burn incense, worship God and consult God with his family matters or business venture. The first floor was used as a school and had as many as 30 youngsters attending after their normal public school was dismissed.
The San Jose Chinatown area was then known as “Heinlenville” (named after a Mr John Heinlen) and contained a variety of merchants, barbers, traditional doctors, and Chinese herbal medicine. The area dwindled in the 1920s as the younger generations sought careers outside the area and with a lack of new Chinese coming in due to the Chinese Exclusion Act, the area lost almost all of its Chinese population. In 1931, the last Chinatown fell to the wreckers’ hammers and crowbars. The San Jose Chinatown of more than 80 years had ended so was the “Old Joss House”.
The Chinese & American Historical Museum 25 Year Anniversary
SKZ was invited to join the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Chinese & American Historical Museum. The museum is called A Joss House which was a building in which people build a temple within to worship God during the western times in North America. Joss Housed were common in Chinatown. On May 4, 1887, a fire destroyed the first Chinatown but was rebuilt soon after.
Students came to the History Park with expectations of performing. The staff members were kind to give our students a tour of the Museum and the deep Chinese culture which resided in it. Students not only gained experience from performing but also gained knowledge on the history of San Jose they may have not known.
From this event, many staff and audience members congratulated us on a lovely performance. Many parents took time off of their busy schedules to have their children perform and participate for this event and we are grateful. This event does not only help us spread culture to others but share our culture with our own students. We are always excited to see parents witnessing the growth of their children both physically and mentally.
This event was very successful and very enjoyable overall. We look forward to next time.
I learned about old China town and the gods inside the museum.
I felt pretty good about this performance. I wasn't nervous because this event was pretty small.
I appreciate my dad because he made me go to Kungfu in the beginning.
To me, Shaolin spirit means hard work.
I learned about the five gods worshipped in the temple.
I liked visiting the temple.
My performance was good, I just need more practice.
I appreciate the Shifu and want to say thank you.
I feel better about myself after Kungfu.
My name is Sofia. I got to see the Chinese temple and I had fun. I felt nervous, scared, and excited before my performance. I felt confident about my performance but I can do better. I can improve by having more detail.
My name is Mia. I felt really proud of myself for performing in front of so many people. I was nervous before I did the performance, but once I did it I got used to it and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I liked performing, I had fun. I did 2 performances and enjoyed them both. It was fun to perform in front of all the people.
My name is Gavin,One thing I learned from our little tour about the temple is that back in the time they had different currency. I felt confident that time because I knew I tried my very best on performing in front of many people.Next performance I should slow down on my form so I can make them more balanced and make them more better. I should feel proud of myself because I already did my best.
My name is Sydney. At the festival I was a little scared that I was going to mess up. Soon I felt more brave and confident. I had one performance with one other person and a group performance. After my performance I felt better, I was happy I did not mess up. Then we got to learn about the Chinese culture. I liked performing at the Chinese festival !
My name is Karen. For my performance at history park, I felt confident and I wasn't nervous because I perform a lot. And I'm thankful for that. It was fun and I enjoyed performing the fan form, although I would've liked to throw the fan...but i would hate it if I dropped it. After rehearsal, I felt that I would preform my best at the actual performance and when it came to it, I tried hard so I was proud.
My name is Noah. My level is purple. The interesting things that I saw were the alter and the lion head inside the temple. I would like to show appreciation to that masters that taught me. I feel that I did good in the performance overall.
My name is Victoria. My level is purple. First, I would like to show appreciation to Shifu because he organized the whole thing. Second, is that I feel like I can improve by not being as nervous as I was during my performance. Third, Shaolin spirit means to me that I can do anything I put my mind to. I feel that overall, I did a good job when I did my performance.
The birthday suit for the one month old baby was interesting.
I think I can improve my performance next time by being more prepared for my forms in the future.
My name is Yuji. I learned the many gods the Chinese worshipped in temples from the tour, and found the Chinese culture very interesting. Performance wise, I felt like I did ok, but I definitely could have done better. I think I can improve by making my movements more clear and powerful. Lastly, I would like to show appreciation to the Shifus that taught me Kung Fu.
My name is Hayden. At the festival, I was a little nervous. I got used to it after a while. I was proud though for performing in front of so many people. I had three performances. A group one and two with someone else. I think I did very well on both. Next time I can be a little stronger. I had practiced a lot, so that made me a little more confident.I had fun and learned a lot about the Chinese culture. I liked performing and am proud of myself for doing my best.
My name is Corina. My level is green black. I think I did well with my performance. My favorite part of the event was the tour of the temple.
My name is Mabel. My level is green black. First, I felt a bit shy at the beginning, but after I felt a little better. Second, I would like to show appreciation to my parents because they brought me to the performance. Third, my favorite part of the event was eating the gummies that I got after the performance.
Hi! My name is Jacob Regalado. I felt confident, not that scared, but a little worried. My performance went as well as any performances I went to, except for the sword and shield and some other recent events. After the performance, we went on a tour! I had no idea why but it was great!!!! It was very fun to perform in the Chinese festival! I hope we will do this next year!
Hi! My name is Jeremy Regalado! During the performance, I felt nauseous and filled with determination, and also, I was nervous when sifu's son made a mistake and the music suddenly turned off. I could improve on my next performance by listening more and having more sound and power. During the tour, I learned about the Chinese heritage and history. What Shaolin spear means to me is strength, agility, and velocity. I like doing performances and I hope I perform there next year!
I thought the temple was interesting because there was a to push to learn about Chinese culture.
Shaolin spirit to me means that I am strong.
I felt good about my performance because I was on stage and did my best.