Project Canterbury

Hannah Riddell

Known in Japan as "The Mother of Lepers"

By Jingo Tobimatsu

[Kumamoto: Kaishun Hospital], 1937.


In the northern part of the City of Kumamoto (in Kyushu, Japan) at the foot of the green-clad Mt. Tatsuta, surrounded by a beautiful trimmed hedge, we see a group of several buildings. Ascending a gently rising gravelled path, we come to a white gate, within which are to be seen numbers of large camphor trees and newly trimmed shrubs, in the midst of which there stands a one storeyed comfortable looking building. Contemplating this, one feels a peaceful and holy atmosphere pervading the whole scene. This is the quiet home for spiritual and bodily help where the leper patients are housed. This hospital is known as the Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope. Around the beautiful very tall camphor trees, there is a drive. On the right there is the main entrance with a smaller one for the patients' visitors.

Entering the building we find the waiting room for the patients, the dispensary, consultation and operating rooms. Turning to the right, we come to a beautiful lawn, following a concrete walk [1/2] which is used by healthy inmates only. To the left of this walk there are steps. Ascending these steps, we come to a reception room; adjoining this, is a large room called the Family Room. Here are many book-cases and curios and the room is decorated with pictures and a scroll, on which is a copy of a poem composed by the Empress Dowager. By the side of this, there are portraits of Miss Riddell and Dr. Shunsuke Miyake, drawn in crayon by one of the leper patients. Until the church was built this room was used for services, but at present is used for various meetings and contains the hospital library. It is also used as a children's class-room. Beyond is the kitchen, completing what is called the main building. On the south side is an avenue which runs east and west.

To the east of the main building are two detached buildings, surrounded by cedar hedges. Each building or ward has four rooms, facing the south-west.

In a sunny garden of the men's section various flowers bloom all the year round. In the middle of this garden is a solarium. On the north of this ward, within the hedge, are wash rooms and a [2/3] barber shop.

Coming out on the avenue, we turn eastward on to a concrete path, at the corner of which there are new buildings for patients. Turning here, we come to a three roomed building in which are housed the worst cases, adjoining which is a sewing room.

Leaving this building, a few steps further on we go through a rose arch, near which there is a small building for foreign patients. There is here one American patient. Behind this building somewhat apart, are a laundry and a store house. Near the foreign patients' building, there is a tennis court; morning and evening one sees the patients in sports clothes playing tennis. Beyond the hedge surrounding the tennis court, there is a building for women, and near by, their recreation room. On the lawn facing the verandah of the women's building is another solarium.

Returning to the avenue, on the right there is a grass-covered hill, on which there are various shrubs including azaleas. At the top of this hill we find a summer house, built by the late Hikoichi Motoyama, the proprietor of the "Osaka Mainichi" newspaper.

This is called "Azalea Hill," and the patients [3/4] love to sit and meditate here. Near this hill is. a building in which live the Bible woman, nurse; and sewing women; here also is a beautiful garden with a pond, in the middle of which there is a fountain. There are also mounds covered with moss which are beautifully kept. From this building we turn to the right, and on the left of the inclined path there is another summer house.

In this there is a picture of an old woman who for thirty years served as a nurse in this hospital, during that time devoting herself and living only for the pleasure of helping the patients. She spent her life, full of peace and with thanks to God that she should be allowed to do this work. She is called "our beloved Mitsui Tamiko," When she died, Miss Riddell built this summer house in her memory in recognition of her devoted service. On fine days we see many of the invalids locking at the picture and thinking of this old woman's love for God's suffering children.

Going up another incline, we find a tall white building rising above all the others; this is the laboratory. This laboratory building contains rooms for study and experiment as well as a library, and rooms for the doctors and janitor. Beyond this building there is a kitchen garden where many varieties of vegetables thrive, cultivated [4/5] by the patients.

On the north of the avenue, which is the west of the precincts of the hospital, at the foot of Momiji Hill, there stands a stone mausoleum surrounded by a box hedge which is planted in the shape of the rays of the rising sun. At the top of the mausoleum, there rises a cross on the doors are inscribed, "I am the Resurrection and the Life."

In the open space surrounding these buildings may be heard the sounds of patients practising base-ball, showing that in spite of their disabilities, they retain their love of sport. On the southwest of the grounds in the middle of the lawn there is a sun dial. This was built with money given to Miss Riddell by the Imperial Household in commemoration of the then Crown Prince's wedding (the present Emperor). In front of the sun dial there is the lovely large church. This building with its attractive surroundings, arouses holy desires and turns one's thoughts to prayer and praise. Carved in wood over the porch entrance is the inscription ''My house shall be called a house of prayer."

Along the church path on the right is the entrance for non-invalids. On the left, is the store house of the church.

[6] Near by there is a fig tree. Then turning to the right we see, facing the main front, of the hospital, the doctors' residence.

The avenue, composed of cherry and maple trees, was donated to the hospital by Marquis Okuma. In spring and autumn these trees are a joy to behold.


In the Nara Era, the Empress Komyo had sympathy for the condition of lepers and started work to aid them. At the end of the Ashikaga Era, 1549, St. Francis Xavier landed in Kyushu and began missionary work in Kyushu and Yamaguchi, and afterwards extended the work to Kyoto and Tokyo. St. Francis, in connection with his missionary work, built a dispensary for lepers and an orphan asylum.

From Yamaguchi, he went to Oita in Kyushu, and met there Otomo Yoshishige, the head of the clan, who was a wise, brave man and in spite of opposition, he believed in and helped St. Francis.

In 1556, Louis Almeda, a Portuguese, donated 5,000 ryo for buildings to help lepers and [6/7] foundlings. The lord of the province also donated money and land to help this good work. This was the beginning of hospital work for lepers in Japan. Afterwards another hospital for lepers was built in connection with a dispensary which had been opened in a temple in Nagasaki. Konishi Yukinaga with his father Takasuka, built leper hospitals in Osaka and Sukai. Afterwards work for lepers was carried on in Kyoto and Wakayama. In 1602 a leper hospital was opened in Asakusa, Tokyo, also one in Hiroshima. They flourished until the proscription of Christianity in. the Tokugawa Era. Thus the work for lepers in Japan began in Kyushu, but died out when the anti-Christian Era began. It revived there in the following manner.

On the third of April, 1890, Miss Riddell went to see the cherry blossoms with Professor Honda of the Kumamoto High School. She saw poor lepers lying about the grounds of Hommyoji Temple of the Hokke sect in the city of Kumamoto. Miss Riddell was so grieved to see these-poor suffering ones that >she longed to help them and started temporary relief work at once. With the well known saying of Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, that "Lepers are the Flowers of Paradise, Pearls in the Coronet of the Eternal King," ever [7/8] in her mind, Miss Riddell persevered until November 11th, 1895, when the first building of the Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope was opened. This was 339 years after the first Christian work for lepers was started and had been destroyed.


On October 17th, 1855, Miss Hannah Riddell was born in Barnet near London. She was the only child of her parents and was brought up with loving care and was educated under strict supervision at home.

Her father, Daniel Riddell, resided in India for some years, so Miss Riddell was greatly interested in India. As she grew older she longed greatly to go there to do missionary work amongst the people then nearest to her heart. She was preparing herself for this great work, but unfortunately in 1886 her mother died, and two years later her father, so her plans were frustrated. When she was asked by the Church Missionary Society to go to Japan, for mission work, she at first hesitated but finally consented, believing that [8/9] it was God's will.

In Miss Riddell's words, "I never dreamt that there were lepers in this beautiful country, and especially I never thought that I should come here, but I am here." Before she arrived she had heard of the eruption of Mount Aso, near Kumamoto, and of the severe earthquakes felt over a wide area, so she thought Japan must be a "terrible place."

"In that terrible Kumamoto" Miss Riddell began her life work, and, forgetting herself, for more than forty years worked amongst and for the poor outcasts until here she breathed her last peacefully en February 3rd, 1932.


It was on December 22nd, 1889, that Miss Riddell reached Kobe from England, with great hope and many anxieties. She was warmly welcomed by Miss Tristram of the Poole Girls' School in Osaka. Miss Tristram remembers that time well, saying, "I am the first person in Japan whom Miss Riddell saw. Miss Riddell spent three months with us in Osaka, and then I don't think [9/10] that she had any idea of working for lepers, but she was doing the necessary preparation for God's work in this, her field. Miss Riddell brought with her a pet dog, and she was a person who loved to have animals near her." She came to Japan which has different manners, language and customs, her dog as an only friend. She was lonely, but full of faith and hope in the future.


Miss Riddell spent three months in Osaka , studying Japanese in preparation for her missionary work. At the end of February, 1890, she went to Kumamoto by sea via Nagasaki--Kumamoto, where she had determined not to go--but which was the centre of civilization in Kyushu at that time. She lived in "Long Peaceful Temple Street" and began her work amongst the teachers and pupils of the Fifth High School.

Mr. Jigoro Kano, the then Principal of the School, and Professor Masujiro Honda, never spared themselves in helping Miss Riddell's missionary work, so many faithful students of the Fifth High School, and others, came to hear what [10/11] she had to teach. Professor Ochiai of the Peers' School, Tokyo, Mr. Washio, late Principal of Yamaguchi Higher Commercial School and Professor Kuroda of the Medical College in Manchoukuo, were taught by her when they were students, and were among her Bible Class pupils.


When Miss Riddell settled in Kumamoto, the Constitution had just been promulgated. Until then foreigners were not allowed to live outside of Treaty Limits. This was the time of the Rokumei Kan Jidai, (the pro-foreign era) and of the public movement for more political freedom. In order to reside or to travel outside of Treaty Limits, foreigners had to have passports from the Foreign Office, obtained through their Consulates.

Although Miss Riddell had a house in Choanji-cho, Kumamoto, every three months she had to go to Nagasaki to have her passport renewed. In those days, travelling in Kyushu was very inconvenient, and there was no direct communication between Nagasaki and Kumamoto. One had to take one of the following routes:

[12] 1. By train from Kumamoto to Moji, then by steamer from Moji to Nagasaki.

2. By train from Kumamoto to Takeo, by jin-rikisha from Takeo to Hayaki, or by a small boat across Omura Bay to Nagayo, from Nagayo by jinrikisha to Nagasaki.

3. By jinrikisha from Kumamoto to Hyakka-nishi, thence by the Wakatsu small steamer to Nagasaki.

Of these three ways the third seemed to be the easiest, but in reality it was the most difficult, because from Hyakkanishi one had to go to the offing about 2}^ miles by ferry-boat, and wait for the coming of the steamer. It was really a terrible trip to be rocked by the waves, in an open boat on a cold winter's night. The steamer was dirty and without any comforts. It was a most unpleasant experience.


On December 6th, 1902, Miss Riddell made the following speech at a meeting of the Women's Sanitary Association. "About 2 1/2 miles out of the city of Kumamoto, there is a temple of the Hokke Sect called Hommyoji. In this temple [12/13] Kato Kiyomasa, the lord of Kumamoto Castle 300 years ago, was buried.

"It would be difficult, I think, to find in the world a stronger man than he. He was a great statesman, and as a general there was hardly a greater man in the world; he had wonderful strength in battle. But according to the legend, this Kiyomasa himself suffered from leprosy, and becoming a follower of the Hokke Sect, it is said that he was cured of his leprosy. Perhaps for this reason, the number of lepers who come to this temple is enormous. They come from all parts of Japan to pray for help. It was in the spring about ten years ago that I came to this temple for the first time. That day happened to be one of its annual great festivals. The sky was clear and bright and the cherry blossoms were at their best for quite a distance on either side of the road. Under the beautiful blue sky and the lovely blossoms, one saw the most wretched of scenes--men, women and children suffering from leprosy. Numbers were crouching on either side of the road, some were blind, some had no noses, some had hands without fingers, others feet without toes. These poor sufferers displayed their own wretched condition so as to attract the attention of the passers-by to their begging. Passing through the [13/14] cherry avenue at the foot of that temple, we came to a long flight of steps, and on each step the lepers were begging, and beseeching Hotoke to help them. Some children nursed in their mothers' arms were lepers or had skin diseases. It was an overwhelming sight to see those little children, taught by their mothers to beg, holding out their little hands for help. As we approached the temple, I heard the sound of drums and the voices of the priests. In front of the entrance to the hall of worship (haiden) a large number of leper men and women were holding up their hands with head erect, telling their beads, praying and begging earnestly for help. On the left, there was another building. Here a young leper of about eighteen years of age was moving his head from side to side keeping time to the beating of the drum, until, like a madman, he fell down senseless. This is the sight I saw ten years ago for the first time. Afterwards, I saw this same sight many times, but I have not since then seen so many lepers gathered together. It was seeing the miserable condition of these poor people that made me determined to try to help them. I found that for these wretched sufferers whose property had all gone in their efforts to get well, there was no help being given either by the Government or [14/15] by any of the Christian churches. For those lepers who had no money there was nothing for them to do but to leave their homes and loved ones and to beg. What a terrible plight to have to beg when they were suffering and needed the loving care of home and friends. Those poor sufferers, to prevent shame and disgrace falling on their dear ones, wandered off alone to suffer and to die. To help these I determined to use every effort possible, and not to hate the sight of such a terrible disease; if I could find a way to have them helped and cured, I would do so. I could not believe the statistics of the Government reporting that there were so many lepers, and of course I did not know the number of those who were hidden away by friends and relatives. In three prefectures only, there were over 50,000, according to the investigation of 1901."

That April 3rd--it was a great day appointed by God--was a day to be remembered in the history of the work for lepers in Japan. On the margin of "Daily Light" (a book of devotions which Miss Riddell always had by her side and read daily) for April 3rd, was written by her "On this day I first saw lepers.'' That little book is now in possession of Miss Ada H. Wright, the successor of Miss Riddell, and is an everlastmg [15/16] memorial of that day.

The great sympathy of Miss Riddell, was aroused when she saw lepers for the first time, on that day and she was deeply moved and shocked. On returning home she quietly meditated without sleep all night. All kinds of thoughts arose in her mind, such as "it was not her will at first to come to Japan, or to work in Kumamoto, but it must have been God's will that she came here and that she saw the miserable sights of that day; and it was surely a revelation from God that she was chosen to save and relieve these poor sufferers. If so, God would help her to succeed in carrying on this difficult work." With this belief Miss Riddell determined to give her life for the relief of lepers, and prayed for help. If we think of the condition of Japan in 1890--the condition of social and public sentiment--it will not be difficult to understand how hard it was to start such an undertaking j but Miss Riddell's faith and earnest love for the sufferers helped her to formulate plans for them. Fighting against innumerable difficulties, to build a hospital, especially a hospital for lepers, which had never been attempted before, could not be done in a short time; but those poor sufferers were asking for help in front of her eyes, and some work, even [16/17] if only temporary, must be started. On April 4th--the next day--Miss Riddell went to Hommyoji again and saw the poor souls there. Among these she found a man in a very pitiful state, who had some intelligence and appeared to be less degraded than those around him. Miss Riddell talked to him, heard his story and observed his mental condition.


Miss Riddell felt that the relief work for lepers could not be forgotten even for a day. Before building a complete hospital, for this immediate work she had a temporary clinic in Makizakicho along the Hommyoji road, and sent doctors and nurses to help the lepers' bodily ills and to give them spiritual comfort. Thus began the leper work in Kumamoto.


Dwelling continually on the thought of building a hospital and so relieving the lepers, and wishing to tell of the love of God to these, unhappy [17/18] people who were too poor to have medical aid, Miss Riddell visited the slums and comforted those dwelling there. She gave immediate help to those dangerously ill and aided the less seriously affected, giving them medicine. Hearing this, a great many came to her for medical care. For several years Miss Riddell spent the summer in Unzen, Shimabara, and she always took her medicine kit with her to help those who were ill and needed medicine.

There were no doctors in Unzen, so she was often called on to help those who were ill. She would wash and bandage their wounds and comfort them. The people whom she thus helped were most grateful, and they often wept because of her kindness to them. At other places too, she was as a ministering angel to those who suffered, and for all this her reputation spread, and she received great respect throughout the Prefecture.


After seeing the lepers at Hommyoji temple and giving them temporary relief at the small dispensary at Makizakicho, Miss Riddell decided [18/19] to begin the building of the hospital. As soon as she had decided on the plans, she informed her relatives and friends, and asked them to support and help her in her task, but some of them would not listen to her pleading because they thought that such a work was impossible 5 but there were not a few who were in sympathy with her plans and supported her generously.

It is needless to add that there were innumerable difficulties before the work was done. It was only by prayer and by what appeared to be an inspiration from heaven that she was sustained. (II Corinthians 5: 13, 14, 15).

Although the plans might be insignificant, if it pleased God, all difficulties would be overcome. As a Chinese proverb has it, "Though the enemy be hundreds and thousands I will fight on," Miss Riddell's determination was firm and could not "be moved. Beginning this great work she donated her private means and so began the establishment of the "Country of Love" for the lepers. We must not forget the distinguished service of Miss Nott, who helped Miss Riddell in many ways, especially during the period when there were so many anxieties about the building of the hospital. Miss Nott was an English lady who came to Japan with Miss Riddell and worked by [19/20] her side in Kumamoto for some years. As the plans for the hospital building progressed, Miss Riddell received advice from many experienced persons. Those who were her advisers were Ven. Archdeacon A. B. Hutchinson, Rev. J. Brandrum, Messrs. Kinugasa, (a business man) Kanazawa, (an educationalist) and Tsukiji. First of all two plots of land were considered for the hospital j one was at Biwazaki near Hommyoji, and the ether was in the northeastern part of the city at the foot of Mount Tatsuta, which belonged to the prison. Finally the piece of land of four thousand tsubo (nearly three and a half acres), at the foot of Mount Tatsuta, was decided upon. It was bounded on the north by the ruins of a mausoleum called the Hokokubyo, built by Kato Kiyomasa, and the Taishoji temple, the mausoleum of the Hosokawa family. At the back of this rise the thickly wooded slopes of Mount Tatsuta. This is all now a Park.

On the east can be seen Mount Aso on the west, across what Miss Riddell called the "Dai-myo Road" where all the cryptomeria trees towered, in the far distance can be seen Murozono and other places of scenic beauty, including Kinpo-zan. Looking down the widely spreading plain to the south, we see flowing the limpid waters [20/21] of the Shirakawa.

After the land was bought, the unscrupulous owner asked more money for the well, insisting that the well was not included in the contract! He also cut down and sold the trees before handing over the land. Miss Riddell bore all this in silence. Thus the establishment of the hospital was begun. With the sound of carpenters' tools, the work began to take shape under Mr. Tokunaga, later the proprietor of the Sentoku Department Store.

Miss Riddell, in planning the hospital, asked the advice of the late Dr. Iwai, who was then working in the Red Cross Hospital, and was later Court Physician to Prince Ri. It is due to Dr. Iwai that the present hospital is so suitably built for its purposes. Because of this care in its construction, we are thankful to add that there has never been an epidemic here. Other hospitals have been built on the same plan.


The first part of the building programme was completed. The buildings finished were as follows:

[22] 1. Consultation room, dispensary, office and chapel (20 tsubo).

2. The men's ward (two buildings, 38 tsubo).

3. Doctors' residence (17 tsubo).

4. Women's ward (19 tsubo).

5. Ward for infectious diseases and serious cases, with nurses' room (19 tsubo).

6. Kitchen (11 tsubo).

7. Men's bath room, lavatories, disinfecting room (4.5 tsubo).

8. Store house (7 tsubo).

9. Women's bath room (2.5 tsubo).

Total 138 tsubo (one tsubo equals 36 square feet). Miss Riddell was greatly troubled about the choosing of a name for the hospital. The idea that a patient enters the hospital because of a disease which is loathed by the world, must be removed from their minds. For that reason, an ideograph which had any connection with this idea was abhorrent, so a suitable word must be chosen. From olden times in Japan, leprosy was called "Heaven's punishment." Once one had such a disease it was thought to be absolutely incurable. In addition to this those who suffered from the disease were cruelly treated, and abandoned by their relatives and friends. They then [22/23] naturally fell into the depths of despair, but with the progress of medicine it is now possible to cure this disease. Even were the disease incurable, the souls of those who suffer are well worth saving. They should be comforted and taught to believe in God, to have hope in their lives, and also to be encouraged to look for recovery.

For this reason the hospital was named Kaishun Byoin, the Hospital of the Resurrection of Spring (Hope).

On November 12th, 1895, Bishop Evington, Bishop in Kyushu, dedicated and opened the new buildings. The late Miss Allen, who saw the hospital soon after its completion, published her opinion in 1898. She wrote; "If you want to appreciate the work of the Kaishun Byoin, you must go to the Hommyoji temple, where Kato Kiyomasa, who was the lepers' divinity, is buried. The sights we see there are wretchedness itself, and once seen can never be forgotten. After seeing these dirty and wretched sights and comparing them with the quiet rooms of the hospital, the sunny gardens and the faces of the lepers who had been delivered from such dejection and despair, one's feelings are like these of Dante comparing the peace and rest of Paradise with the depths of Hell."

[24] Among the patients who came to the hospital at its opening, was that educated sufferer with whom Miss Riddell talked at Hommyoji on the memorable April 4th.


The first doctor in charge of the hospital was Dr. Gomi of Miye Ken, but when Dr. Tajiri, a native of Kumamoto, who had been studying in the Kitazato laboratory in Tokyo, returned, he then became doctor in charge, Visiting the hospital once a week. His responsibility was very great and he performed his duties most faithfully. In 1897 Dr. Shunsuke Miyake became doctor in succession to Dr. Tajiri and lived in the hospital. Dr. Miyake was one who must be always affectionately remembered in the history of the hospital and also for his work for lepers in general. For thirty years, he helped in the work of the hospital. He is loved and revered by the patients as "Our Merciful Father." His death was a very great loss, not only to the hospital, but to the medical world.

Dr. Miyake was born in Tsuwano, Shimane [24/25] Prefecture, on October 10th, 1854. In 1874, he went up to Tokyo and studied at Mr. Kuwada's Private school. Under Dr. Baelz he studied medicine. He was of a gentle disposition and an earnest Christian. He started practising in his native province and manifested in his practice, life and belief, that a doctor's profession should be one of mercy, as is indicated by the ideograph with which it is described.

Dr. Miyake was a member of the Presbyterian Church in his native town, and through his efforts a church was built there. Later on, in Shimonoseki and Nagasaki, he was much interested in the education of women.

While he was in Kagoshima, he had a large charity practice. It was some time after this that he was asked to join the staff of the hospital and accepted.

In 1921, the Minister for Home Affairs, in appreciation of his unselfish services, made a public recognition of his labours on behalf of suffering humanity. In Kumamoto also Dr. Miyake helped those who were too poor to pay for medical treatment. It was he who organized the Shion Kwai (Relief Association) in Kumamoto, which still exists.


Eight years after Miss Riddell came to Japan, and the work of the hospital was at last well under way, she returned to England to tell of her work to her friends and relatives. She then determined to resign from the Church Missionary Society, and work independently. In 1898 she returned to Kumamoto, and henceforth managed the hospital alone and assumed entire responsibility for its work. On her return, she moved from her former home to a house in Furu Shinyashiki.

There had been in Tokyo a magazine called "The Policemen's and Warders' Friend." The office of this magazine was moved to Kumamoto and it came under Miss Riddell's care: It was a monthly and its contents included:--

1. The Cultivation of the Mind.

2. The Study of the Law.

3. The Study of English Conversation, etc.

Miss Riddell herself wrote on the first subject "The Cultivation of the Mind." She asked someone especially qualified to write on the second subject as to English Conversation she asked the [26/27] assistance of Professor Kimura of the Fifth High School, and later Professor Toyama. Professor Toyama on the opening of the Kyushu Gakuin became its principal, and was respected by all for his fine character and wide experience. For a period of thirty years he was Miss Riddell's sole adviser and helper. In 1932 he died, shortly after Miss Riddell, to whom he was devoted.

Under the auspices of the "Policemen's and Warders' Friend," lectures were often held, Mr. Muto, the former principal of the Fifth High School and Professor Oku lecturing. This little magazine was not published for the purpose of making money; Miss Riddell's heart was in it, and she often visited the homes of the policemen and of the prison officials, where she was always welcomed by their families because of her fine Christian character. There were two officials who gave up their good positions to help Miss Riddell's work.

They were Mr. Goto and Mr. Matsunaga. Mr. Matsunaga as a secretary, and Mr. Goto as office assistant, both helped in the work of the hospital.

Mr. Goto was invaluable in his work for the hospital which was continuous for twenty-five years, except for the time that he was in the Army [27/28] during the Russo-Japanese War. He died on September 20th, 1924. Growing out of the magazine was the work later undertaken for released prisoners.

A book of about 200 pages entitled "The Text Book for the Consolation of Wounded Soldiers" was published by Dobunkan in Tokyo, August, 1905. The compiler of this book was Dr. Kyotaro Hayakawa, a medical officer engaged first as director of the Keijo Garrison Hospital and afterwards in March, 1905, removed to the Ryoyo Garrrison Hospital. Many wounded soldiers who had fought at Mukden happened to enter this hospital. He sympathized deeply with these loyal and brave soldiers, and appealed to well-known men to send letters of comfort to them. Whenever he received a communication he let these patients read it, or read it to them himself. These letters he afterwards published in book form. Miss Riddell was one of these contributors. She wrote about "Imperialism' and in beautiful language many times referred to her hospital. She seldom wrote on special subjects.

It is most interesting to read of her personality as revealed in this communication. She treated Imperialism from three points of view--the sense of duty, the brotherhood of man, and religion. [28/29] She argued in favour of the moderate colonial policy of England; the execution of one's duty irrespective of profit or repute; the unity of races, and the necessity of a trade policy depending upon it, and she concluded that these things could not be achieved unless they had a religious foundation. Dr. Hayakawa wrote: "I believe that Miss Riddell lived her life in accordance with these principles. I published this essay because I felt that her character could be inferred from what she therein wrote."


The hospital became very well established and its work gradually developed. The original plans having all been carried cut, Miss Riddell wished to enter upon a further plan of enlarging the accommodations of the hospital, but there was not space enough in the original piece of land. This caused her great anxiety, but Marquis Hosokawa was moved by her zeal to donate about three thousand tsubo of the adjoining land, making in all seven thousand tsubo, about six acres. Marquis Okuma donated many cherry and maple trees for the decoration of the grounds, so that the avenue [29/30] running from east to west, by its beauty, adds greatly to the charm of the place.

LAW NO. 11

Miss Riddell had many anxieties about the hospital in its relation to the Law. She insisted that the relief of lepers should be a National undertaking, so that the Government and people should work together for this end. She often called upon Government officials and made many propositions to them. She also called upon people of influence and tried to arouse public opinion.

In 1905 the late Viscount Shibuzawa, influenced by Miss Riddell's earnestness, invited many officials and prominent persons to the Bankers' Club, Tokyo, in order to listen to Miss Riddell's appeal for her work. Among those who attended were the late Marquis Okuma, Count Kiyoura, Messrs. Shimada Saburo, Zumoto, and Kubota, the last named being head of the Home Office Beard of Health, together with the representatives of the great business houses of Mitsui, Iwasaki, Furukawa, Okura and others.

At this meeting, Miss Riddell's subject was [30/31] "What should we do for the lepers in Japan?" Her words made such an impression that Mr. Kubota became convinced of the necessity for a law concerning the matter, and eventually in 1907, "Law 11" was passed.

At the above mentioned meeting, Marquis Okuma told how Japan was aroused from her long dream of isolation by the bombardment of the Shimonoseki Forts at the beginning of the Meiji Era, and how since that time Japan had made great progress by the aid of foreign influence, and now especially should be added this relief work for lepers which was being organized under the leadership of Miss Riddell.

Mr. Shimada also made a stirring speech telling of the great shock to the English speaking people caused by the death in 1889 of Father Damien in Molokai, an isolated island in the Pacific Ocean. Father Damien, while working and teaching among the lepers there, contracted the disease and so gave up his life for them.


Miss Riddell believed strongly that the only way to stamp out leprosy in Japan was by segregation [31/32] of the sexes, and she insisted on it as long-as she lived. She went to Tokyo almost every year, always calling upon the Minister for Home Affairs, and asking for his help in the enactment of a law for this purpose. Marquis Okubo wrote in the March, 1932, number of the Japanese magazine "Social Work":

"Miss Riddell went to Karuizawa for rest and on her way back to Kumamoto spent a few days in Tokyo at the Imperial Hotel. I called on her there and had the opportunity of talking with her. Miss Riddell went to the Home Office without fail and met the Home Minister, but the changes of Ministers were very frequent, so I was asked by her for an introduction to the new Minister nearly every year. I helped her as much as I could. Miss Riddell spoke strongly about leprosy in Japan and insisted that the Government ought to help more by financial aid. She repeatedly urged that the passing of a law for the prevention of the spread of leprosy should be expedited."

The following is Miss Riddell's letter sent to Marquis Okuma, then Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, in 1914.

Tokyo, September 26th, 1914. Dear Count Okuma:--

You may perhaps remember that about ten years ago you helped me very greatly towards [32/33] getting something done for the lepers of this country by the Government, and although at that time it seemed impossible to accomplish a great deal it ended in a few asylums, I think five in number, being erected by the Government for vagrants only.

That has been a very great step in the right direction, but now that you are both Premier and Home Minister, I am very desirous of asking you most earnestly to try to spare a little time from all the urgent affairs of state which press upon you to try to give a little consideration to the important question of how to relieve Japan from the terrible loss which she continuously and increasingly sustains, financially and morally, by the many lepers within her Empire.

This is not an imaginary evil, but a fact ever possible of proof, that the number of lepers is increasing, and every leper in the country means a useful patriot lost to the country, to say nothing of the years of misery and degradation to which each individual sufferer is condemned.

Other diseases, such as consumption, are receiving attention. It is right they should; but not any disease takes so long to kill its victim, or makes the victim so degraded and loathsome, or so dangerous to other human beings as leprosy.

Therefore I venture to urge, though with much reluctance, that something should be taken into consideration now and at once; and then set on [33/34] foot as soon as some practical method can be arrived at for the total elimination of this disease from the country.

In England some few hundred years ago we had lepers, though not in great numbers j the soldiers who had fought in the Crusades brought the disease from the East. The people of England set their face against it, and those who had property and means gave house's into which lepers were placed--men by themselves and women by themselves--and in a very short period of time there were no lepers left. They were treated with every consideration and kindness, and in some of the old churches in England there are still stone rooms existing with a window opening into the church, where lepers could go from their houses to listen to sermons on Sundays and other days.

Although every year gives some amount of hope as to a cure for leprosy, we cannot yet say that any but those who are in the very earliest stage are really cured, but some such simple means as that adopted in England might be tried in Japan with advantage. What I should like to suggest is that a very careful and kindly investigation be made as to lepers in all classes of society: not only vagrants but really and truly in every class of society, and that every leper should be permitted to change his name for secrecy. Then that two portions of land should he appropriated in each Ken as far apart as possible, [34/35] and that all the leper men of that Ken should be very comfortably housed and cared for in one place, and the women in the other, and that very great importance should be placed upon the Water Supply and the drainage of both places.

There are so many lepers of every kind that in those small Garden Communities some could have shops and pursue any useful calling their illness permitted. In the women's Garden, leper men could be employed to do the hardest work under the supervision of some one appointed for the purpose.

In each garden town there should be one or more doctors and a small hospital with nurses. Everybody but the doctor should be supplied from among leper patients. I would suggest that they be allowed to elect their own Head Man and conduct their own affairs as far as possible.

Another great difficulty is the Children of leper patients: and for them special regulations would be necessary. They should of course be allowed every possible chance in life; they could be taught trades supplying all that was needed for the Garden-City occupations in the way of weaving and making clothes, etc., etc., but I think they should not be allowed to marry for two generations, and although that seems a very stringent thing, I believe their patriotism could be appealed to, and boys and girls would grow up with the idea that marriage was not for them, though every other joy and comfort in life might [35/36] be theirs.

I think the expenses of the whole thing all through the country would not cost more than a single gun-boat and the yearly expenses could: well be met by a tax of about one sen on every person in the land. The gain to Japan and to humanity would be immeasurable. I so much want to see this accomplished for Japan during my life time and if the project seems too great (I do not think it is), for the whole country, will you not let it be tried in just one Ken? To be effective it should be all through the land.

This is only a broad outline of much that is in my mind, but Dr. Iwai suggests that I should put this into writing and leave it with you, as well as having the honour to consider the subject with you today.

Believe me,

Ever yours most sincerely,



Kusatsu, a place of hot sulphur springs in Gumma Prefecture five thousand feet above sea level, was noted from old times for the curative value of its waters, especially for skin diseases. [36/37] On this account, these springs were visited at all seasons by great numbers of people, those suffering from every kind of disease as well as many without physical ailments.

Kusatsu in the North shared with Arima in the South, in this great reputation, as a place for the alleviation of skin disease, especially were they reported to be beneficial to sufferers from leprosy.

This place, Kusatsu, where rhododendrons and lilies of the valley flourish, once so inaccessible that it could only be reached on foot or horseback, is now easily reached from Karuizawa by motor bus or railway.

Here existed a leper settlement of several hundred, at Yunosawa (the lower village). The-:e poor souls bathed in the boiling waters three times a day, and often gazed at their poor bodies wondering if the cure had begun, but almost always their hopes were frustrated and becoming desperate, they would seek oblivion in drink, and eventually they sank into the depths of vice and wickedness. So Kusatsu became a town of darknesss.

The authorities could do nothing to remedy this state of affairs because it was the result of the hopelessness of these leper sufferers.

[38] In 1900 Miss Riddell, who had heard of the condition of things in Kusatsu, decided to investigate, and with Miss Wright and some others paid a visit there. What Miss Riddell found was worse than she had imagined.

At the sights which met her eyes, she wept and prayed for help and guidance. She thought, though she had built a hospital in Kumamoto to show the light to a few leper patients there, her work must not be limited to that alone. She wished to collect the scattered lepers and give them spiritual happiness. She felt that God had called her to help, and if possible to save, these His children and to lead them to the "Land of Promise." In spite of the distance from Kumamoto, she hoped to overcome this difficulty and determined to start work in Kusatsu. It was many months before she could begin her work here, but her love and burning zeal in time overcame all obstacles. In September, 1913, she sent Mr. Yonehara, the chaplain at Kumamoto, to Kusatsu, and stopping at the Matsumura Kan, he began to work amongst the lepers. The people of Kusatsu did not understand the real purpose of his coming; they thought he came to take the patients away in order to transfer them to the Kumamoto hospital. As this rumour went around it became impossible [38/39] to rent a building in which he could speak. In the midst of his great trouble on account of this, a Mr. M., a leper, offered his room for meetings in spite of the opposition of the neighbours. Mr. Yonehara often held meetings there and visited the lepers in their lodgings. In spite of the opposition of the inn-keepers and their severe persecution, many lepers who longed for comfort and loving sympathy came to hear him. After a time a group was formed by those who were interested in Christianity and called, "Koen Kwai." (Light and Salt Society. St. Matt. 5:13 & 14).

So spiritual help was given to them and Miss Riddell sent articles for their comfort. In 1914 she sent Mr. M. and Mr. K. from Kumamoto to Kusatsu. They stayed there more than a month, and by their earnest prayers, there appeared to be a distinct change in the lives of the lepers, and voices of praise and thanks to God were heard from many lips; where yesterday there was darkness and despair, now shone the light of the glory of God. Mr. K. made rules for the new Society, for which officers were chosen and it soon began its activities. In the middle of September, by the decision of the more important members, a Kindergarten was opened. This was the beginning of the Sei Ai Yochien (Holy Love [39/40] Kindergarten).

Miss Riddell's sincerity was at last understood and suspicion was turned to gratitude. Up to that time, people had refused to rent any place for services and meetings, but now of one accord they showed their good-will. The manager of one of the hotels proposed to give a house for the meetings of the Society and for the Kindergarten free of rent; and others sent presents and Kindergarten Gifts and other necessities. On September 23rd was held the opening ceremony of the Kindergarten, and sixteen children were enrolled. The members of the Koen Kwai taught them. The next year an organ was given by Miss Wright, which added much to the happiness of all. It so happened that the Chief of Police of Gumma Prefecture, when he was visiting Kusatsu for inspection, was greatly impressed by the change for the better that had taken place in the Community, and he did not spare his praise of Miss Riddell's wonderful influence on the people, and of the sincerity of the helpers sent by her for the work, who had improved conditions to such an extent. He was amazed at the good results which had been accomplished where hitherto the efforts of the Law had met with scant success.

[41] During the same year, at the suggestion of Miss Riddell, the Rev. A. S. Hewlett, who was the chaplain of the Hospital in Kumamoto, went to Kusatsu with Mr. Yonehara, Miss Wright and two others. In the settlement at Yunosawa, the lower village of Kusatsu, where had been such darkness, the morning light now shone, and the faces of those who were formerly without hope were now bright with joy.

The flowers of love cultivated by Miss Riddell, bloomed beautifully and bore wonderful fruit. Kusatsu is a thousand miles from Kumamoto and it had begun, by the grace of God, to stand on its own foundations.

Miss Riddell left the work in charge of Bishop McKim, the Rev. R. W. Andrews and the Rev. P. C. Daito, and proposed to transfer it to Bishop McKim's Diocese.

Miss Mary H. Cornwall Legh went to Kusatsu in July, 1915. In the next year, she built herself a house and thereafter devoted her life to this work. She became a friend indeed to the lepers. Miss Riddell had every confidence in her noble character and placed the work entirely in her hands.


As the hospital in Kumamoto was gradually completed, Miss Riddell thought it should no longer be a personal property and asked permission to have it registered as a Juridical Person. On September 22nd, 1906, it received its charter from Mr. Hara, Minister for Home Affairs. The members of the organization were as follows:

Representative Director:

Miss Hannah Riddell

Advisory Committee:

Miss A. H. Wright, Miss G. Nott
Mr. Hisashi Kanazawa
Mr. Kagenori Kinugasa
Mr. Masujiro Honda.


The Japanese people everywhere, on learning that Miss Riddell had established a hospital and had been giving comfort and renewed life to the miserable lepers who had been in darkness and [42/43] abandoned by their relatives, began to appreciate what she was doing. Many were the grateful letters she received, and money too was sent for her work from many sources.

In 1905, the Kumamoto Prefectural Assembly, in response to the wish of the people of Kumamoto, unanimously voted to donate ¥1,500 to the hospital and sent it by the hand of Mr. Egi the Governor with a grateful letter to Miss Riddell as follows:--

My dear Miss Riddell,

You being of a naturally charitable disposition, when you came to this Prefecture as a missionary in 1890 and saw many lepers at Hommyoji, your sympathy for these poor creatures was greatly aroused. You determined to help them, and in 1895 you built a hospital here for them, and then, you have resigned your position in your Missionary Society and have worked only for the improvement of the condition of lepers.

We who live in this same Prefecture, wish to thank you warmly for your distinguished service of more than ten years. We hear that you have many anxieties about the maintenance of the Hospital because gifts from abroad have decreased on account of the present depression. Representing the people of Kumamoto, the members of the Prefectural Assembly proposed a gift to you for [43/44] your work of ¥1,500 from the general funds of the Prefecture. This gift was approved by the unanimous vote of the members of the Assembly. This sum we are sending to you as a mark of sympathy and respect, and we trust that you will accept it from the people of this Prefecture and make use of it in your great work. Yours faithfully,

(Prefectural Governor.)
December 16th, 1905.

Miss Riddell was greatly moved by the sympathy thus shown on all sides and prayed that she might be given courage and strength under God's Guidance to continue and develope the work which she had undertaken.


It is needless to say that a great deal of money is needed to give care and comfort to 80 hospital patients and to many outside the hospital, without help from the Mission and without an endowment, dependent only on the kindness of friends and casual sympathizers. With the work, [44/45] Miss Riddell's responsibilities and anxieties were indeed very great. She prayed fervently and ceaselessly that help might come for the support of the undertaking. During this time of stress, influential men, moved by her devotion, began to contribute to the hospital. Mr. Sanji Muto, for many years Director of the largest Spinning Company in Japan, and later proprietor of the "Jiji Shimpo" newspaper, was one of her sympathizers and helped greatly in collecting funds for the work. He wrote the following appreciation of Miss Riddell at her death:

"As I look back fourteen years to 1919 I remember that I first met Miss Riddell in Kobe. About that time, owing to the Great War, Japan was in good financial condition. There were many millionaires and many people were intoxicated by success. I received a telephone message from Miss Riddell who happened to be in Kobe, saying that she wished to see me as I had previously donated a small sum of money to the hospital. I arranged for an interview and she said, 'I have been running the hospital on money collected for me by friends at home, but owing to the War, money from England has greatly decreased. A friend in America said that if I could collect a certain amount in Japan, she would collect the same amount in America. If that plan succeeds, I can run the hospital, making that an Endowment [45/46] Fund. For the sake of the future of the hospital I wish to do this, so I am asking for your help.'

"I began then to realize about the condition of the lepers and how the work of caring for them had been left entirely to Miss Riddell, who had devoted herself to this work, and with the help only of contributions from her friends in England and America, had established this hospital in Kumamoto. I also thought, instead of spending uselessly the money we had made in those good times, we could collect contributions for such a work as this, even though our spirit of benevolence was not as developed as it should be. I at once accepted the suggestion of Miss Riddell, and with the help of the Governor of the Prefecture, I held a meeting en behalf of the work and my wile busied herself among her friends, while I also asked for subscriptions from my friends and acquaintances. In addition to this, I asked the newspaper men to write articles concerning Miss Riddell's work for lepers. I did my best to advertise this good undertaking, but even then, including my own donation, I could not collect the required sum of money.

"Even in Tokyo, men of more prominence than I tried to collect the amount needed, but failed in the undertaking. Some time later, I met Miss Riddell in Tokyo, on her return from the United States. I was ashamed to face her because of this [46/47] failure. Since then I have tried my best, both in writing and speaking, to arouse the spirit of philanthropy in the hearts of people as opportunity has arisen. Miss Riddell's philanthropic devotion and perseverance I can never forget.

"Miss Riddell spent her whole life in doing this noble work and died most highly esteemed by all who knew of it; and her great efforts for humanity will remain with us forever. I wrote an article on Miss Riddell's life and her fine work, for the Jin Shimpo, my newspaper. I hoped by making known to the general public the history of her work to arouse mere interest throughout the Nation."

Mr. Hayashi, Governor of Osaka Prefecture, Mr. Muto and many others sympathized, and assisted greatly in the work of the hospital. At various times, Miss Riddell was asked to speak on her work by schools, and women's societies, and regardless of her age she did this many times. Miss Furuya, Principal of the well-known Girls' school in Osaka bearing her name, accompanied Miss Riddell as her interpreter. She wrote her impressions of Miss Riddell in her book entitled "My Faith; my Work and Thirty Years Struggle with Disease."

"In 1917 when I opened my school in Osaka and it was practically unknown, Miss Riddell, the founder of the hospital of the Resurrection of Hope, came to Osaka. I was asked to go with [47/48] her to Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe as her interpreter. First, she spoke about her work in the large hall of the Osaka Red Cross Hospital. The Director Dr. Mayeda, Dr. Uchimura, Director of the Central Laboratory, and other doctors and nurses, many of whom are still there, were present in the audience. On first acquaintance. Miss Riddell seemed to be so dignified as to be difficult of approach, but later on one found that she was indeed a friend to all, and one thought of her as a dear "Mother." I went to see her at the Osaka Hotel. She came slowly down the long flight of stairs wearing a black silk dress, and around her neck was a gold chain attached to which were her eye-glasses. Pier appearance was one of beauty and nobility, comparable to England's noted Queen Victoria. She spoke English slowly and distinctly with what to my ears was a very musical voice. Thinking of what Miss Riddell had done for others; how she had come to Japan alone and become the "Mother" of those suffering lepers, giving her whole life to that work, I was deeply moved many times, and as we travelled together and I shared her meals, I offered her my silent admiration. For the two weeks during which Miss Riddell remained in Osaka, I left my work in the school to others, and was constantly with her, interpreting three or four times a day, at schools, and public meetings in the city. She spoke also in Kyoto, Kobe, Suma and Akashi. [48/49] especially, at a big hall in Kobe, we had a very successful meeting owing to the kindness of Mr. Ariyoshi, Governor of Hyogo Prefecture, Mr. Muto and others. Thus unexpectedly an unknown woman interpreter came to be recognized by influential men, and through this, my small school gained considerable prominence. When I think of this, I increasingly realize that although Miss Riddell did net help me directly, it is certain that she became one of the foundation stones for the building up of my school.

"By nature Miss Riddell disliked earthquakes, and although she determined if it were God's Will, she would go to the end of the earth, it is said, that she would have preferred to go to a land where there were no such disturbances. Without real faith in God, could a person come to such a land as Japan, above all others in the world a land of earthquakes, and so devote her life to the succouring of the despised lepers?

"In Ancient Egypt, Moses, who had been brought up by the Princess (Pharaoh's daughter) as her son, and who could have continued to enjoy the splendour of the Court of that great Nation, gave it all up when he knew that it was God's Will for him to lead the children of Israel out of the slavery of Egypt to the Promised Land. Like Moses, who gave up everything for this duty, so Miss Riddell gave up her life for the lepers in Japan who were cursed and despised [49/50] and cast out by their kindred.

"We must not think of Miss Riddell only as the founder of the hospital in Kumamoto, or even as the 'Mother' of the patients there; we must remember her as a martyr who walked on a 'path of thorns' as a pioneer leader. We must think of her as one who rang the 'warning bell' to arouse zeal for the relief of lepers, and for their separation from those as yet untainted. In addition, we believe we owe to her also very much of the interest shown in similar work by the 'Mission to Lepers.'

"After an address at the Nara Normal School, accompanied by Professor Mizuki, we went to see the relics of Narasaka, built at the beginning of the eighth century by order of the Empress Komyo who sympathized with lepers; and visited the mausoleum of that Empress. Before the mausoleum, Miss Riddell stood for some time in meditation, tears filling her eyes. After a while she said, 'It is desolate with no beautiful flowers, I wish to present some, and if it is allowed, I should like to plant bushes which would bloom throughout the year.' On her way home on passing through Nara Park, she got out of her jin-rikisha and fed the deer. Noble Miss Riddell, clad in black, standing in Kasuga Park silhouetted against Mount Mikasa, made a memorable picture. This happened on June 10th, 1919.

"One day Miss Riddell spoke at the Sakai [50/51] Girls' High School. After a warm welcome from the Principal, Miss Riddell stood up with her interpreter. The thousand pupils of the school gazed at her in rapt silence. The girls were waiting for words from her lips, and the interpreter determined to translate without a mistake. Suddenly this profound silence was broken by the words 'Mina sama'; it was Japanese which slipped out unexpectedly. Miss Riddell noticed it herself and looked at the interpreter, who smiled. The girls begged her to speak in Japanese, so she gave an earnest talk in that language. Everywhere in the hall was the sound of weeping. It was one of the most striking episodes of her tour."


The Hospital gives spiritual comfort to the leper patients and relieves them from hopelessness; at the same time it gives them the best of treatment; but alas, in many cases it cannot altogether cure the disease in spite of the great progress made by medical science. Not even that other terrible disease, tuberculosis, can be cured by fresh air, light and love only. What then can [51/52] be done for leprosy? Miss Riddell never despaired and said, "To me the power of Hope and Prayer remains as my belief. Leprosy is said to be hereditary, but recent theories do not agree with this, but insist that it is an endemic disease, and is spread by entering the blood j so the danger from infection is not so great. There is no doubt about this, for if due precaution is taken, this disease is not to be so greatly feared. So to study the bacillus is most important for treatment and prevention. Although there are many laboratories for the investigation of disease, like those of Kitazato, the Imperial University, etc., and well-known men of medical science are studying the subject, there is no laboratory for the investigation of leprosy alone. From investigations into the nature of this bacillus, not only would the work of this hospital benefit, but that done for lepers all over the world." Thinking thus, Miss Riddell felt deeply the need for the establishment of a laboratory in this hospital. In 1916, when Miss Riddell went up to Osaka, she spoke to Mr. Okubo, the Governor, about this. Mr. Okubo, who sympathized with her and her work, agreed with her plan and promised to help. At that time in Osaka, with the approval of Governor Okubo, there met in his office every month a [52/53] committee for the study of Social Service. Miss Riddell was invited by the Governor to address this committee. She did so twice. Among the Social workers who came to hear her, there was a newspaper man, Mr. Murashima, of the Osaka Mainichi Shimbun. He wrote, on the occasion of Miss Riddell's death, for the magazine "Sukui no Hikari" (Light of Salvation) published by the hospital, an article in which he stated:

"At one of the meetings for the study of Social Service in Osaka, Miss Riddell was introduced by the late Dr. Ogawa. She began to speak quietly and seriously. She told of the reason for giving herself to this work; how the work had progressed j and what were her aims and hopes. We were all in deep sympathy with what she said and it aroused great interest. We realized that Miss Riddell had the same spirit as Father Damien, who lived and died amongst those lepers for whom he gave his life. The verse from the Bible 'Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends' was inscribed on the memorial cross put up by the British Government in Molokai. This same verse should be inscribed on a memorial to Miss Riddell. I, who never shed a tear, feel the tears welling up to my eyes when I think of this noble woman."

Miss Riddell's zeal and hope were finally rewarded and a laboratory was planned. Dr. [53/54] Miyajima of the Kitazato laboratory, the great authority on bacteriology, Seiichiro Chujo, Doctor of Engineering, and an authority on architecture, with the skill of specialists completed the plans, and the construction was undertaken by the Shimidzu Company of Tokyo.

Dr. Uchida came to be the Head of the Laboratory with an introduction from Dr. Kitazato, and was allowed to use one building of the Kumamoto Medical College for his work, until the new building was finished. In 1918, the Laboratory building in foreign style was completed. This stood on a hill near the woods in the north-west portion of the hospital grounds, and was loudly praised by all who visited it. Dr. Uchida resigned his post after three years, and went to Keio University Hospital in Tokyo. During the time he was in Kumamoto, he studied the various kinds of leprosy bacilli, and on announcing the results of his investigations, was highly praised by the medical world.

As. Dr. Uchida's successor came Dr. Tamiya, who stayed about two years; and on his return to Tokyo was assistant Professor in the Medical Department of the Imperial University, and as Bacteriologist in the Infectious Disease Laboratory. He became very famous in the study of leprosy. [54/55] In his "Recollections" he writes of Miss Riddell's fine character, and one phase of the work done at the hospital. He says: "I remember when I was a child, reading a newspaper in our home, which gave In big headlines an account of Miss Riddell's work among lepers. Even in my childish mind I felt admiration for her work; not only from the newspapers but in various other ways, I heard the name of a hospital which was at the foot of Mt. Tatsuta. This work began to be known by me, probably because my father was a doctor. About ten years later, when I went out into the world and the post in Miss Riddell's laboratory was offered to me, my youthful impressions of this work for lepers returned to my mind. On accepting the position, I was at first greatly pleased; but after a while I began to wonder if I were really equal to the responsibilities of the important post. I did my best and hoped that I might succeed. My first interview with Miss Riddell was at the beginning of the summer of 1909, at the Oriental Hotel in Kobe. I saw her for a few minutes, and looking at me she said: 'Are you coming?' and I answered 'Yes,' and with these few words we parted. I went to Kumamoto shortly after. I must give great honour to Dr. Miyake who stood by me, and through whose [55/56]
influence I received the appointment. Miss Riddell's name should be written in the annals of the history of leprosy, for the impetus she gave to the scientific study of that disease.

"Just at the time that great interest had been manifested in the work of the hospital by the Empress Dowager, and the importance of the work began to be realized more and more by doctors and social workers, Miss Riddell died. My first impressions of the hospital were most favourable. Around the building there was a wide lawn with an avenue of cherry trees, which in the spring was very beautiful. Miss Riddell had brought some lily bulbs from England which had been planted under the cherry trees in front of a bay window. It was said that they were shorter and smaller than the Japanese lilies, and that the colour was white, but I never saw the flowers.

"During my first year I spent all my spare time in studying the bacillus of leprosy. Everything I saw and heard in the examination of the patients in my consulting room affected me deeply. They asked me various difficult questions, some of which I was often perplexed to answer. During that time, Miss Riddell continually encouraged me, and joined in my hope for the discovery of the real leprosy bacillus; but progress was very [56/57] slow. Among the patients there was a poetry society, many of whose productions I read} some of the verses remain very vividly in my memory.

"The first step in my laboratory work was necessarily the examination of the patients' blood. This at first was a trying ordeal for them, but eventually they were all perfectly willing and helpful about it, and it was of the greatest assistance to my investigations. I am very sure that their willingness was due in great measure to their gratitude to, and belief in, Miss Riddell. During the time I was in the hospital, as the result of my investigations, I was able to publish three essays."

In 1925, on the recommendation of Dr. Miyake, Dr. Roichi Jingu was appointed as Bacteriologist assistant, and on Dr. Miyake's death in September, he succeeded him. He was there eight years, during which time he published many essays. In 1933, as the result of his studies, he received his Doctor's degree. In 1934, he left to go to the Nagashima Aisei En. As successor to Dr. Jingu, Dr. Shinichi Ikejiri came to the hospital, young and enthusiastic, and he is still working there, and investigating the treatment of leprosy.


The work for lepers and the building of the hospital were not only for the healing of the sufferers' bodies, but for their spiritual welfare also; to help them to find new life through faith in God and to lead them to Christ their Saviour.

For twenty-nine years a room in it he main building had been used as a chapel, for worship and the Sacraments, but now in 1924, Miss Riddell's hopes and prayers for a permanent and suitable church building were to be realized. The reason for this long delay was the lack of money caused largely by the Great War.

Miss Riddell considered many plans as to the style of architecture, some for a building in foreign style, and others for one in pure Japanese style. She finally decided on a combination of the two, giving especial attention to lighting and ventilation.

Miss Riddell gave personal attention to the materials, and supervised the work of building, almost forgetting to eat and sleep. At last the church was finished, and it set a new style for Church architecture. It was built according to Miss Riddell's own ideas and plans; even the [58/59] placing of the furniture and the design and carving of the altar were done exactly in accordance with her wishes.

On the 24th of June, the church was consecrated by Bishop Lea of Kyushu and called the Church of the Advent. The following is an account of the consecration and a description of the church, written for the "Japan Advertiser" by a missionary who was present at the service.

"On the afternoon of June 24, the 'Church of the Advent' in the 'Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope,' Kumamoto, (Kai Shun Byoin) was formally consecrated. The service of consecration was conducted by the Bishop, the Right Rev. Arthur Lea, D.D., assisted by clergymen from Fukuoka and Kumamoto. The choir from the Divinity School at Fukuoka led the singing. A church member at Fukuoka had supplied gratis a large automobile to convey the choir to Kumamoto and back.

"The service was attended by practically all of the hospital patients who were able to come out. They occupied the main body of the Church, sitting in Japanese fashion on the tatami.' The chancel, on both sides of the altar, was furnished with chairs for guests. At the close of the service, Miss H. Riddell, founder and head of the institution, [59/60] greeted the guests as they left the church. Photographs were taken to commemorate the occasion, and then tea was served in the Library of the Research Laboratory Building.

"The Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope for Lepers is a self-governing Christian hospital, conducted by Miss Riddell. The church within it is not attached to any Mission, but is connected with the Nippon Sei Kokwai (Japan Episcopal Church). The hospital receives lepers without regard to creed. Many of those who enter are not Christians, nor is it in any way compulsory that they should become so, though they generally do.

"Henceforth the religious life of the hospital will centre in the new Church building, which has now superseded the room which has been used as a place of worship for 29 years (since 1895), and which will now be utilized as an assembly and recreation room.


"The new Church building was projected some years ago, but its erection was delayed by the Great War. The architecture of the church is a new departure. Designed entirely by Miss Riddell herself, and executed in every detail [60/61] under her direct and painstaking supervision, it is a striking monument to her faith and determination as well as to her courage and to her skill in adapting the old to her peculiar needs. Consequently she has not hesitated to take old Japanese architecture (some might erroneously call it Buddhist) and make it serve her purpose. She has endeavored to provide a place of worship appropriate to her afflicted patients, that should be both churchly and homelike, and at the same time harmonize with its surroundings.

"Accordingly she has built in Japanese style, adding distinctive Christian features in the large plain crosses at both ends of the Church roof, and in the tiny crosses burned in all the prominent roof-tiles. The foundations are of cut stone well set in concrete. The entire space under the building is cemented to keep the building dry and safe from white ants. The church is cruciform in shape, the transepts being utilized for vestry rooms, committee rooms, offices for private interviews, etc. A three-foot wide verandah ('en') extends around the entire building. The front entrance is arranged on an incline, so that patients who must use rolling-chairs can conveniently be wheeled into the church. The entire exterior of the building is painted white, and the effect is [61/62] very pleasing, set as the church is within beautiful green hedges and surrounded by broad green lawns.

"The interior is spacious, bright and airy. Japanese 'shoji' in pairs of two with plaster walls showing between, form the sides of the room. Jet black posts and plain unpainted light-colored wood in the cross-beams afford an effective contrast. The ceiling is plain white plaster. No pillars mar the interior of the room, the ceiling being suspended from above. The chancel is unusually large, and is separated from the nave by a rail and by a single low step up, as well as by 3 rood of very simple straight line construction of wood covered with beautiful cryptomeria bark. The whole floor is covered with tatami.' In the nave, on both sides of a broad centre aisle, low prayer-desks and book-racks are placed to. accommodate about a hundred worshippers, though the church could comfortably seat three times that number. These invalids require space.

Observing how wisely Miss Riddell has adapted Japanese architecture to Christian requirements, one is led to wonder whether Christian churches in general will not ultimately adopt something similar. One Japanese who visited this church is said to have exclaimed, 'Here for the first time [62/63] have I entered a church in Japan where my soul could expand and feel the true spirit of worship!'


"Beautiful gifts have been received for the church, some of them memorials for those who fell in the late war. Those who knew Mr. Norman Wells of the Rising Sun Petroleum Co. will be interested to know that there is a brass tablet to his memory, on the right side of the chancel, the gift of his relatives and friends. Mr. Wells was deeply interested in the Hospital, and came from Fukuoka frequently to visit it. He spent many hours there helping to relieve the tedium of life for a young American of his own age who is still a patient there, while he himself has gone to his eternal reward, having been killed in the War.

"Among the pictures that hang on the walls, are four artist's proofs, donated by the widow of Mr. Hole, who spent many years in Palestine to obtain the right atmosphere for his beautifully illustrated 'Life of Christ.' There is also a plaster cast of 'Ecce Homo,' made by a Spanish leper and sent as a gift to his brothers in suffering in Kumamoto for their church.

"In the centre of the lawn in front of the [63/64] church is a sun-dial mounted on a stone base and pillar.

"The successful completion and dedication of this edifice is an achievement on which Miss Riddell should be congratulated. It is the crowning feature of an already lovely institution. The dread of disease vanishes as one irresistibly gives way to the pervading calm and peace in those sacred surroundings. After the dedication service, it was remarked how perfect the upkeep of the hospital is, and how expensive it must be. 'Yes* was the reply, 'Perhaps so; but all the money in the world could never result in making the atmosphere there what we all feel it to be: nothing but the tireless, consecrated personal attention and loving care of the founder and benefactor herself could accomplish this. The Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope for Lepers is the creation of a consecrated personality. It is the spiritual as well as the material expression of a great soul devoted to the service of God and her unfortunate fellowmen.'"

On July 5th the "Japan Advertiser" contained the following editorial.


"It seems scarcely necessary to emphasize by [64/65] words the true service that is being performed by Miss Riddell in Kumamoto. The Government of Japan earlier in the present year recognized and rewarded it, Miss Riddell being among those honoured by the Throne in connection with the wedding of the Prince Regent. Every resident of Japan knows of and sympathizes with the Christian humanitarianism which goes on day after day and which justifies by concrete deeds the name so happily selected--The Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope.

"The consecration of the new building of the Church of the Advent at the hospital is further recognition on the part of all those who, through their gifts, have made possible this building which expresses in wood, tile and other materials the same goal toward which Miss Riddell so effectively works, which performs through the medium of architecture the same task that those for whom it is designed perform through their actions. There is nothing alien to Japan in the spirit and essence of Christianity, since that religion contains within itself nothing alien to humankind in any quarter of the globe. Where mistakes have been made, and they have been made and some of them have been corrected, is in the application of doctrine, rather than in the doctrine itself.

[66] "The completion and consecration of this church gains an especial significance at this particular time, when the cry has gone up from many Japanese Christians that separation and isolation are the need of their faith in Japan. Independence and self-direction are, most certainly, a worthy goal, but not refusal to co-operate. A most dramatic and understandable answer to the problem that is vexing so many may be found in Kumamoto. The work of the hospital, the methods by which that work is executed and the concrete object lesson of the architecture of the new church are of greater significance and potential influence than dozens of learned discussions or treatises."


In January, 1924, on the marriage of the Crown Prince a silver cup and a sum of money were given to Miss Riddell by the Imperial Household. With the money a sun-dial was built in the centre of the lawn in front of the new church. Around the dial is inscribed,- "From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord's name is to be praised. Ps 113.3." On the base is inscribed, "Erected in commemoration [66/67] of the marriage of the Crown Prince, with money contributed by the Imperial Household on that occasion. Hannah Riddell." The reason for choosing a sun-dial for the purpose was as a delicate allusion to the Crown Prince being the heir to the Empire of the Rising Sun.

The Rev. Fr. Iwashita, the head of a certain Leper hospital who came to visit Miss Riddell's hospital said: "Of all I saw the thing I liked best was the sun-dial. It may be foolish to say I admired the sun-dial, when I had gone to see the hospital; but where is there another such hospital so restful and pleasing in Japan? At a time when most hospitals were thinking only of how they should cut down expenses, this hospital has erected a sun-dial which reminded me of those I saw in England, which are in front of country churches or at the entrance to mansions. They are usually memorials.

"I called that place 'a corner of England,' which pleased Miss Riddell very much. This was not a compliment but my real feeling, and I only wished that the church had been built of stone and was covered with ivy; then I could have salt on one of the steps and read 'Gray's Elegy.' The hospital was built as a model for others, said Miss Riddell, and her faith and hope are shown [67/68] in the sun-dial. A hospital should be built of the very best material possible, not like an unsightly barrack. The atmosphere should be one of love so that the sufferers who are separated from their loved ones, could forget their ills and live, sleep and die in the sun. One would pray that all at last should find rest in the bosom of the Father, in warmth, light and love. I am sure, too, that this is Miss Riddell's desire. I hope that writers of verse will choose 'Sun-dial' as the name for the collection of poems dedicated to Miss Riddell."


Lepers are persecuted and hated by the world, and are driven from their homes and not allowed to return to them, because the families from which lepers come feel it a disgrace, and hide the fact of their relationship as much as possible. Even when they die, their relatives will not receive their ashes. "What will become of our ashes?" is their miserable cry.

Miss Riddell wished to set apart a place within the precincts of the hospital where the ashes of these who had passed away could be interred. [68/69] She asked permission of the authorities, but it was refused, with the reply that it would be violating the law concerning graveyards. She had to give up that plan and decided to build a stone mausoleum. This was finished in 1923, Miss Riddell planning and supervising its construction. The garden and the spot where the mausoleum was to be erected had been planned some years previously. In the garden, there are rows of low box plants radiating from the centre to represent the rays of the Rising Sun, the Empire flag. In the centre is the mausoleum, on the top of which stands a cross, the symbol of our Faith. Over the door, in the stone of the mausoleum is inscribed "I am the Resurrection and the Life,"

When the patients saw the completed building, they were filled with joy and said; "We have nothing more to be anxious about, when our end comes; we know the place where our ashes will be; we were cast out of our homes, but now we have a place where we can rest with our friends forever."

When Miss Riddell saw the completed mausoleum her joy was unspeakable. It was joy not only because there was a place for the patients' ashes, but also because she hoped that her ashes too would rest there just as she believed that her [69/70] soul would be with those she loved in Paradise.

Bishop Naide of Osaka once visited the hospital and on going to the mausoleum, he saw an empty place. He asked "What is this," Miss Riddell answered "It is the place for my ashes." On Miss Riddell's death Bishop Naide recalled this incident and said: "As a Japanese I was deeply impressed by her words. She is a foreigner yet she works for the patients with the wish that her ashes shall be placed near theirs, without seeking honour or position."

It was probably in 1918 that Miss Riddell attended as a guest a Conference of the Heads of Leper Asylums. When they were dining together after the Conference, Miss Riddell sat opposite the Vice-Minister for Home Affairs. He thanked her for her services for lepers and said: "You have worked very hard for the relief of lepers in Japan; eventually where do you intend to retire?" Miss Riddell replied: "I am working as a Japanese, and needless to say I shall continue doing so until I die, and I wish my ashes to remain on Japanese soil." Now she has had her wish; her ashes remain in the mausoleum which she built for the lepers, and she is "the star" in the history of relief work for lepers in Japan.


This Hospital was now established, as well as five Government Asylums and other places in which lepers were received, but still there was not room to take in all these needing care. A large number of persons suffering from leprosy were kept secretly in their homes. The condition of those who were thus hidden was terrible.

If it were known that there was a leper in the house all the members of the family would be isolated, the girls refused marriage and not allowed to work with others. It was absolutely necessary for those who had lepers in their house to hide the fact. For this reason, a leper was confined to one room and not allowed to communicate with anyone, so that it was impossible for a sufferer to send for a doctor, and as his condition grew worse he could get no help. The gloomy atmosphere of the house reacted on all the inmates, making them more and more wretched.

No material or spiritual happiness could come to such families and they gradually degenerated. Miss Riddell saw how great was the need that help, both spiritual and financial should be given [71/72] them. From 1920 visiting was begun by the workers of the Hospital in the homes of those who were known to be sufferers from leprosy. How to discover the hidden lepers was the great difficulty. When discovered, the rest was easy. In visiting these poor people very many difficulties were encountered.

After visiting one of these homes, a report was made to. Miss Riddell as follows: "When visiting a certain home I was told of a house where there was a man suffering from leprosy. When I went there, the whole family looked at me with suspicion, and they shut the door in my face as if I had gone there to punish them." But where there is faith and sincerity, all difficulties melt away. As the result of perseverence, at length the light of God entered even these gloomy homes, and new life was brought to those who were before without hope.

The principal reasons for refusing to see these who called were

1. The fear that the existence of a leper would become known to others.

2. Suspicion of those who came to see chem. In time Miss Riddell's love and kindness and the sincerity of those who tried to help them, softened their hearts. Many were relieved in their [72/73] homes, and the worst cases were removed to the hospital.


Owing to the difficulties of travel and the lack of money, the inhabitants of the islands in Kagoshima Prefecture are very poor, and particularly the condition of the lepers was such as can scarcely be described.

These people earned a living by fishing, making articles of bamboo, and farming, but as the disease progressed, sufferers from it were unable to continue these occupations. When there was no one to take care of them, they took refuge in the hills and subsisted on the roots of plants and the bark of trees, ending their lives in agony. For many years with a desire to help these people. Miss Riddell sent to them from the hospital, medical aid and material comforts, also means of spiritual consolation. When the helpers from Kumamoto visited these lepers, they took with them supplies of medicine, bandages and hair clippers. When lepers were found, first of all their hair was cut, which often had not been done for years; their wretched bodies washed, their wounds [73/74] dressed and bandaged. They were given food and heard words of comfort and kindness, in many cases for the first time in their lives. When parting from their benefactors the sufferers shed tears of gratitude; in spite of their agony, they realized the blessings of love and humanity.

Once, one of the workers brought back an account of a most pathetic case of a young man whom he found in the hills of one of the islands. He was lying on a mat in indescribable filth with no protection from the weather. The worker at once went off five miles to get bamboo and straw, brought them back and built a shelter over him and made a bed for him. His story was that he had lost his parents when small and had been brought up by relatives, but as he developed leprosy, he became an outcast and was forced to live in the hills. His relatives came once in three days with a small quantity of food for him. When even those who had relatives were treated no better than this, hew much worse was the condition of those who had no one to help them! Miss Riddell sent clothing and bedding to this-man. Helpers were sent when possible to the other islands to help all those whom they could find.


The condition of lepers in the Loochoo Islands is extremely bad, possibly because of the poverty and misunderstanding of the islanders. Here the sufferers are not even treated like human beings. If a leper is found in a house, he or she is at once sent away to a distant place or left on the shore. This was the rule and custom of every place. Who would not weep at being forced by this strict rule to cast out either a parent, son, daughter, husband or wife or any loved one? But these villagers without a tear would do this to their dear ones, and never think of the consequences.

At the entrance to a village, there is a notice board reading, "No admission for lepers." If any one showed kindness to a sufferer or assisted him with money or food, he would be liable to a fine as an offender against the law.

So the lepers died alone without food or help. One might see to-day a leper by a rock on the seashore and to-morrow he would be found dead; such cases were numerous. Should such a condition of things be allowed?

On hearing these harrowing tales, Miss Riddell [75/76] wept and prayed and immediately sent a helper to this island. This was in February, 1915. From that time Miss Riddell continued to send comforts to these poor outcasts and to give hope.

The workers who went to help attempted to teach the hard hearted villagers better ways, but they met with persecution. In 1920 one of the helpers went to live there, but no one would rent him a house. In spite of this he was determined to remain, so the villagers appealed to the police and had him arrested.

Another, greatly moved by Miss Riddell's zeal was anxious to go there and live among the lepers and fight for their rights. With Miss Riddell's permission, he went alone to a place called Nago which he made his centre, visiting the villages within a radius of 25 miles. He went to those who were lepers, comforting them, giving them medicine and attending to their needs. He thus tried to lift them out of their despair. In-one case, he caned for a number who were lying (together on thin pieces of grass matting, in a hut which barely protected them from rain. To assist such people, this devoted worker ministered to their needs, forgetful even of his own food and rest. Many of these outcasts died in the arms of this devoted man breathing their last in peace, [76/77] filled with hope for a future free from suffering. The relatives and former friends of those who had thus been cast out not only would not claim the poor bodies, but would make no arrangements for their burial; so the worker had to make the coffins, dig the grave and say the burial service over them. Poor souls, their sufferings are over and they are in the arms of a loving Father. The lepers who attended such funerals would in time no doubt end in the same way.

The lepers in Loochoo, helped by Miss Riddell's messengers, number over 200. Their natures have been entirely changed, they are full of gratitude for what has been done for them. The authorities and even the villagers are astonished at the change. Although there are several thousands of lepers in Loochoo, there is only one small hospital for them which can accommodate only about 60 patients.

Recently a plan for building another asylum was formulated and the building was designed and begun, but because of the ignorant opposition of the inhabitants, it was never finished and the materials lie rotting on the ground. The choice of the position for this asylum may not have been fortunate, but it is the duty of all who have the welfare of the lepers at heart, as well as for [77/78] the sake of public health and humanity, to do something to relieve the situation.

In accordance with Miss Riddell's wishes, for some months in every year, a pastor and catechist are sent to Yayeyama Islands to help and comfort the lepers. The people there are different from these on the other islands and are not heartless, hut they still have to be taught the meaning of mercy. The lepers are most grateful for the help given them. Miss Riddell had a plan to send the same help to various other islands in Kagoshima and Okinawa Prefectures but she died before it could be accomplished. Her successor, Miss Wright, is hoping to carry out her aunt's wishes in this respect.


In 1909 there were in the whole Empire, besides our own hospital, five government asylums for lepers. At one which was built at Goshi Mura, Kumamoto Prefecture, at the request of the authorities Christian work among the patients and benevolent work for them was entrusted to the Hospital for the Resurrection of Hope. For nearly twenty-five years Miss Riddell with [78/79] enthusiastic zeal, faith, love and gentle ways, in cooperation with Dr. Kawamura, the late Head of the asylum, was most successful in carrying on Christian work amongst the inmates. Not only did Miss Riddell send Christian workers from her hospital to visit the patients regularly, to hold services and give Christian instruction, but she herself went frequently to visit and encourage them. The Dawn Society was organized with over 140 members. By these means many patients received the consolation and spiritual help which flows from Christian love, and quietly rejoiced in the new life which was thus given, to them. Though still suffering from this terrible disease, they found a measure of peace under God's care. It is a cause for great thanksgiving that the members of the Dawn Society became the centre of the work in this asylum, and that through them joy and hope were brought to so many. It was of course largely due to Miss Riddell's prayers and loving interest that such good results were achieved. The Christmas celebrations for these people were a great joy and revelation to them. The happy faces of the patients when each received a gift were only equalled by the joy in Miss Riddell's own face at the sight of their happiness) and Christmas continues to this day, [79/80] to be the same great festival at this asylum.


The Bishop of London, Dr. Wilmington Ingram, long a friend of Miss Riddell and a sympathizer in the work of the hospital, had for many years taken a personal interest in the patients.

In 1926, the Bishop came to Japan, and whilst here, visited the hospital. While he was in Tokyo, he was received in audience by the Emperor and spent many busy days. Owing to his many engagements, the Bishop feared that he might not be able to visit Kumamoto. The company owning the steamer on which he had taken his passage back to England, very kindly offered to permit the steamer to stop at Moji to take him on board after his visit to the lepers.

On December 15th the Bishop reached Kumamoto and was met at the station by Miss Riddell and escorted to the hospital. The Bishop's arrival and his welcome by the patients made a memorable scene. It had been raining, but just as the Bishop arrived it ceased, although dark clouds threatening snow remained in the sky. As it was the [80/81] beginning of winter, there were unfortunately no flowers in bloom but under an arch with the Japanese and English flags crossed, the patients stood waiting for the Bishop's coming. One of She patients read an address of welcome in English. When the Bishop heard the words of welcome in his own language, he was deeply touched and the tears came to his eyes. The face of Miss Riddell who was standing by, was beaming as a mother's at the cleverness of her child. After the Bishop had gone through the hospital, he officiated at a service in the church, at which time eight persons were baptized. After making an address he left, expressing great sorrow at not having more time. Many of the patients accompanied the Bishop to his car, lighting the way with Japanese lanterns, the choir singing hymns, the echoes lasting until the car disappeared in the darkness.


Forty years have passed since Miss Riddell planned and built the hospital. During that time she met many financial difficulties but by her faith and determination, she overcame most of them and attained her object, which was to give relief [81/82] and happiness to lepers. A great many of Miss Riddell's friends helped her most generously in many ways because they felt the absolute necessity of this work, being greatly impressed by her devotion and zeal.

Admiral Uryu in 1906 while serving at Takeshiki, met Miss Riddell and since then has been a staunch supporter of the hospital. On one occasion he said. "Although I have only met Miss Riddell once I am convinced that to devote her life entirely to such a work was truly a manifestation of her great love for humanity. I respect and admire her greatly."

Many others were moved by the same sentiments of admiration and respect to assist Miss Riddell in her self-sacrificing work.

Miss Utako Hayashi of the Widely Loving Society of Osaka, President of the Woman's Auxiliary of the Nippon Sei Ko Kwai, expressing her grief at the death of her friend, Miss Riddell, wrote: "Miss Riddell, the 'Light of Humanity,' born in a refined English home, coming in her youth to our far-off Japan, becoming the mother of the most despised of creatures--lepers--established the Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope at Kumamoto. This became a home of peace for numbers of poor sufferers from leprosy, a place [82/83] of comfort where she gave to hopeless ones the everlasting joy and hope of faith in God. The care and trouble involved in the prosecution of her work, completely absorbed Miss Riddell. Never yielding, unflaggingly devoting herself to her noble mission, she finally completed her Divinely inspired task and was called to her eternal rest.

"Miss Riddell's humanitarian efforts aroused the admiration of the whole world and especially stimulated the benevolent impulses of our own people.

"The results of her illustrious service for humanity attracted the attention of the Imperial Household, and the Empress Dowager made .generous gifs which stimulated the making of plans for the relief of leprosy throughout the Empire. The Home Office began to exert itself in the carrying out of these plans.

"May the love of God manifested through the self-sacrificing work of Miss Riddell shine on forever, bringing forth rich fruit in the hearts of all our people. And may the blessing of God rest upon her great work, the Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope!"


During the Russo-Japanese War, General Kodama was in command of Imperial troops in Manchuria. Every morning early, at his devotions, he was observed to take out of his pocket a small book and read from it. Has brother officers noticed this and wandered amongst themselves if his successful strategy found its inspiration in this little book. Some years later, Mr. Galen Fisher of the Y.M.C.A., having heard a rumour of this, asked the General what the book was. The General answered "Once when I was travelling by train, I met an English lady with whom I got into conversation. She took out of her bag a little book saying this is a little book called Daily Tight, which I translated with a friend of mine. Please look at it.' Later she sent me a copy. That lady was Miss Riddell."

Miss Riddell continually drew courage and kindness from the following verse of this book. "It is the will of God our Saviour that all men should be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth."


Miss Riddell's respect for the Imperial House was very great. Although her ways and habits were different, she wished to follow Japanese etiquette and customs as far as possible. Her house was of pure Japanese architecture. She westernized it in some ways without detracting from its beauty. In the alcove (tokonoma) of the drawing-room were hung the pictures of the Emperor and Empress which were put there at the time of their coronation.

On the wall of the next room, there hung a portrait of the Emperor Meiji in uniform; opposite this was a beautiful painting of the Empress Komyo. Over her writing desk were the portraits of King George the Fifth and Queen Mary. This was evidence both of Miss Riddell's great respect for the Japanese Imperial House and her loyalty to the rulers of her own country.

When the Emperor Meiji died, the funeral was set for September 13th; Miss Riddell who was then in Karuizawa planned to go to Tokyo to show respect, but owing to illness she was unable to do so. At the hour of the ceremony, [85/86] Miss Riddell shut herself up in her room and spent the time in prayer.

After Miss Riddell's death, among her papers, a letter of condolence to the Empress Dowager was found. It is not certain whether this letter was sent or not, but it shows how deeply she felt the death of the Emperor, and her great sympathy for the widowed Empress.

252 Karuizawa
13th September, 1912.

To Her Imperial Majesty the Empress Dowager of Japan.


Having lived in this beautiful land for twenty-two years, may I be permitted to endeavour to express my deep and heartfelt sympathy with your Imperial Majesty on this especial day of trial,--the final parting, the last sad journey.

The hearts of all Englishwomen will be sympathising with your Majesty to-day. Indisposition prevents my being in Tokyo to express in person my sorrow and sympathy, but the evening hours will be spent in fervent prayer that your Most Gracious and Beloved Imperial Majesty and all the Imperial Family may be endued with fortitude in this hour of grievous trial, and [86/87] experience both hope and consolation in the loneliness of sorrow.

Your Majesty's most humble servant,


Miss Riddell was deeply sensible of the unusual interest taken in her work by the members of the Imperial House, and was most grateful for their many gifts. In January, 1906, she received the Blue Ribbon Medal in recognition of Distinguished Service, and in 1915 she was summoned to the Palace and received from the Empress through Count Tokugawa, a sum of money for the hospital. In 1917 the Prime Minister, Count Terauchi, conveyed to her a further monetary gift from the Empress.

From 1921 the hospital has received an annual grant of money from the Imperial Household, and Miss Riddell herself received a silver cup with the Imperial Crest in 1924, at the time of the Crown Prince's wedding, and a further gift of money for the Hospital. In 1922, on February 11th, the sixth class order of the Sacred Treasure was conferred upon her.

In 1930, five years after the death of the Emperor Taisho, his consort, now the Empress Dowager, made a special grant to all leper work throughout the Empire, and Miss Riddell received [87/88] from the Empress Dowager, the gift for her hospital, also a gift and money for herself.

At the time of the Grand Manoeuvers in the Higo and Satsuma Provinces of the autumn of 1931, H.I.M. the Emperor sent Prince Yamagata the Lord Chamberlain to the Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope on Nov. 13th, where he was received with ceremony by Miss Riddell and the members of the Staff.

On Nov. 15th at the close of the Manoeuvers, Miss Riddell was summoned to be; present at an Imperial banquet, but after several weeks of illness she felt unable to accept and so spent the morning quietly. Later that day she was graciously received in audience by H.I.M. the Emperor at the Prefectural Office. On leaving, she received a box of cakes with the Imperial Crest. Miss Riddell felt deeply this signal mark of appreciation of her work and was much affected by it. On February 3rd, 1932, the report of Miss Riddell's critical illness reaching the ears of the Empress and Empress Dowager, they were much moved and gifts were sent in sympathy.

Miss Wright and a representative of the hospital in grateful recognition of this gracious act, went to Tokyo for the purpose of thanking Their Majesties in person. Just at this time the [88/89] Empress was deeply engaged in helping the Red Cross efforts on behalf of the soldiers in Manchuria, but graciously interrupted her work to hear from the Minister of the Imperial Household, the message they bore from the Hospital. The Chamberlain presented each with a box of cakes and escorted them to their car. They then proceeded to the Omiya Palace to offer their thanks to the Empress Dowager. This they did through the Grand Chamberlain, Viscount Irie, also giving as requested a report of the hospital work since Miss Riddell's death.

The Empress Dowager graciously sent a message of thanks to all the workers in the hospital.

On November 10th, the Empress Dowager composed the following poem which she sent to wherever lepers were being cared for.

"Tsurezure no tomo to naritemo nagusameyo,
Yukukoto kataki ware ni kawarite."

''Beguile the tedious hour of the poor people as their friends.
On my behalf, for it is difficult for me to go."

The patients of the hospital were overwhelmed with gratitude on the receipt of the poem from the Empress Dowager, and many of them were moved to compose poems expressing their joy and thanks for this evidence of her sympathy.

[90] When Viscount Ishiguro, Privy Councillor, was received in audience by the Empress Dowager, to thank her for the money sent to the hospital en the death of Miss Riddell, the Empress Dowager told the Viscount that she greatly appreciated the relief work Miss Riddell had done for lepers. When we heard this, we were greatly moved at the deep mercy and sympathy of the Empress Dowager.


With Miss Riddell's love for others, she made no distinction in her treatment of the eighty patients in the hospital, and the hundreds of ether lepers who came under her care. To her they were all brothers and sisters, and in her eyes they were all her equals.

At Christmas and Easter, when it was her custom to make presents to all, she never delegated the choice and distribution to others, but always personally chose articles appropriate to the age and taste of each. The patients, appreciating this, received the gifts as evidence of her love, and valued them the more for this reason.

The hospital was always the first thing in Miss [90/91] Riddell's heart and life, but she never would consent to anything that seemed like self-praise in connection with its work. She was untiring in her efforts to win friends for the work by circulating reports, and photographs of the buildings and the patients, but she would never include herself in the groups. It was always "for the sake of the hospital" and "for the sake of the sufferers" that she spoke and wrote.

One of the patients wrote:

"The hospital was Miss Riddell's heart and we were her children. Some one likened, the hospital to a hot-house j we really think so. Even the employees complained, that in every case the patients were always considered first; they were treated so well that they got tired of doing nothing; and were so loved that they were spoilt," and again: "While we are well, any place will do, but when we get seriously ill we must be in this hospital." Some complained, this is not a hospital but a monastery,' but this was a characteristic of this hospital, as it was Miss Riddell's aim.

"Miss Riddell put great stress, on religion, but not once did she preach to us or urge us, but by her own character and love we were influenced. She comforted us and always emphasized the [91/92] spiritual side, so we lived in love and freedom and were joined to one another by mutual friendship, service, and gratitude. We lived in an atmosphere of generosity and patience, which money could not buy. Economy was one of our virtues; we needed no pocket-money and did not need to go into society. If we were even not well from a cold, for a few days, all would know and we would be prayed for."

Once patients entered the gate of the hospital they became Miss Riddell's beloved children. She showed to all that Mother love, which is the most beautiful thing in all the world. She never spared herself in her efforts on behalf of these her children. Whenever she heard of a patient being ill, forgetful of her own fatigue, she would visit him in his room, taking fruit, nourishing food, ice-cream, or some other delicacy.

In spite of Miss Riddell's loving care, on rare occasions a patient would wish to leave the hospital. In this case Miss Riddell would grieve, as she realized the difficulties and sufferings in store for him. She would not only pray for his well-being, but wherever he went, she would try to find the place; and if she knew it, she would send him presents and money. The following is what a patient wrote who had left the hospital [92/93] for a time and afterwards returned:

"I had never been outside of my own village up to the age of 15, when the dread disease came upon me. Then I bade farewell to my parents, brothers and sisters and left home an outcast. One rainy day in spring I found my way to the gate and saw the sign "Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope" and I entered. In the Family Room they were having prayers. When prayers were over, I asked to see the Head of the hospital. Mr. K. led me to Miss Riddell. She was dressed in black and, sitting by me, asked me in my own tongue 'Where did you come from?' When I answered timidly, she said 'You have come a long way; from to-day you are my child,' and so saying she smiled. The gold cress on her breast shone brightly and I can never forget the impression she made on me.

"One day I was told that Miss Riddell was asking for me and when I went to her, she was standing playing peg-quoits. Smilingly she asked 'Do you like this game?' and when I nodded, she said 'I will give this game to you, do you know how to play it? I will teach you.' She kindly taught me how to play it. I can recall the incident even now. In 1927, the patients went to see Miss Riddell off on her way to England and [93/94] America, when she was going to try to raise money for the hospital. When the car disappeared from view, we felt very lonely. On Christmas Eve of that year, while we were decorating the church, I was called by Miss Wright, who handed me a cape with the words this is a present from Miss Riddell.' I was filled with gratitude and surprise at the thought that she must have sent this present to me from abroad. Even to-day, it envelopes my body as a mother folds her child in her arms.

"In the late autumn of 1929 I left the hospital secretly, thus violating one of the rules. After a few days I received a letter from Miss Riddell. My heart was throbbing when I opened the envelope, quite expecting that it contained a scolding from her. I wept bitterly, for there was not one word of reproach, but a one yen bill fell out, and the words 'Please use this for anything you want.'

"When one goes out in the spring, one sees from afar what appears to be verdant grass, but on coming close it is brown and burnt; then going farther afield one finds the same thing. It is thus that I felt on leaving the hospital. I could find no place where I could rest in peace. I wandered about from place to place, even to such [94/95] places as Hommyoji. I was like a homeless dog, and I began to realize from the bottom of my heart my treachery to my 'beloved mother.' Then one day I received a parcel and a letter, from one of the teachers. It was addressed to me at Osaka and it had followed, me all about and was covered with tags. My hand shook so that I could hardly open the letter and the parcel. In the parcel was a woollen scarf sent to me as a Christmas present. In spite of people in the room I burst into tears. Just like the one sheep that went astray, was I sought out and brought back. The love of Jesus pierced me to the heart, and repenting I thought, 'shall I not return to the bosom of my mother,' and forgetting my shame and ingratitude, I returned to Miss Riddell, more thankful than ever for all she had done for me. Alas, we have lost for a while a loving mother, and no matter where we seek, we shall no longer see her as she used to be, seated by the organ in our church, or calling upon us in our sick rooms. This verse engraved on Father Damien's memorial applies equally to Miss Riddell's life. 'Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.'

"On the hill-side at the foot of Mt. Tatsuta, the cross on the top of the church roof, the white [95/96] building of the laboratory, the green eucalyptus towering in the sky, these all express the great love of our beloved Mother. Over the door of the mausoleum where her ashes rest surrounded by those of her patients, are the words "I am the Resurrection and the Life.'"


Miss Riddell's work and her love for her patients was always uppermost in her mind, and sleeping or waking ever filled her thought. It is said that she would often get up in the middle of the night and perform some work she thought must be done. Miss Riddell was most methodical and everything was in place. She rose very early every morning. Her first thought was for the happiness of the patients and the care of the sick. Her energy was untiring and the orderliness of her daily life and the execution of everything she did, was admirable. She worked so constantly that as she advanced in years, those near her were anxious lest she should overdo.

Miss Riddell was a person of strong will and whenever she planned anything she studied the question thoroughly, then would ask advice. But [96/97] after the work was begun she would accept all the responsibility for it. She always saw a plan through, never stopping half way before its completion.

Miss Riddell loved Karuizawa and her summers were spent there for several years, but it was not only for rest that she loved it, but for the entire change, and she still did the business part of her work there. In the highlands of Shinshu, breathing the lovely air of the Shinshu mountains, she still worked hard for the hospital. Her daily thoughts, morning and evening, were with the patients. Every one felt great affection for Miss Riddell and admired her wonderful work. Her face showed her burning zeal.

The Rev. Danjo Ebina wrote in a magazine called, "Our Friend": "I was very glad to meet Miss Riddell for the first rime alone, for if I had taken my daughter with me she would have been so impressed with Miss Riddell's noble character that she would have wanted to work with her in the hospital!" This was written partially in jest, but described well' Miss Riddell's personality.

Miss Riddell could understand the loneliness in another's heart, though hidden, so that a great many lonely ones were comforted by her. There was a pretty little girl, daughter of the legal [97/98] adviser of the hospital. This child lost her mother when she was small and seemed to lead a happy-life with her father. Although she did not seem to pine for her mother outwardly, in her heart she missed her sadly. Miss Riddell pitied her and loved her as her own child, so the girl who was yearning for a mother's love returned the love as if it were really that of her own mother. After a few years Miss Riddell heard that this girl was very sad because she had lost her older brother. She invited her to Karuizawa while she was there for the summer and comforted her. She is now married and has a happy home of her own.

Miss Riddell had a keen sense of humour and one day on visiting one of the patients in his room she laughingly said, pointing to the pond in the garden "The gold fish want to see the sky." The patient wondered what she meant. He afterwards understood the hint, which was to the effect that the pond was so full of leaves, which should be removed, that the gold fish could see nothing:

Mr. Tokutomi in his magazine "Shufu no Tomo," and Viscount Ishiguro in his memoirs of Miss Riddell wrote that she was the example of an ideal woman, which was most applicable to her.


Faith is the spiritual intercourse between God and man. It is hardly possible for anyone to understand really to what depth faith has entered into the heart of a person, and to try to express this in words, nor is it possible for one to judge of the depth of the faith of another, but we must believe that Miss Riddell's faith which was shown by her life of love and service was truly an example to all.

She was brought up in a Christian home and atmosphere and had a childlike faith. One day she stood up before the Rector of her church, and said, "I do love Jesus."

The Bible which her father gave her on her third birthday, was always beside her. It is now one of her precious relics. It has many notes written in it, from which we know that many years she had had it with her.

The parts of the Bible she appeared to read most frequently were Isaiah, the Psalms, St. Luke's Gospel. I Corinthians, Hebrews and St. John I.

The pines and cryptomeria, and cypress trees planted near the church are connected with verses [99/100] in Isaiah. Miss Riddell used always to read "Daily Light" which she had translated into Japanese. She gave copies of this away which were a help to the faith of many. She also used "Great Souls at Prayer," which is used now in family prayers at the hospital. Miss Riddell believed firmly that every thing belonging to the church must be beautiful, and that the service should be solemn, because when God was in His Holy Place all should keep silence before Him.

"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted tip; and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he, covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts; the whole earth is full of his. glory. (Isaiah 6, 1-3).

She believed that these verses describe what should be an ideal service and that the time before the service should be one of preparation of the soul. Miss Riddell spent the hour from six: to seven every morning in silent prayer and meditation.

Miss Riddell believed in Divine Healing and that if it were God's will, even leprosy through [100/101] Faith could be cured. If one believed, he would be cured. Whenever she was ill, she asked that ail should remember her in their prayers.


She who gave up her life to God and her patients used to say, "My body is not my own, it is God's, yet not I but Christ liveth in me," which meant she lived not for herself.

As she had been suffering from diabetes for some time, the doctors had told her to take as much care of herself as possible, which she tried to do.

In 1927 she went to the United States and England on a visit; also to get funds for her work. She returned in the following year; although she showed signs of fatigue she had no time to rest because of her many duties. In the spring of 1930 her knees pained her a good deal--she had neuralgia too, and as soon as she was able to travel she went to Karuizawa. Her recovery there was very slow.

In the autumn she was a little better. On November 10th, 1930, she had a summons from the Empress Dowager. She came to Tokyo on [101/102] the 8th and rested the next day, and the following day she went to the Palace of the Empress Dowager, from whom she received a present of money for the work and after enjoying tea and cakes, she returned to the hotel.

That night she was invited to attend a dinner given by the Minister for Home Affairs, but as she was not feeling well she excused herself and quietly rested in the hotel for three or four days. Owing to the skill of the two doctors, Paravacini and Furtwangler, she soon became well enough to travel.

After that she appeared to have recovered, but in the early summer of 1931 she had pain in her side, which indicated a serious condition from which she never entirely recovered. In spite of her feeble condition she visited the patients in their rooms and attended church service in. a, wheel chair. On Nov. 13th, 1931, she received Prince Yamagata, the Chamberlain, who had been sent by the Emperor to inquire for her health and the work. On the 15th of November, 1931, she had the honor of being received in audience by the Emperor in the Kumamoto Prefectural Office, although she had been unable to go to the banquet. After this she appeared to be fairly well until January, 1932. At the end of January she [102/103] suffered from severe pain in her head and on February 1st she appeared to be much worse; on the 3rd her pulse became irregular, and at ten minutes past one in the afternoon she fell asleep.

When it was reported that Miss Riddell, the "mother of lepers," had died, people everywhere were shocked and grief-stricken. The Osaka Asahi and other newspapers of Osaka and other cities all published eulogies of Miss Riddell, and of the wonderful work she had done, stating that her death would be a very great loss.

One prominent newspaper said that Miss Riddell's death was like a "bolt from the blue" and that when even a Prime Minister died a successor could be appointed, but the death of Miss Riddell is an absolute loss, as there was no one to fill her place.

The many persons who were interested in Miss Riddell's work, including those from other countries besides Japan sent messages of condolence.

The Empress and Empress Dowager in recognition of her work graciously contributed money for the funeral expenses.


On February 4th the coffin which had been resting in her own house was, after prayers and a hymn, removed to the hospital. It was met at the entrance by 80 patients and was placed in the "Family Room." A solemn farewell service was held there, the patients sobbing while they bade farewell to one who had given her all for their happiness. On February 6th the funeral was held. The rain which had fallen all night had stopped, and all the trees around glistened with the rain-drops. At 3 o'clock, with the sound of the church bell, Miss Riddell's coffin was taken to the church, carried by the younger patients; the other patients followed, all carrying flowers in their hands.

The church was full of wreaths and baskets of flowers sent by Japanese and foreign friends. Flowers were also sent by Princess Higashi Fushimi, Marquis Ichijo, Marquis Hosokawa, Viscount Nagaoka, the Minister for Home Affairs, the Governor of Kumamoto Prefecture and the Mayor of Kumamoto.

The Right Reverend Arthur Lea, D.D., Bishop of Kyushu, officiated at the service, assisted by [103/104] Canon A. C. Hutchinson, Rev. E. G. Bucknill, (a cousin of Miss Riddell), Rev. S. Nakano, Rev. K. Otobe, Rev. Y. Matsuoka, Rev. Y. Iijima, also catechists and other workers.

The synopsis of Bishop Lea's sermon was as follows:

"And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever," (Daniel 12:3)

"In St. Paul's Cathedral, London, is the fallowing inscription in memory of the Architect Christopher Wren.

'Si monumentum requiris circumspice'

'If you want to see memorials, look about you.'

If you want to see Miss Riddell's monument lock around this beautiful church, garden and the well arranged wards. These are all material, but there are things much more important, not to be seen. Try to visualize several thousand souls saved and given new life by her. By what means are the patients kept alive? It is by hope.

'Being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear.' (I Peter 3: 15)

In this life there is no reason why man should have hope, but without hope there would be only [105/106] destruction in this world. We have hope only by intuition. These last fifty years science has made wonderful progress, and scientists first assured us that matter was immortal and that all things originated in, and returned to, matter; now they claim to have discovered the immortality of energy, but man must go a step further and declare the immortality of the soul. The death of Miss Riddell is a great loss to you patients. There will indeed be many difficulties for you from now on. As our Lord loved His mother, so you have loved Muss Riddell who was as a mother to you. 'Behold your mother.' Mother love is the most beautiful of things--love comes of God and lives forever. Our object in life should he to live in love and try to reach God through love. With this aim Miss Riddell worked until she was called home. The memory of her who had led so many in the right path will live as a star in the firmament. Among the stars are some which shone fifty million years ago whose light has only now reached this earth, so that we are seeing now light that shone fifty million years ago. This is indeed an eternity. We believe that we shall live forever with God, where your mother Miss Riddell is, and see her again, so we must hold fast our faith in Eternal life."

After the sermon, letters of condolence were read from the Governor of Kumamoto and the Mayor, the Head of the Kumamoto Red Cross Hospital, the Patriotic Society and the Kyushu [106/107] Government Hospital, and also from all parts of the Empire. The messages read by the patients' representative, were so touching that they moved those present to tears.

After the reading of the more than two hundred letters and telegrams of condolence, Miss Wright, Miss Riddell's niece and successor, gave a short address of thanks. The coffin was then carried to the crematory by the patients. On February 7th Miss Riddell's ashes were placed in the Family Room, where the patients kept vigil in turn until the 10th. The next day, the Japanese National Holiday and anniversary of the founding of the Nippon Sei Ko Kwai, the staff and the patients followed the cortege to the mausoleum. After prayers and hymns, the ashes were deposited in their last resting place.

The following are extracts from the diary of one of the patients.

"February 2nd, 1933,

The message that Miss Riddell was dangerously ill, and that prayers were asked on her behalf was sent to each room. I am very anxious because of her age.

February 3rd,

After the service in the morning it was announced to the patients that Miss Riddell was weaker, and owing to her condition, age, and heart, an operation was not possible. She appeared to be suffering, although she would [107/108] not show it. As she had miraculously recovered once before, we prayed that she might be spared to us this time also. ... A change for the worse has taken place and as I was standing in the garden, the janitor came running and said that a telephone message had been received that Miss Riddell had passed away. We could say nothing. We felt as if we had had a blow. We were stunned, and could not believe that our beloved "Mother" had left us. From the rooms and the garden, all came running and gathered in front of the office. The clerks went to the residence. When we were left alone we cursed our condition because we were not allowed to go too. With bowed heads we met in the "Family Room." Our leader quoted the verse St. John 14, 18; "I will not leave you desolate: I will come unto you." We then held a prayer meeting. Weeping filled the room, and it was impossible to keep back our tears however much we tried; our prayers were prayers of tears. February 3rd, ten minutes past one, will always be a time of mourning for us. February 4th,

The silent lonely night passed, so lonely because even her remains were not with us, but at length morning dawned. All the newspapers had the account of Miss Riddell's death and called her the Mother of the Leper [108/109] Patients and mourned her death, and praised her services. When we saw her picture in its black frame we shed fresh tears.

February 5th,

The rain hasn't stopped. The wet grass and trees in the garden look sad. To-day we receive the body at the hospital. The weather about which we were anxious, cleared up before noon. The young men are busy making wreaths and crosses.

At 2 p.m. we stood at the gate to meet our dear "Mother." We saw the hearse carrying the coffin come slowly past the High School. Hew we missed the smiling face of the one we loved! The coffin was placed in the front of the "Family Room" where many flowers sent by the Home Minister, Governor, and Mayor of Kumamoto and many others were placed around it. There were prayers and farewell words.

One by one we went up to the coffin and with tears looked for the last time on the familiar face. It was a most pitiful sight to see the blind led to the coffin. She looked peaceful and noble like a picture of the Holy Mother.

The farewells were ended in sobs. That night the patients kept watch by the body.

February 5th,

In spite of there being so much war atmosphere in Japan, at this time, the two important [109/110] newspapers of Osaka, the Asahi and Mainichi, praised the work of Miss Riddell in their leading articles. We are thankful that these two important newspapers should have given such space for praise of the "Martyr for Love." February 6th,

This is the day of this funeral. We are thankful that the Empress and the Empress Dowager graciously sent gifts of money.

More than fifty wreaths and baskets of flowers were sent by Princess Higashi Fushimi, Prince Ichijo and many notables. Many Japanese and foreigners attended the funeral service, some from Tokyo and other distant places. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon the church bells rang as the coffin was carried by the young patients. The clergy followed the processional cross, and the mourners followed, entering the church. As the newspapers reported, the coffin rested in front of the altar, surrounded by flowers.

The solemn and beautiful burial service was read by Bishop Lea, assisted by various clergy. Here followed the sermon.

At the conclusion of the service the coffin was borne to the crematory preceded by the church banner and the banner of the Dawn Society, a long procession following in which were many of the patients who are not usually allowed to go beyond the gates, but [110/111] on this day followed their dear friend, the road lined with weeping bystanders.

In spite of the mist on the banks of the Shirakawa River, the settling sun shone on the stream. In the west Mount Kimpo stood out distinctly, and far away to the East, Mount Aso stood as if in silent prayer.

At the crematory the service was ended with prayers in English, and we looked for the last time on all that was mortal of Miss Hannah Riddell. Loneliness, solitude and silence covered the hospital that night.

February 7th,

This morning, the staff and several representatives of the patients went to the crematory and received the ashes of Miss Riddell. At 10 o'clock they were, met at the gate by many patients. Again we shed tears to think that the small urn which held these ashes was all on earth that we should see of one we loved so well. That night another vigil was held.

February 9th,

From 3 p.m. there was a memorial service, Dr. Jingu officiating. Poems of condolence were read and the service ended with a hymn sung by the choir of women.

February 11th,

After the service for Kigen Setsu and the anniversary of the founding of the Nippon Sei Ko Kwai in the morning, the service of [111/112] placing the ashes in the mausoleum followed, the clergy, friends and patients all going to the mausoleum. We pray that she is at rest and happy because she is laid where she wished to be. I am sure the children in heaven who had gone before her, welcomed her. I think there is great significance in the fact that one who loved Japan, founded this work of love and became Japanese dust, should be laid to rest on Kigen Setsu, the anniversary of the founding of the Empire and of the Holy Catholic Church in Japan."

In memory of Miss Riddell the Ministers for Home Affairs and for Foreign Affairs sent a beautiful cloisonne vase to the Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope. On its silver stand was inscribed:

In Remembrance


the Valuable Services for Leper Relief


the Late Miss Hannah Riddell,

Founder of the Kaishun Hospital,


The Gift


Kenkichi Yoshizawa,

Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Tokugoro Nakabashi,
Minister of Home Affairs.


In October, 1933, the Tokyo Jiji Shimpo newspaper offered prizes to shogakko (primary school) pupils for the best essay on "Humanity." There were a great many sent in. They expressed the real feeling of the children and aroused much interest. The examiners found great difficulty in selecting the best, but Miss Motoko Azuma, a pupil of the 3rd year in the Ikura Primary School in Kumamoto Prefecture, received the first prize. As the essay was written by a little girl, there were mistakes, but Miss Riddell's story, which had been told her by her mother, was well fixed in the little girl's mind and expressed in simple straight forward language. It deeply impressed those who read it. In January, 1934, she read her essay into the microphone of JOAK (The Japanese Broadcasting Co.). That day all the patients in the hospital listened in and tears were in their eyes. The following is the essay entitled "Miss Riddell."

"While my mother was living in Kumamoto, in that town there was a large, elderly lady who was always smiling and whose name was Miss Riddell. She was an English woman and my [113/114] mother used to say that she was very kind-hearted. When Miss Riddell was about 18 years old she came from England to Japan for sight-seeing. One day she went to the temple Hommyoji in Kumamoto and was shocked to see so many dirty beggars suffering from leprosy. While she was looking at them with pity, she felt she was ordered by God to help these sufferers and so she made up her mind to help them.

"After that she went back to England and asked her parents' permission to go to Japan and to work for the lepers. They allowed her to go, and she came back with lots of money and built a hospital in Kumamoto. This is called the Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope.

"Since then, up to last year for many, many years, she helped these poor people, who had no friend and were separated from their parents.

"It is said that one day as she had no money, she went back to her country again and got more money and returned. I think English people are all very wonderful. It is said that the patients almost worshipped her.

"Our Emperor, hearing of this good work, sent Miss Riddell many presents. Again when there were manoeuvres in Kumamoto, she saw the Emperor alone and weeping said thank you, thank [114/115] you.' But even Miss Riddell grew old and became ill, all the patients in her hospital prayed to God every day that she would get well, but at last, at the end of last year, she died.

"How the patients must have cried! I think she was about 90 years old. I think if my mother died now I should die too. These patients feel just as I do about it."


The Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope is in truth the memorial of Miss Riddell and it is Miss Riddell's spirit left to us. Although Miss Riddell has entered Eternal Life, the work left by her is carried on by Miss Riddell's niece, Miss Wright.

To write of the daily life of the 80 patients in the Hospital who are surrounded by her love is one of the facts which must not be overlooked in the compiling of a biography of Miss Riddell. 1. Culture.

From the establishment of the hospital, the lepers were taken in regardless of their former surroundings, life and culture, so there were many difficulties in controlling them, especially those [115/116] who had led lives of unrestraint and did not like to be obliged to conform to the hospital rules, but rather preferred their former freedom.

In 1909, when the Government Asylum was-built, both homeless and mendicant lepers were taken in with the help of the police. To differentiate her hospital from others Miss Riddell made-certain rules for admission: Only those who 1. Had some education:

2. Had led a respectable life and now had no money for treatment: would be admitted.

At the same time she tried to uplift them. Those who entered this hospital might have been important factors in society but for the disease which had dragged them down to their present condition. To allow these men to live with the uneducated and depraved would have made them suffer spiritually and physically. Miss Riddell took pains, not to take those who would not be congenial to the cultured patients. So the patients in the hospital always had the kind of society to which they had been accustomed.

For these patients the doctors are doing the best that modern medical science makes possible, but the patients whose condition gets suddenly [116/117] worse and who cannot move hands or feet, who lose their eyesight, are the most miserable sufferers. The only way to comfort and to help these men to lead lives of contentment, was to give them spiritual help; and this was of course Miss Riddell's object in building the church. The staff of the hospital attended the services in the church and the "Family Room." Joining in the prayers and listening to sermons which are guide posts to the spiritual life, opened to them the gate of faith and gratitude. The patients themselves, owing to their miserable experiences, have the spirit of prayer and so are able to reach the realms of Light.

Now and then men of influence are asked to talk-to the patients, and to point them to the way of Truth. In the library are very many books which are a great help to those wishing to improve their minds.

For the children of school age the same text books are used as in the public schools, according to the children's ability.

2. Daily Life and Mutual Aid.

A room of 8 mats is occupied by four patients. Among the four is one with perfect eyesight, one who can use his fingers freely, and the another who can walk, etc. A becomes the hands of B, [117/118] and B becomes the feet of C, and C becomes the eyes of D, and each makes up the point lacking in the others. These form one group and can almost perform the work of one whole man.

On line days in spring you will see a lame patient being pushed in a wheel chair by a blind man to whom he tells the way, and so going along the avenues chatting pleasantly. The man in the chair is the eye of the blind man and the blind man is the feet of the one in the chair. Thus the poor sufferers help each other and lead a happy daily life. This is only one instance of mutual aid between the patients. 3. The Patients' interest in Life.

Loving nature as they do, among the pleasures of the poor inmates of the hospital are the handling of farming implements, the assiduous cultivation of the soil, the sowing of seeds and enjoying their coming up. All this is a great joy to them. As they see the young shoots coming up, and gaze at their healthy growth, their astonishment at the vitality of the plants, and their happiness when the flower buds appear, is a pleasure to behold. When the beautiful flowers bloom, there is much emotion, and poems are born, so it is not to be wondered at that there are many poets in the hospital. When we are greatly interested [118/119] in anything it behooves us to write a tanka (poem of 31 syllables) or a haiku (one of 17 syllables) also longer poems. Nothing, in this world is more solemn than the expression of one's inmost thoughts. Poems written by the patients are the cry from their hearts and the echo of their souls. There are no extravagant expressions but they move the reader's heart. They are indeed jewels.

The members of a poetical society called the "Yukarisha" and the "Tatsuta Haidan" write in "Light of Salvation" which is a magazine published monthly by the hospital. Some of the poems are often published in newspapers and magazines in other parts of the country.

A collection of these poems called "Yukari" was published through the kindness of Mr. Masutomi. The poems are full of feeling.

It is natural that there should be music where there are poems and songs. Now the melody of a trio--violin, cello and mandolin--played by the patients, is heard in the precincts of the hospital; again a beautiful tune played by the harmonica band, is wafted on the air!

When we listen to these lively airs we also hear a chorus singing. The Hospital of the Resurrection of Hope is the garden of poetry, and music, and the country of delight and gratitude.

[120] 4. Games: Baseball, tennis and pingpong are the chief games.

The champion is standing at the mound, all the young sportsmen are at the bases. When the batter strikes the ball, it flies through the diamond, the centre tries to catch the ball, the batter is running to the first base, on the other hand the runner on the third base tries to return to the home base, but the catcher catches the ball skilfully, so the runner is "out." The loud cries of encouragement heard from the tans and sports, make our young men bright and cheerful. They are on the top of the wave. They are more than happy.

On the tennis court which has its distinct white lines, we see the men in tennis clothes, swinging their rackets; we hear the sound of the balls, echoing to Mt. Tatsuta, as the players try to gain advantage of their opponents in volleys and placing and smashes, doing their best running here and there as long as they are able! They are enjoying the games immensely. Their joy is such as is felt only by real sportsmen.

Oh! the spirit and exhilaration of those young men! But when we think that the legs are already attacked by disease, and we question how long they can continue, we turn away our faces, [120/121] wipe away a tear and pray that they be spared a few more days, and so we encourage them.

Pingpong is one of their great games. Around the pingpong table provided for both men and women, many experts play, and each hopes to be the champion of that day. After each stroke, the voices of encouragement and much laughter are heard giving a note of happiness to the scene.

5. Indoor Amusements.

It is needless to say that there is a radio set in each room which gives great pleasure to the patients. Some listen in to lectures and news; the blind and the lame sit quietly leaning against the table and appreciate the music to their hearts' content. In the amusement room, the crisis has come to the players of "Go," one trying to push his opponent off the board and to protect his own area, as the audience sit tensely around watching the game. There are also some experts who sit at a Japanese chess board, trying to think of the strategy, asking the opponent how many men he has left, and crying out that he was beaten because of the skill of the other.

There are many other yearly events such as the Christmas party, the cherry blossom show, the athletic meetings in spring and autumn, and [121/122] the tennis tournaments twice a year, to all of which they look forward eagerly.


Extracts from the Patients' Reminiscences at the 3rd Year Memorial Meeting held by Mr. Jingo Tobimatsu.

Tobimatsu San.

I have wished to have a meeting for a long time, and as there was a suggestion by Miss Wright, I begged you all to meet to-day. I think you have many recollections of Miss Riddell since you were under her for a long time. Please talk about her without reserve.

Tokuyama San.

This is the story that I heard from my predecessor. One night there was some one knocking at the door. Thinking it to be a trick of his friend, he shouted, "Who's there?" The answer came "It's me." It was the familiar voice of Miss Riddell. In great astonishment, I recognized her. She had a young man with her and said, "This young man had left the hospital, violating the rules, but because of his deeply guilty conscience, he visited me at midnight and begged my pardon." Although the night was far advanced, she [122/123] nevertheless brought him from her house in Shinyashiki to the hospital.

Koike San.

Yes, it was the room that is now No. 6. The one who roared "Who's there?" was Mr. Watanabe, who is now in Shikoku. He was deeply humiliated.

Tokuyama San.

We were often scolded by the Mother, but we were sometimes rather amused because there was come humour in her words. Once she came to the patients' room and said, smiling, "Wouldn't you like to see the outsider" We didn't understand what she meant and we hesitated to answer. Then she said, "Wipe the dirty glass-door," and went away again smiling. At another time she saw holes in the paper sliding door and said, "Are all of you in this room fond of the cold? If you aren't, mend the paper, please."

Tobimatsu San.

Mr. Otobe, Please tell us something about her.

Otobe San.

At the end of the Meiji Era, when I was in Shindaiku Machi, Nagasaki, Miss Riddell called on me. It was on some business about "The Policemen's and Warders' Friend," if I remember aright. The church I was in, was situated between the prison and the theatre. A theatre, a church and a prison--these are the epitome of life! Afterwards I was invited to the hospital, [123/124] and when I met her there, I greeted Miss Riddell with these wards: "For the first time--" She replied, "Oh, no! It is more than twenty years since I saw you last."

At one time she, seeing my bald head, warned me, "Wrap up your head when you sleep, lest you should take cold."

Tobimatsu San.

Mr. Nakagawa! Have you got anything to tell?

Nakagawa San.

"One day Miss Riddell asked me, "Why have you such a loud voice?" "Have you any trouble with your throat?" And I didn't knew what to answer. (Mr. Nakagawa is noted for his loud voice.)

Tokuyama San.

Some years ago, the Manchoho newspaper started a prize contest for satirical poems. Among the prize poems, they say, there was one which read: "Yubi no nai te de ogamareru Riddell sama." "Miss Riddell is worshipped by hands without fingers." It satirized her very well, didn't it?

Tobimatsu San.

Who was the composer?

Tokuyama San.

I don't know who he was.

Otobe San.

The hands without fingers--the poem expresses [124/125] her very well. I think it is a masterpiece.

Tobimatsu San.

Mr. Hirata. Please tell something--

Hirata San.

Once long ago, she wrote a letter from America to Dr. Miyake while she was abroad, asking, "I begged you to inform me of the condition of each patient, when I left Japan, but the letter hasn't reached me yet I feel lonely. Please let me know of the patients individually." When we read this letter, we were much impressed.

Koike San.

Our mother thought much of cleanliness. It may have been the time when the British Ambassador, Sir Claude MacDonald, visited us, that after we had cleaned up perfectly as we thought, we were told to put everything exactly in its place. Sometimes she examined even our cupboards and noted thoroughly the inside and outside of the building. She was very particular about the cooking of our food, so she often came to the kitchen for inspection.

Tokuyama San.

When I was in room No. 1, she came to the corridor and said, pointing with her stick, "Why are there so many flies?" On looking out I found that there were the bones of fishes, on which flies swarmed. As she was strict about the cleaning of the house like this, whenever we knew of her [125/126] coming by telephone, we began hastily cleaning up.

Tobimatsu San.

Ladies, if you have anything to tell us, please begin without hesitation.

Tokuyama San.

The ladies are a little, shy and seem to hesitate, so, Mr. Tobimatsu, please persuade them to speak.

Nakada San.

Then I will begin. When my disease developed, I was so shocked that I thought of killing myself, when a missionary kindly introduced me to Miss Riddell. Then soon after a telegram, came, saying that I might be allowed to enter the hospital, and in a few days I received a very kind letter from Miss Riddell. She wrote, "Don't be anxious about yourself. You must not think that you are going to some unknown place. Come here, believing that you are coming back to your mother." When I read this, I could not help weeping. Owing to delay in the leaving of the ferry-boat, my departure was put off about a week, and ten days afterwards I arrived at Kumamoto. By that time Miss Riddell had already started for England. I felt very much relieved, however, when I was received with kind words by Miss Nott. After Miss Riddell's return I met her for the first time. How grateful I was! I could hardly express my joy and thanks for her fathomless mother love.

[127] Tobimatsu San.

It is a very old story. Was it the time of her first trip to Europe?

Nakada San.

Yes, it is about 35 years ago.

Ikuzawa San.

When I was allowed to enter the hospital and met her for the first time, she said to me, "You are welcome here. This is your home. Do not worry about yourself any longer. Be free from anxiety." When I heard these words, I understood why my friend praised her so much, saying, "Here are 60 children. When they are asked who their father is, they will point to Heaven, and when they are asked who their mother is, they will say Miss Hannah Riddell."

Nishioka San.

Miss Riddell was anxious not only for the patterns but also for our families. One day she said, "How is your wife getting on? Are your children living with her? If you have anything to consult me about, tell me without reserve. Your children must live with their mother." Miss Riddell, cur mother, really understood us. When I gave her some flowers which I had grown, she received them with pleasure. A few days later when she was going round the hospital in a wheel chair, seeing me, she stopped and thanked me for the flowers which I had given her. I was at a loss what to say to her words of thanks.

[128] Tajiri San.

When I came to this hospital, I was 15 years old. I was very naughty then, and I was ordered to move from room No. 8 to room No. 3, Where Tokuda San and Muraoka San were. I was greatly displeased at being moved, but I am thankful to her now, because I was much influenced by their fine characters.

The cherry-tree in front of room No. 5, was dying, and as I had been told that the best thing for the tree was to scrape the bark, I did so for about 4 feet. That mark remains even now. Looking at this, our mother said, "How would you feel if I did such a thing to you? The tree is living, too." When I was a clerk in the library, there was 70 yen of which I took charge. Our mother said, "Give 10 yen to the Dawn Society in the Kyushu Government Asylum, but. I refused without stopping to think what her reason was, saying, "This is money belonging to the "Sekishin Kwai." Then our mother said, "I wish the members of the Dawn Society to read books, too." I was ashamed of my narrowmindedness. At one time when I was tending the fire in the fire box, I carried the fire to the concrete walk and then extinguished it. She kept watching silently, and after I finished, she went away. She took great care even for a small thing like this. Once when we were listening to many things which Miss Riddell was saying in the committee room, her gloves slipped down. I hesitated, [128/129] thinking "Shall I pick them up or not?" and1 she saw me and smiled. I then picked them up and gave them to her. She received them with pleasure. Few knew her heart well, so I was secretly pleased.

Tanaka San.

I came to the hospital when I was 15 years of age. I was in the room where the late Nambo San had been, whom I annoyed very much because of my waywardness. "Mother" called me one day, perhaps she had heard about my behavior and said, "You are my child. My children are all very good. You must be a good child, too." Saying so, she embraced me very closely. I could but shed tears in her warm embrace of love.

Nagatakiya San.

She used to say, "As my substitute, hear what each patient has to say and become intimate with them, please." I used to see her and talk with her every Thursday, on various subjects. Miss Riddell observed what we often overlook. She always asked, "I wish to know the truth," but s-he never told the name of the person from whom she had heard any tale. Once when I bought a piece of cloth for a patient, I had to go and exchange it three times, but I never felt that she was hard to please. She wished to buy what the patient really wanted.

[130] Fukumoto San.

Four years after I came to the hospital, I lost my eyesight. It was while Miss Riddell was abroad. On her return, she consoled me saying, "Have you lost your eyesight? Even if you cannot see with your bodily eye, your spiritual eyes will be opened and you will understand the great mercy of God." Another time when I was in better health, she asked me, "Come over here a moment." I followed her. Then she pointed to a piece of pickled radish in the drain and said, "I don't know who did this, but you must not waste your food. It is the food given by God, and you should be careful in cleaning the house." She who had accomplished such a great task, was very careful even in such small matters. She was strict about the patients' attending services every morning and evening.

Fukumoto San.

One morning I was washing and I did not attend the service. She scolded me, saying, "Why didn't you come to prayers? You must do your washing in the washing hour."

Fusako San.

I entered the hospital when I was 9, so I feel that Miss Riddell was like a dear grandmother rather than a mother. While I was small, I had my hair bobbed. Miss Riddell gave me a ribbon, saying, "Your hair looks troublesome. Tie it up with a ribbon." She suffered from pain in her [130/131] knees, so she sympathized with me, and often inquired, "How are your legs?"

Tokuyama San.

You all know hew difficult the changing from one room to the other is in this hospital. Just before the journey to England and America, in 1927, there was much trouble, which was not quite settled. Miss Riddell gathered all the women patients in the "Family Room" and said, "I do not wish to travel to Europe and America at my age, but I am happy to go there entirely for your sake. I hear now there is no peace among you. What do I look forward to for my hard trip? It is only your peace and happiness that encourages me to go. I do not want to start until I see you all peaceful and happy."

Every word was so touching that all the women patients were ashamed of their selfishness and begged her pardon. And I heard that all the troubles were settled quickly. It was course by the influence of her love and noble character.

Ikezawa San.

So it was. On that day we sang hymn No. 200, and prayed, using the collect for the first Sunday before Lent.

"Love, the, very bond of peace and of all virtues."

Tokuyama San.

On the second visit to the patients in [131/132] Tanegashima Island, more determination and courage were necessary for me, as the first visit had been so hard. Still we visited the sufferers at considerable expense and gave them plasters and bandages, so they mistook us for medicine sellers, or they were afraid of us, saying "If you are Christians, you are a band come to cut out our livers." We had a very trying journey. After two weeks, I had to go on a second journey. At that time Miss Riddell served me a cup of coffee herself, and gave me a water pillow made of rubber, which was in a flannel bag, saying, "While you are travelling, use this as a foot-warmer. Don't think it a bother. Be careful not to catch cold!" It was very funny that such a big man as myself should sleep with a foot warmer, but when I thought of 'her love, I remember, my courage was multiplied a hundredfold.

Then she asked me, "Where is the verse in which seven devils came into the heart and the man's behaviour became worse?" I studied that verse that morning, and I answered, "It is in. Matt. 12." She said, "Yes, it is. It is not enough that you are purified only, but you must receive the Holy Ghost. Read this part on your way." On my second visit to the Island, the people there understood what her purpose really was in sending us and said, "Miss Riddell is a lady like God," and asked me to remember them to her. When I told this to her, she answered with a grave face, "That is a great mistake. You must ascribe all [132/133] glory to God. You must be careful of that paint hereafter."

Koike San.

The schoolmaster in Waifu was in the hospital, and his mother, who was about 70 years of age, sometimes came to see him. Once while the old woman was visiting the patients' room, the schoolmaster said, "That lady is Miss Riddell." On hearing this, she paid reverence to her. Afterwards When the old mother said to her son, "Is that the Christ you often told me of?" we were much amused.

Kataoka San.

Our mother often entered the patients' room and said, "You must pray earnestly from the bottom of your heart, and ask that God heal you. If you pray earnestly, He will be sure to heal you. Your parents and brothers and sisters are surely looking for your recovery and your return."

Miss Riddell believed in Divine Healing with simple whole-hearted faith. She often sent not only to us but also to our children presents, such as toy-dogs and dolls. Then there were rare toys, which she first showed me and then distributed. When I recollect her sympathy, tears fill my eyes.

Here the meeting was closed by Mr. Tobimatsu with the promise of future ones, on the anniversary of Miss Riddell's death.

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