Part I. The Beginnings of Christianity in Japan
THE working out of Japan's destiny will have a profound effect upon the future of mankind. The rapidity with which an unknown medieval people has become a world power is not only one of the remarkable phenomena in these days of kaleidoscopic world changes, it is also of far-reaching significance to us all.
The industrialization of Japan; her growing ambition for a place of dignity and influence in the world; the developments which have occurred with the rapid spread of education; the need of more territory to meet the requirements of a nation whose population is expanding at an enormous rate; the rise of the military spirit and the increasing strength of war equipment; the lessening influence of Buddhism and the extending power of the world tides of materialism, secularism, and atheism; all these mighty forces make Japan of tremendous concern to the whole world.
Christian people see on the one hand the vast possibilities for good in a Japan won for Christ, thus becoming a powerful force in building up the Kingdom of God in the world; and on the other hand the vast possibilities for evil in a Japan modernized, educated, yet unconverted, materialistic, atheistic, and selfishly nationalized.
In Japan God has given the Church a great task and a great opportunity. Christian people are summoned to help the young Church in Japan as it seeks to save the nation from the dangers of her newly found civilization, to spiritualize and to enrich the best in that civilization, and to make her an instrument in the hands of God for the fulfillment of His blessed purposes in Asia and in the world.
Part I. The Beginnings of Christianity in Japan
AS THE sixteenth century drew to its close, two events occurred which were of profound significance to the Church at large. One of these centered in Europe; the other in an almost unknown fringe of the continent of Asia. In April, 1598, the famous Edict of Nantes, promulgated by the French King Henry VI, gave governmental recognition and a certain degree of religious liberty to Protestantism in France; in February, 1598, initial steps were taken to root out Christianity in Japan beginning with the crucifixion of six Christian missionaries and twenty of their converts. Strange as it may seem when we recall the world-wide interest aroused by Commodore Perry's "opening of Japan" in 1853, that country had long before been a fruitful field for the Christian Church. By the middle of the sixteenth century that indomitable missionary Francis Xavier had been led to Japan, or Cipangu as it was then called, and during the next forty years, through the work of his successors, the Christian faith rose like a tide at flood until, in 1592, the number of Christians was estimated at 250,000.
Then ensued a tragic period of opposition and persecution brought to a climax by the thoughtless boast of a Spanish pilot. A Spanish galleon was wrecked on the Japanese coast and its cargo confiscated. The pilot, in an effort to retrieve part of his loss, boasted about the power of the Spanish King and the futility of trying to subvert the plans of a sovereign whose power could reach to the remotest corner of the world. This statement interested the Japanese officials. They inquired how the King of Spain accomplished this. These ends were attained, replied the sailor, through missionaries, who prepared the way by converting the people to Christianity. The boast, thus rashly made, [3/4] reached the ears of Hideyoshi, the Regent and practical ruler of Japan at that time.
He immediately ordered that a list of all Japanese in close relations with the foreigners should be drawn up; but the list grew so astonishingly large and included so many powerful nobles, even a relative of the Regent himself, that it had to be abandoned. But twenty-six leading Christians, including six Spanish and three Japanese priests, and seventeen Japanese laymen, were arrested, and finally put to death by crucifixion. It is needless to dwell on the sufferings and indignities that were inflicted upon this little loyal band of Christians--they have been recorded fully elsewhere. Suffice it to say that they met their deaths joyfully as in the service of their Saviour.
These executions, however, made little impression on the great mass of the Christian Church; and, in 1614, Iyeyasu, the successor of Hideyoshi and founder of the Tokugawa family, issued a strict and far-reaching decree of banishment and bitter persecution. Under these orders a great company of Japanese Christians whose number is estimated anywhere from three hundred thousand to two million, and over a hundred missionaries were put to death. [New Life in the Oldest Empire, by Charles F. Sweet, pp. 22ff.] The persecutions in this first era of Christian enterprise culminated in 1640, in a terrible massacre at Shimabara, on the west coast of the island of Kyushyu. Unfortunately, it is to be recorded that the Dutch gave aid to the forces of persecution, and when the ban against Christianity was immediately extended to include all Europeans without distinction, it was the Dutch alone who, though under humiliating restrictions, were permitted to maintain a small trading station in Nagasaki, at the extreme southwestern limit of the Empire. Thus, in 1640, Japan became a closed country, practically sealed against the Occident, and the Island Empire so remained for two centuries. Nevertheless, there remained a small remnant of Christians within the barriers, and efforts to penetrate were not altogether abandoned.
 Concerned as this Handbook is, principally, with the much later mission of the Episcopal Church, it is impossible here to enter into a detailed account of these efforts; but one may be given as typical of all. In 1708, a Roman Catholic priest named Sidotti made his way to the Philippine Islands, and thence succeeded in landing secretly on the Japanese coast. He had hardly landed, however, when he was seized and imprisoned. For six years, until his death in 1714, he remained in prison. During this time he was frequently visited and questioned by the Japanese publicist Arai Hakuseki, who has left a graphic account of these conversations in his writings.
Such sporadic attempts continued always with a similar result. In 1797, the American ship Eliza under Captain Stewart, was chartered to trade with the small Dutch colony at Nagasaki, but when Stewart later attempted to trade without the Dutch intermediaries, he was repulsed and sent away. Forty years later, another American vessel, the Morrison, with Dr. Gutzlaff, Dr. Peter Parker and S. Wells Williams on board, arrived at Japan on a humanitarian, religious and commercial mission. Probably because the party included some shipwrecked Japanese who, under the anti-foreign edicts, were condemned to exile by reason of their having come in contact with the hated foreigner, the Morrison was fired upon, and forced to leave the harbor immediately upon anchoring. A few years after this another ship captain landed some shipwrecked Japanese. He was allowed to remain four days and was then sent on his way with a warning never to return.
Such occurrences are sufficiently extraordinary to warrant a brief account of the country which could so effectually close its gates at a time when the spirit of adventure was leading explorers from Europe to every possible avenue of trade with the Orient. Unlike China, Japan presented no means of ready access from the West by land. Narrow but tempestuous seas separated the archipelago from the mainland. Its nearest neighbor was Korea, but this isolated peninsula, rightly [5/6] spoken of as the Hermit Kingdom, was remote and unknown. The topography of Japan rendered invasion difficult, especially from the west and south. All the islands are mountainous, their shore lines irregular and broken, and the harbors enclosed and easily defended. Even were an enemy to effect a landing, he would find himself confronted immediately with the insuperable difficulty of invading island after island before gaining even a precarious foothold. Moreover, the famous Inland Sea, at once the most defensible and the most exquisite of all land-locked waters, gives to the southwestern part of the archipelago an unique means of security. Thus only on the Pacific side was Japan vulnerable from the sea, and in fact it was from that direction that the long isolation of the Island Empire was finally broken down.
The larger islands of the archipelago are mountainous, forming a land of remarkable natural beauty. In the interior, forests clothe the mountain slops, whence the few small rivers take their source. Volcanic in origin, the mountain regions abound in hot springs richly impregnated with mineral salts. The open valleys with their rich alluvial soil gave opportunity in the older days for cultivation on a scale sufficient to support the population with no assistance from imports. The bulk of the people were farmers, living more or less contentedly under a strict feudal system. On the seacoasts the fishing industry developed a type of hardy seafarers. There were few large cities, and such as there were had arisen in connection with the residences of the Emperor or of the great feudal daimyos rather than as centers of trade or manufacture.
From early times the "heaven-born" Emperors had lived in godlike seclusion in the capital cities, and the actual power had more and more become centralized in the person of the Shogun who ruled nominally as the representative of the divine Emperor. Local power rested in the hands of the daimyos, or feudal lords, who gathered about them powerful groups known as samurai, corresponding to the knighthood of medieval [6/9] Europe. The feudal system was thus deeply ingrained in the life of the people, and this, combined with their patriarchal life served to develop in the minds of all a remarkable degree of respect for centralized authority and of patriotic fervor. Under such a system mere trade was despised, but art flourished. Every feudal lord maintained his court in great magnificence, and here were gathered the great artists and craftsmen of Japan, whose marvelous productions in painting, metal work, wood-cuts, and lacquer were excelled, if at all, only by those of the master craftsmen of China at an earlier period. As in Europe, so in Japan, the times of feudalism were times of turbulence, when might made right. To mitigate this, there was developed in Japan that remarkable system known as Bushido, or "the way of the knight." In this system were combined the ideas of patriotism, of chivalry, and of social etiquette. It served a humane and pacific purpose. Its fatal defect was that, unlike the chivalry of Europe, it left womanhood out of its scope.
No wonder that a people so organized, so isolated, so inured to arms, and so imbued with the artistic spirit, came to consider their origin as divine, and their culture as a thing unique. While China was developing an aristocracy of the pen, Japan's aristocracy was of the sword. It produced a nation, proud to the verge of arrogance, prepared to go to any length to debar foreign contamination.
Such was the nation to which Xavier had come in his poverty, presenting the Gospel of a God of peace, of a crucified King. But his work and that of his successor did, as we have seen, make a stupendous impression; and even though Japan, enraged by a false conception of the objectives of the Roman Mission, did succeed in barring her gates for two centuries, the blood of martyrs proved truly the seed of the Church.
Early in the nineteenth century the Society of Foreign Missions of Paris decided that the time was approaching when work could be renewed in Japan. With this end in view missionaries were sent out with [9/10] instructions to approach Japan as closely as possible and to wait their opportunity. The nearest point reached was the Loochoo Islands, where in the forties, a handful of French clergy maintained their vigil. They accomplished nothing at the moment; but when the barriers were lifted in 1854 the watchers were prepared to enter, and they entered with zeal and energy.
The accomplishment of Commodore Perry in 1853 is common knowledge; but two less-known events preceding his achievement are of intense interest. The first had its inception at a meeting of the Congregational Board of Missions held in Boston. At that meeting special prayers were said and an offering made for missionary activities in Japan when the time of her awakening should come. Thenceforward, this object was prayed for continuously, and offerings ultimately amounting to many thousands of dollars were made.
The second episode was somewhat like the first. In a far-off village of France an humble curé founded a parochial society to pray for the reopening of Japan. Undoubtedly the prayers of these earnest people, both in America and France, were effective in opening Japan.
Commodore Perry's mission resulted in the establishment of treaty relations between the United States and Japan, and it was through the efforts of Townsend Harris, the American Minister in Tokyo and a devout Christian, that the following clause was inserted into the French treaty of 1858:
French subjects in Japan shall have the right of exercising their religion freely, and to this end they may erect on the land set apart for their abode such edifices as are appropriate for their manner of worship, as churches, chapels, cemeteries, etc. The Japanese Government has already abolished in the Empire the use of practices insulting to Christianity.
In the same year the two French priests (previously mentioned) were summoned to Yokohama where under [10/11] the direction of the Superior of the mission a church was built. Displaying the name Ten-shu-do (Church of the Lord of Heaven) in Chinese characters, the church drew crowds of curious people and much interest was manifested, although the edicts against Christianity had not yet been officially withdrawn.
From our mission in China in May, 1859, there went to Nagasaki the Rev. John Liggins, followed in July by the Rev. Channing Moore Williams. As the field was not yet ripe for active evangelization, they settled down in that town and began to study the Japanese language. Malarial poisoning, intensified by injuries received at the hands of a mob in China, soon forced the return of Mr. Liggins to America, but Mr. Williams stayed on in the field which was to be the scene of his labors for half a century. With hire was Dr. H. Ernest Schmid, whom the Board of Missions of the Episcopal Church had sent out in 1859 and whom the Japanese Government had licensed to practice medicine. Unfortunately these men lacked the strong home support and the steady stream of reenforcements which were vouchsafed the missionaries from other bodies. The Civil War in America also had its effect, diverting American eyes from the Orient to concerns at home. Under these circumstances Christian activity toward Japan was necessarily lessened.
In 1866, however, just as a new era in America was about to dawn, Mr. Williams, a man of great force of character and missionary zeal, was consecrated bishop with jurisdiction over both Japan and China. In the same year he baptized his first convert, although Christianity was still under the ban.
In this interlude, between the opening of Japan and the withdrawal of the objectionable edicts in 1872, there were two movements of considerable interest which deserve some notice here. The first was the work of the Russian Church Mission. In 1861 Ivan Kasatkin, who upon his ordination had taken the name of Nicolai, went to Japan as chaplain to the Russian consulate in Hakodate. His real aim, [11/12] however, was evangelization. As this was inexpedient at the moment, he settled down to learn the Japanese language. This was a particularly difficult task, as there were no grammars, dictionaries, or aids of any sort. Nicolai's first convert was Sawabe, a samurai, who had been guardian of a Shinto shrine. As a member of the anti-foreign party, he first came in contact with Nicolai in an effort to draw a confession from him that his designs, the designs of Christianity, were evil and directed against the welfare of the State. At length, however, Nicolai succeeded in showing Sawabe that the latter's misconception was due to ignorance of Christianity. Sawabe consented to listen, and with the keen intellect and fine background possessed by most of the samurai, he saw the reasonableness of the teachings presented to him. In fact as his knowledge grew his anger subsided, and his eagerness so increased that he took two of his friends with him to his meetings with Nicolai. As the unrest attendant upon the overthrow of the shogunate made it inadvisable for Sawabe to be publicly baptized, he sought out Nicolai in secret one night, and there in Nicolai's house he was baptized. Then he fled.
Soon after this Nicolai returned to Russia in the hope of obtaining men and money for his mission. Returning to Japan in 1872, he baptized ten in the autumn of that year. In 1875, having been consecrated bishop, he had the great satisfaction of ordaining to the priesthood his first convert, Sawabe, and of conferring the diaconate upon Sawabe's friend, Sakai. Thenceforth the work grew rapidly, showing especially great activity around Sendai. Under Bishop Nicolai the Russian mission became the second largest among the missions in Japan. At his death in 1912, he had completed over half a century of strenuous and effective missionary enterprise.
The second noteworthy episode of this period was the discovery of Christians who had inherited their faith from their ancestors, the first converts of the Roman missions. It was known that these existed somewhere. Else why were there large notice boards [12/15] forbidding Christianity and offering large rewards for the apprehension of missionaries and converts? The most definite event in this searching out of the Japanese Christians occurred on March 17, 1865. Dr. Sweet gives the following account:
A group of twelve or fifteen people, men, women, and children, came to the door of the Church of the Twenty-six Martyrs at Nagasaki with a manner whose earnestness indicated more than curiosity. M. Petitjean, the priest whose moving recital is here followed, let them in, and, following them, knelt before the tabernacle. He had barely had time for a Pater Noster when three old women from the group came and knelt beside him, and one, in a voice so low that she seemed to fear the very air had ears, said, "The heart of all of us here is the same as your own!"
"Indeed," he answered, "but whence come you?"
"We are all from Urakami; at Urakami almost all have the same heart as we," and at once went on"where is the image of St. Mary?" There could be no further doubt, he surely was in the presence of descendents of the ancient Christians of Japan. He led them to the altar of the Blessed Virgin, and at once they were seized with joy, crying out, "Oh, it is indeed St. Mary! See in her arms On Ko Jesus Sama!" (her august son Jesus the Lord).
They then freely and in all confidence poured out question after question, showing by their words that they knew the tradition, and were even aware that it was the season of Lent, and that Passiontide and Easter were at hand. [New Life in the Oldest Empire, by Charles F. Sweet, pp. 40-41.]
Thus for more than two centuries under conditions of dire persecution and with no help from the outside, had the faith been preserved and handed down from generation to generation, a marvelous testimony to the work of the early Roman Catholic missionaries. Thenceforth the number of the faithful steadily [15/16] increased, though all the inhibitions imposed on Christianity were not removed until the promulgation" of the Imperial Constitution in 1889. Indeed active persecution continued until 1872, the very eve of the birth of modern Japan.
The Episcopal Church was by no means the only active worker in this new field. When Mr. Williams and Mr. Liggins wrote home of the opening in Japan, other Boards of Missions immediately sent out their representatives. In 1859, missionaries of the Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed Churches were sent to Japan. These were soon followed by representatives of the American Baptist and Methodist Boards. Others came from time to time and there are today more than a score of missionary bodies working in the country. This is not the time nor place to record their work. We can only say that they have made a glorious contribution to the establishment of the Christian faith in Japan by the preparation of Christian Japanese literature, the establishment of schools, the training of Christian workers, and widespread evangelism.
In 1869, the English Church Missionary Society (C.M.S.) sent out workers who four years later were followed by missionaries from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (S.P.G.). Thus there were three societies in the field all belonging to the Anglican Communion, either English or American, but all working independently of each other. The disadvantages of such a situation were only too evident. In 1878, a conference of the three agreed to use a common Prayer Book; but still confusion existed and increased. The complexities of the situation led the American Bishop, Channing Moore Williams, and the English Bishop, Edward Bickersteth, to issue a call for a conference in the summer of 1886. This conference drew up a provisional constitution and canons basically similar to those of the Church in the United States which were referred to the Church authorities in England and the United States. They were approved, and the first General [16/17] Synod of the Church in Japan met on February 8, 1887, at Osaka, two hundred and ninety years, almost to a day, after the crucifixion of the first twenty-six martyrs.
The Synod adopted the Constitution and Canons with few changes. It calls for a triennial General Synod with four clerical and four lay delegates from each of the two dioceses and eight missionary districts. There may be also annual diocesan synods. Each diocese and missionary district has a Standing Committee or Council of Advice exercising the same functions as those in the Church in the United States.
When the question of a name came up in the first Synod a real difficulty arose. The Roman mission called itself The Church of the Lord of Heaven; the Presbyterian, in union with the other Protestant bodies, adopted the name The Church of Christ in Japan; while the Anglicans were known by various names, none of which was acceptable. An attempt to translate "Protestant Episcopal" into Japanese might result in such ludicrous names as "Church of the Kicking Bishops" or "Church of the Contradictory Overseers." Finally an appeal to the nationalistic feelings of the delegates was made in the proposal that the Church be called Nippon Sei Ko Kwai ( Japan Holy Catholic Church). This name was voted for by every Japanese delegate present and by most of the foreigners. Though there were subsequent objections raised to the name and frequent attempts made to change it, they met with all the old difficulties, and the original name stood.
Before the Synod adjourned, it showed its realization of the great work in hand by organizing a Japanese missionary society. In 1934, this society was doing successful work in Formosa and Saghalien. The missionaries of this society are all Japanese. Their salaries and other expenses are paid by gifts received from Japanese congregations. No help is asked from abroad. The churches in Tokyo which formerly received assistance from America and are now independent send annual offerings to the Church in [17/18] America as an expression of gratitude for the fostering care received during their infancy. At the meeting of the Triennial Synod of the Sei Ko Kwai, which met in
Osaka in 1932, delegates were present for the first time from the mission area of Formosa. At this Synod the Church took an important step forward in the decision to begin work among the Japanese residing in the new State of Manchukuo.
The Japanese Church anticipated the Church in America by organizing a National Executive Council with the same powers as those of the National Council of the Church in the United States. Each diocese had a central pastoral fund, to and from which all contributions from the congregations were paid and disbursed. There was also the beginning of a Church pension system which in the most distant future will furnish some support to aged and infirm clergy and catechists.
Another result of the Synod was the appointment of a committee to enter into negotiations with Presby, terian and Congregational bodies with a view to union. Many conferences were held, but no tangible results were obtained.
It is interesting to note that one of the clerical delegates to this Synod was the Rev. Masakuzu Tai, who with Nobori Kanai, on Palm Sunday, 1883, in Trinity Chapel, Tokyo, were the first Japanese to be ordered deacons by Bishop Williams.
The period centering around the first Synod was one of intense evangelistic work. Churches and outstations sprang up everywhere. In Osaka three new churches were opened: St. Paul's as an outgrowth of St. Timothy's Chapel, Holy Comforter, and St. John's. The Rev. J. T. Cole began work in Grace Church in the Kojimachi district of Tokyo. In the smaller centers of Nara and Wakayama new churches also were built. The Rev. John McKim, who had gone to Japan in 1879, opened outstations in the Nara district at Tawaramoto, Miwa, Koriyama, and Takata; the Rev. T. S. Tyng and the Rev. H. Page established stations in Gojo, Hashimoto, Nate, and [18/21] other towns in the Kii River valley; while services were held at Fukui and Tsuruga, towns beyond Obama.
The success or failure of Christianity in any pagan land depends in large measure upon the extent to which native leadership is developed. This was early recognized in our mission; the decade before 1883 may be especially noted as a period of great activity in the establishment of schools. In 1871, Bishop Williams opened a school for boys at Osaka, which was placed under the Rev. Arthur Morris, one of the first to come in answer to the Bishop's appeal for more helpers. This school was the forerunner of St. Timothy's. In 1873, Mrs. J. H. Quimby started in Osaka a school for girls, which two years later was organized as St. Agnes' School, with Miss Ellen Eddy as head-mistress. (This school was closed in 1894 and its pupils transferred to St. Margaret's, Tokyo.)
Although Osaka was thus the center of our work in the early days, our missionary activities soon spread northward. With the coming of more workers, Bishop Williams took the Rev. C. T. Blanchet and the Rev. W. B. Cooper, who had joined the mission in 1873, and went to Tokyo to begin work there. Under them, a day school, the present St. Paul's, was started in addition to the usual work of conducting Sunday services and organizing a Sunday school. A few years later (1878), a similar school for girls, St. Margaret's, was opened in Tokyo by the women of the mission. Another institution established in this period was Trinity Divinity School in Tokyo, which held its first session in 1878 in the dining room of Bishop Williams' house. In the older southern field, there were organized at this time St. Mary's Bible School, Kyoto, which later became the Kyoto Church Training School; and in 1883 St. Barnabas' Hospital, Osaka, under Dr. Henry Laning.
It must not be forgotten that throughout the period which has just been so briefly reviewed, there was in the country at large a strong nationalistic feeling shown in mistrust of, or hostility toward, the foreigner [21/22] and all his work. This naturally added to the difficulty of keeping new converts firm in the faith. As time went on, however, this hostility gradually subsided; and in 1889 with the promulgation of the Constitution the old restrictive edicts against Christianity were removed. The position of Christianity was further improved by the treaty revisions of 1889. The new provisions removed the restriction of limited areas of travel for foreigners. This restriction had greatly hampered missionary activity, especially during periods of anti-foreign feeling. Like the anti-Christian edicts its enforcement had been gradually relaxed, but foreigners were not entirely safe up country until after the revised treaties of 1899 became effective.
Bishop Williams, after thirty years of work in Japan, resigned his jurisdiction in 1889, and in the interim that occurred before the election of a successor, the Rt. Rev. William Hobart Hare, Bishop of South Dakota, made two visits to Japan at the request of General Convention, and conferred with the English Bishop and others on the question of determining diocesan boundaries. In addition he visited mission stations, inspired converts and workers alike, confirmed large classes, and ordained five members of the senior class of the divinity school as deacons. This ordination took place in Trinity Church, Tokyo, in the presence of many Japanese priests and catechists who listened for the first time to the solemn ordination questions and answers spoken in their own tongue.
In 1893, John McKim was consecrated bishop. At once many difficult problems confronted him. Foremost among these was the question of diocesan boundaries. In this connection it must be remembered that neither the American nor the English Bishop was a territorial bishop. Each was, as it were, a bishop-atlarge, with jurisdiction over his own institutions wherever situated throughout Japan. To meet the troublous issue of diocesan boundaries, the Nippon Sei Ko Kwai held a special Synod in May, 1894. The result was the delimination of the territory comprised in the two districts, Tokyo and Osaka, where the [22/23] English and the American Bishops both exercised jurisdiction, and the creation of sub-districts under the American and English Bishops respectively. At the next regular meeting of the Synod, in 1896, these sub-districts were given the standing of separate dioceses: two English and two American dioceses being thus formed out of the former joint-districts. The District of Tokyo was divided into South Tokyo under the English Bishop, and North Tokyo under the American Bishop. Osaka was made common ground; but the country about Lake Biwa was set apart as the Diocese of Kyoto, with Kyoto as the see city, and placed in charge of the Church in America, while the southwestern portion of the main island, together with the island of Shikoku, was placed under the English Church as the Diocese of Osaka. The work in the two dioceses of Hokkaido and Kyushyu, the other two main islands of the group, remained under the Church of England. This action, taken by the Nippon Sei Ko Kwai, was promptly ratified by the authorities in England and America, but it was not until 1898 that northern and southern Tokyo were finally separated as ecclesiastical jurisdictions, and the Diocese of Kyoto established under American jurisdiction.
The work of the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada was begun in Japan in 1888. At the meeting of the Synod in 1911, a new missionary jurisdiction was set apart and the Canadian Church was invited to assume the responsibility for the work therein under a Canadian bishop. The Rev. Heber J. Hamilton, missionary at Nagoya, was elected the first Bishop in 1912. The name Mid-Japan was given to the new diocese which consisted of that part of the main island lying between the Diocese of Kyoto on the west and the Diocese of North Tokyo and the Diocese of South Tokyo on the east.
By the year 1920, such progress had been made in the development of the work in the Tohoku region that at the request of Bishop McKim the Diocese of North Tokyo was divided by the General Synod and the present Diocese of the Tohoku was erected. This [23/24] new diocese included at its organization thirty-two stations where services were regularly conducted; the baptized members numbered 1,176 of whom 503 were communicants. These figures, as well as those representing the contributions from the diocese, were in excess of those in the undivided Diocese of North Tokyo at the time of Bishop McKim's consecration in 1893. Bishop McKim continued to administer both dioceses until the consecration of the first Bishop of the Tohoku, the Rt. Rev. Norman S. Binsted, on December 3, 1928.
At the time of the founding of the Nippon Sei Ko Kwai in 1887 the clerical delegates were all foreigners with the exception of two Japanese deacons. Not one Japanese had been ordained to the priesthood. At the General Synod of 1923, thirty-six years later, the majority of both lay and clerical delegates were Japanese. But indicative of even greater developmentprobably the most important advance in the development of the Japanese Church since the American and English missions united to form the Sei Ko Kwai--was the action taken by this Synod for the creation of the two new dioceses, the city of Tokyo and the city of Osaka, to be placed under Japanese bishops. The dioceses thus erected immediately called diocesan conventions to elect their bishops. Tokyo selected the Rev. J. S. Motoda, Ph.D., Director of St. Paul's University, and the choice of Osaka fell upon the Rev. John Y. Naide, rector of Christ Church in that city. Their consecrations took place in the respective cities on December 7 and 11, 1923. This step forward toward an autonomous Japanese Church was a happy event to mark the thirtieth anniversary of Bishop McKim's consecration.
The establishment of the two dioceses of Tokyo and Osaka was the first instance in modern days of the creation of a regularly organized diocese in a nonChristian country. The erection of these independent and self-supporting dioceses was a distinct and encouraging sign of the success of the modern missionary movement in Japan.
 Tokyo was for three centuries or more the seat of the Shogunate Government; it was now the seat of the Imperial House. Here is to be found the Government with all its varied departments. The Imperial Diet and the headquarters of all the political parties are situated there. Families of the Imperial blood, and those of the nobility, have their residences there. There also are the embassies, legations, and consulates of Foreign Powers.
At the time Tokyo became a Japanese diocese it had been for fifty years the scene of missionary activity of the Church in America and in England. There were twenty churches: five connected with S.P.G.; five with C.M.S.; and ten with the American Church Mission. The total number of Christians in 1923 was approximately 3,500. After ten years as an autonomous diocese the number of churches had increased to twenty-five, of which nine were entirely self-supporting and the others were progressing in that direction. The number of Christians increased to 5,066 with twenty-nine Japanese clergy and two English. There was a fine spirit of unity and concord under the leadership of the first Bishop, the Rt. Rev. J. S. Motoda, and his successor, the Rt. Rev. Peter Y. Matsui. The sense of responsibility for the maintenance of diocesan institutions was increasingly developed.
Osaka is the New York City of Japan with a population close upon three million. It is a city of commerce and industry and a center of communications with China, Korea, and Manchuria. The work of the Church here was started by Bishop Williams in 1869. The ten-year growth, under the Rt. Rev. John Y. Naide, since Osaka became a diocese in 1923 was as encouraging as that in the Diocese of Tokyo. The number of Christians on the active roll increased from 2,700 to 3,665. During the same period the annual total of free-will offerings increased from Y.17,154.90 to Y.28,095.60. [Y. = Yen, Japanese unit of currency at normal exchange is about 50 cents United States currency.] In spite of the prevailing depression [27/28] the average giving of each actual communicant thus increased in approximate figures from Y.20 to Y.25 and was the highest in the Japanese Church. During these ten years the twelve congregations have become fourteen, to minister to whom there were seventeen clergymen and fourteen women workers. Of the clergy, fifteen were Japanese.
Throughout the entire closing decade of the nineteenth century, Bishop McKim was hampered by a great lack of workers; missionaries resigned from the field, and their places were not filled by others. There were, however, many encouraging factors. The growth of the native ministry was extraordinary, and the missionary society of the Sei Ko Kwai sent the Rev. D. T. Terata to do work in Formosa. Despite the shortage of workers, churches were built at Obama, Takata, Kutara, and Marusu. In Kyoto, two congregations were formed: St. John's and Holy Trinity, the latter name being chosen because Holy Trinity Church, Philadelphia, had made gifts to enable the Japanese congregation to erect a substantial church opposite the Imperial Palace Park.
Notable institutional work was begun in this last decade of the nineteenth century. In 1896, Archdeacon Page opened a night school at Wakayama, the first of its kind. Later, similar schools were opened at Fukui (1924), Nara (1902), and Osaka. At Aomori an industrial school was started by Irene Mann. The school in addition to teaching the girls of the district sewing and embroidery taught the Bible and faith of the Church. Other schools were the Hashimoto Shutoko Girls' School, the Iwasa Sewing School, and, at Hirosaki, a work of a somewhat different nature because it sought to teach working women needlework suitable for the market, was the Kanazawa Industrial School. This later became known as St. Elizabeth's School of Needlework. This was moved to Kyoto and closed for a period of years. In 1923, Bishop Tucker placed Miss Clara Neely in [28/29] charge of the Church and Clergy Supply which departmant has made all the surplices, stoles, communion linens and Episcopal robes since that time averaging over one hundred pieces a year. In this way Japanese Christian women were taught the art of Ecclesiastical embroidery and the use of Symbolism in the Church.
An ever present problem in non-Christian lands is how to elevate the status of womanhood. Although in Japan the problem was less acute than elsewhere in the Orient owing to the position of older women in the home, it is particularly to the credit of our mission that work among the Japanese women was begun very early. Mention has already been made of St. Mary's Home for Biblewomen in Osaka. As more and more women workers went to the field, the work spread in all directions; but through it all, the Church was faced by two problems. It is well known that when a Japanese girl married, she became more a daughterin-law than a wife, thus making it a particular concern of the Church when a Christian girl contemplated marriage with a non-Christian man. In such unions it would be within the province of the mother-in-law to forbid the daughter-in-law the practice of her belief, and force the children to be reared in the native religion.
Secondly, the Church was faced by the existence of a dual moral code which required chastity of the woman after marriage but which required no such rule in the case of the man.
As the only requirement for legal marriage in Japan was the certificate of removal of the bride from her father's home to her intended husband's, the Church, in order to save its people from the stain of concubinage or of trial marriage, found it necessary to require the presentation of this certificate before performing the marriage ceremony.
The work with women by women in Japan is a very vital one, for, although the Japanese woman is chaste and protected in her family life, it must be remembered that beneath all is the inherent corruption of an Oriental code of morals, which recognizes no stigma [29/30] as attaching to concubinage, or even in some cases to prostitution.
Over-population, earthquakes, floods, and other national calamities in Oriental lands have given those countries a huge problem and task in the care of their orphaned and destitute children. This condition offered a splendid field of usefulness to the Church in Japan. The opportunity was embraced, and in 1889 St. John's Church, Osaka, founded a home for destitute boys and girls. A few years later an earthquake around Owari and Mino made a large number of children parentless and destitute. A pitiable feature of the situation was that unscrupulous men, taking advantage of the helplessness of the little girls, endeavored to get possession of them for immoral purposes. The story reached Ryoichi Ishii, a young Christian teacher in St. Margaret's School. Dropping his teaching position, he hastened to the scene of the disaster and, gathering as many of the unfortunate girls as possible, he returned to Tokyo with them and started his orphanage in a house rented at Oji. It was later named Holy Trinity Orphanage.
Among the group of waifs was one feeble-minded child. The care and training of this unfortunate child presented a problem to the solution of which Mr. Ishii devoted his skill as a student of abnormal psychology. He evolved a method of instruction whereby the stunted intellect was enabled to increase its power of attention and to distinguish between different colors, sizes, and shapes. This method was gradually applied to an increasing number of these unfortunate children, and Mr. Ishii succeeded in restoring many of them to normal condition and enabled them to become producers through various handicrafts. Better still a large proportion of the children were brought to baptism. Another feature of the work was that the girls in the normal department of the orphanage were taught to care for the less fortunate ones. Mr. Ishii's work was not officially under the care of the Church, but was from the outset supported by the women of the foreign community in Tokyo. Tuition [30/33] fees were in some cases charged, and later considerable income was derived from commercial printing done by the children. Mr. Ishii always persisted in laying emphasis upon the religious side of his instruction, although such emphasis might prevent benefactions which he might otherwise have received. The result as time went on more than justified this course. Religion and science together worked marvels at the orphanage.
One of the best known and most useful children's charities in Japan is the Haku Aisha or the Widely Loving Orphanage, Osaka, started by Katsunosuke Kobashi. When he was baptized by Bishop Williams and founded this institution, Kobashi San's purpose was to gather orphans together and prepare them for life in a Christian atmosphere. He was only permitted to labor in this work for three years. Before he died he secured the aid of a Christian teacher, Uta Hayashi, to help his young brother, Jitsunosuke Kobashi, carry on the work. With their little band of helpers, meeting strong opposition, renouncing all material possessions, sacrificing comforts, and facing hardships and difficulties, Miss Hayashi and the younger Kobashi struggled on until they had built tip this remarkable work. In 1934, its equipment included seventeen buildings, besides sixteen one-room cottages for impoverished mothers with children, where 140 children were cared for; 110 others were cared for outside. Its activities, other than its main work as an orphanage, were: a babies' home, a day nursery, a grammar school for backward children, and a kindergarten. This enterprise, begun by Japanese initiative was supported by individual friends of the work.
The heart of the work was, of course, the Chapel of Our Redeemer, the gift of two American Churchwomen. From the chapel radiated the religious training and teaching which flowed freely through the orphanage. Mr. Kobashi carried on this noble work for forty years until his death in 1933. Himself of limited education, he helped to shape the lives of hundreds of young men and women. Some filled an [33/34] honored place in the life of the community. Several were clergymen. Since its founding 1,500 children have gone forth into the world, all the better for having come into contact with the life of this simple saint. Shortly before his death he had the joy of replacing the first building erected in 1875 with a beautiful new structure through the generous help of Colonel John D. Letcher of Lexington, Virginia. Like the first the new building was a memorial to Bishop Williams, to whose encouragement and assistance the Widely Loving Society owed so much, and to Mrs. Letcher.
Someone has suggested that over the whole American Church Mission in Japan might be appropriately inscribed, "A little child shall lead them." In the early nineteen-hundreds our Church founded the first kindergarten in Japan. The importance of this feature to the cause of Christian education was presently recognized not only by other missions but by the Japanese Government as well, and the system was widely adopted. The principal justification for the use of the kindergarten in the Christian enterprise in Japan is its value in relation to evangelization. As a means of evangelization, it influenced not only the child but also the child's family and the community. This does not mean that the Church neglects the educational aspect of the work. In Japan as in the homeland the kindergarten has a great opportunity in giving to little children the first introduction to life outside the home circle, and the Church seeks to do this well. Special emphasis was laid upon acquainting the children with the Lord Jesus and the Heavenly Father.
It is on record that the families of a retired Japanese general and of a very prominent physician in northern Japan were led to inquire regarding Christianity by overhearing the prayers and hymns which their children brought home from the kindergarten. It resulted in the baptism and subsequent confirmation of the members of both families. Thus the children of the kindergarten proved in many cases the most effective [34/35] agents for taking the principles of Christianity into the home.
The first of these strongholds of Christianity, the Gaylord Hart Mitchell Memorial in Akita, was started in 1905 by Miss Mead who received the children in her own house. When fire completely destroyed her property, the kindergarten was moved to a building next to the church until a new permanent home could be obtained. In 1908, through the gifts of the Little Helpers such a home was built.
Following the establishment of this first kindergarten others were opened at Wakamatsu, Yumoto, Tokyo, Sendai, Kawagoe, Urawa, Aomori, Hachinohe, Morioka, Kumagaya, and Kyoto. These were cornerstones in the work which was being pushed forward with increased vigor and zeal.
In 1934, there were fifty-eight kindergartens in the three Dioceses of North Tokyo, Kyoto, and the Tohoku. In the larger and more progressive cities it was possible to charge fairly large fees, although some in poorer districts still needed considerable mission aid. In the village and country kindergartens the fees which could be charged were so small that full support could not be secured and it was difficult to maintain proper kindergarten standards. Latterly kindergartens were established without calling on the mission for any financial assistance.
The work of the kindergartens was supervised by diocesan directors who made regular visitations to each school and once a year conducted conferences for kindergartners. The kindergartners received their training at St. Agnes' School, Kyoto, or the Training School, Sendai.
From the very first the work of the Christian kindergarten won the approval of the Japanese public. An early evidence of personal interest was the gift in 1909 of a diamond ring, by a young lady in Tokyo, to the Kindergarten of the Love of God in one of the most wretched Tokyo slums. In 1928 (the last year of available statistics), there were 1,182 Government-supported kindergartens. One of the finest evidences [35/36] of the success of any missionary undertaking is seen when the people of the country take it up and make it a permanent part of the life of the country. Not only kindergartens but schools for girls and many other aspects of modern education were thus introduced into the fast developing lands of the Orient.
Another work for children was the Kyoto Day Nursery. Years ago, before her marriage, Mrs. Maki Sonobe in the spirit of simple Christian loving kindness took several orphans into her home. The number gradually increased until finally a new house was provided for this work. Shortly after the completion of the new building a kindergarten was established to care for the older children. In 1932, an addition to the building was completed and in these rooms tiny infants were cared for. The average attendance was about fifty-nine every day.
Not only did Mrs. Sonobe care for the children but she was the friend and adviser of the mothers. They went to her with their problems and difficulties and found sympathetic and intelligent guidance. The City and Prefectural Social Service authorities have also recognized the excellence of the work. When gifts from the Imperial Family, from private individuals, and Government appropriations are received for philanthropic work a generous portion is sent by the local authorities to further the work of this day nursery.
The Church's work for children was a main feature of its service. Through 381 Church schools, 24,800 children received religious instruction every week. And in kindergartens 3,090 children received religious instruction daily. In her five orphanages, the Church cared for many homeless children, giving all the love and care that devoted servants of Christ can. In her hospitals and clinics thousands of children were cared for every year, and into the homes of the people the visiting nurses went to teach mothers how properly to care for their children's health.
The superstructure of the solid foundation laid by the work of the kindergarten has always been defective in one very vital respect. Apart from the school [36/37] conducted by the Widely Loving Society and the one connected with St. Margaret's School, Tokyo, there were no primary schools of our Church for Japanese children to attend after they left the kindergarten. Thus, until they reached middle-school age, they were lost to Christian influence, and many of the seeds planted in the kindergarten were lost or had to be replanted and tenderly nurtured in the middle school. Primary schools, the one great need in our system, could carry on the work of the kindergarten and obviate the necessity of replanting in the middle school.