Report of Theodosius Stevens Tyng to the Board of Missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, and the Bishop of Kyoto.
It is now a little more than thirty years since I began my mission work in Japan, and as my retirement is soon to take effect, I have thought it well to make this report cover not one year merely, but my whole time of service.
FIRST PERIOD, 1878-1886
I sailed with my wife for Japan by way of Europe in August of the year 1878, arrived in Yokohama at the end of November, and settled in December at my assigned station, Osaka, then a commercial city, with a population of 350,000; now also a great manufacturing center, with more than a million people.
I remember vividly to this day my feeling of uncertainty, when I first went out, as to what in actual practice my work would be. Here on the one hand was the Gospel of Jesus Christ, into which I had been born, and under which I had been trained, and here on the other were the people of Japan, who I believed needed this Gospel, but who, with a few exceptions, knew nothing of what it meant, and were not asking for missionaries to tell them. How was I to set about bringing these two things together, how reach the Japanese, how get my opportunity to preach the [1/2] Gospel to them. It was a problem of which, as I later and very gradually learned, it could truly be said, solvitur ambulando. I was to be taught one step at a time, to be led by ways that I knew not.
At the first, of course, I had no responsibility except that of preparation. My immediate duty was to learn the language. Happily I had had a German teacher who had taught me how, and how only, a language can be learned, by steeping oneself in it, and forgetting for the time, as far as possible, every other language but this. With this principle, and a teacher who knew no English, I had what was requisite. After giving him one lesson in English to show how I wished him to teach me, we began to spend five hours a day together, he trying to impart the language to me, and I trying to drag it out of him. And so we continued for the greater part of a year.
At the end of eight months I was able to preach my first sermon. I was then assisting the Rev. Arthur R. Morris, who had charge of our one little congregation in Osaka, in reading the service. When the summer arrived, Bishop Williams came down from Tokyo and wanted to take Mr. Morris away for a vacation of twelve or thirteen days. He could only go if I undertook to preach, so of course I undertook it. I quite wore out my teacher in the process of preparation, but by Saturday night there was a sermon written out, which I delivered, after a fashion, next day. I have it still. It is intelligible to me, and may have been intelligible to two or three of the best trained of the congregation. But I did not begin to preach regularly for more than a year after that. Even at this later period, when I was able to speak [2/3] without manuscript, and with a fair amount of fluency, and imagined myself well understood, I can see now that, although my separate sentences were probably fairly correct, there could not have been many in the congregation who could follow me continuously from beginning to end. The difficult art of continuous speech in a strange language was yet to be learned.
Apart from the study of the language, I was doing, unconsciously for the most part, a little of what I had come for. My teacher was the first person whom I baptized, and I was taught to see to some degree that at this early stage of the mission work there must be something more to bring teacher and taught together than the teacher's desire to teach and conviction of the importance of his message. For however important the Christian faith seemed to the missionary, there were very few people in Japan who thought of it as important to them.
With the autumn of 1879 came a great change, which, altho I did not know it at the time, was to influence profoundly my whole career in Japan. Five years before there had been a school for boys in Osaka, in which the earlier missionaries, Mr. Morris, Dr. Laning, and Mr. Quinby, were teachers. This had been broken up by the misconduct of one of the earlier pupils, who had later been put in a position of authority in the school, and the congregation which had been gathered, almost entirely one of students, was scattered, leaving when I came to Osaka only three communicants, Mr. Morris's cook, the wife of Dr. Laning's linguistic teacher and helper in the dispensary, and one pupil of the former boys' school, who was a clerk in the post office, and taught English for [3/4] an hour or two a day in Miss Eddy's school. His excellent English, by the way, was strong testimony to the quality of the teaching that he had received.
Now Bishop Williams had been greatly troubled by the closing of this school, and wishing a similar work to be started again, asked me to undertake it. I thought it too soon for so responsible an undertaking after only nine months in the country, and a partial breakdown, which came less than two years after and compelled me to give up studying and preaching in Japanese for a year, proved that I was right. But the Bishop was urgent, and the need was great, and I could not do otherwise than comply. I was less unwilling to do this because I looked upon my work in the school as temporary. The Rev. Dr. Syle, formerly of the China mission, was then teaching in what is now the Imperial University in Tokyo, and we all joined in a petition for his appointment as teacher for the new school. We were sure that he would be an excellent man for the work, and felt confident of his appointment. But it was not to be. He was not appointed, no one else was sent, and I was obliged to carry on the school during the whole seven years that it lasted, making use chiefly of course of Japanese teachers, and getting such help as I could, and it was much, from various members of the mission, and from my wife, all of whom, of course, had other work to do.
Thus the expected course of my life was overturned. My intention, had been to devote myself entirely to directly religious work. I found myself instead a schoolmaster, obliged to give the greater part of my time to the teaching of English and management of the school. The result proved that I had [4/5] been wrong in thinking that the most important thing for the foreign missionary is what is generally called the "direct" evangelistic work. The school (and the experience of other missions is similar) accomplished far more in its seven years for the evangelization of Japan than I could have done by a lifetime of evangelization among the mass of the people. The best work of the missionary is like our Lord's training of the twelve, teaching and training and inspiring the future preachers, rather than preaching oneself. Tho the school was hampered in many ways, by small means and poor equipment, by an insufficient staff, and by the attraction exercised upon all students in those days by Tokyo, which made it almost impossible to keep them for more than a year or two, and tho not even one student ever completed the full course of study, St. Timothy's School was destined to produce greater results than have yet been attained by any one of our missionary undertakings in Japan. Out of it, and of the evangelistic work which I was later able to establish in close connection with it and in dependence upon it, came a large proportion of the older clergy of the Japanese church, Dr. Motoda, President of the Standing Committee of the Japanese Missionary District of Tokyo, the Rev. J. Y. Naide, President, until his recent coming to this country, of the Standing Committee of the Kyoto District, the Rev. J. H. Kobayashi, rector of St. Margaret's School in Tokyo, the Rev. Ikuzo Tagawa, in charge of the cathedral congregation in Tokyo, the Rev. H. Yamabe, in charge of the work on the west coast in the Kyoto District, the Rev. T. Chikashige of Osaka, the Rev. J. Ogata, pastor of the church in Sakai, the Rev. H. Fukuroi, pastor of the church in Takata, and the [5/6] Rev. Kaiichiro Seita, the "saint of the Japanese Church," who, after various labors, ending with eight or ten years in charge of St. John's Church, Tokyo, ended his all too short life because he would take no rest while others needed him.
Besides these, three laymen are worthy of special note. Mr. Koreaki Otsuka was a classmate of Dr. Motoda's at St. Timothy's, and later graduated from the C. M. S. Divinity School in Osaka. Besides being the chief worker in the establishment of St. John's Church, Osaka, where he remained until family reasons compelled his entrance into business life, he has within the last few years done remarkable work as a layman (and member of the Standing Committee) in bringing to self-support two of the Osaka churches, Christ Church and St. John's.
The second of these laymen is Mr. Toranosuke Hayashi. After two years in the C. M. S. Divinity School, he had charge for some years of country churches in my district, and later did faithful and efficient service as steward of St. Barnabas' Hospital. Still later he established himself in business in Fusan in Korea, where he founded and carried on in his own house for years a congregation of the Nippon Sei Kokwai. Indeed, I am not sure that his house is not still its meeting-place.
The third of the laymen is Mr. Toyoaki Saotome. When I came to Osaka he was a teacher in Miss Eddy's school, and came later to teach in St. Timothy's. I presented him for confirmation after he had been baptized by Mr. Morris. For some years he was evangelist in charge of St. Paul's Church in Osaka, receiving a small salary from the congregation, which received no aid from the mission, and gaining the rest [6/7] of his support by teaching. Later he took work under me as evangelist-in-chief for my out-stations, and after a short time in this work was called to be Kanji or Manager of St. Paul's School in Tokyo, where we were afterwards associated for six years, and where he did work of the highest value.
Many influences, of course, contributed to the bringing of these men into the Church and the ministry. How large my own personal part in these influences was I do not know. But small or large, it was an indispensable part. Without it there is no reason to believe that any of the men would have been in the ministry, and it is quite possible that none of them would have been Christians at all. It is this feeling of a great result to which his own contribution, however small, was indispensable, that gives the greatest of all satisfaction to a missionary looking back upon his career.
A late manifestation of the abiding results of what was done in St. Timothy's came only about a year ago, when invitations were sent out for a meeting of former students. The meeting was successful beyond expectation. A large number, I am informed, came together, some from hundreds of miles away. Many of them were men who held positions of importance. All except perhaps five or ten were Christians. Some, whose Christian faith had lain more or less dormant for many years, were stirred and quickened, and the forces of the Church in Osaka perceptibly strengthened. It is hoped that this may be the beginning of a permanent organization of the nature of an Alumni Association, if one may use such a term in connection with a school which never had any graduates.
 A second part of my work during this period was pastoral and evangelistic. For a considerable part of the time I was in charge of St. Timothy's Church, now called Christ Church. I also opened up work in Wakayama, a town of 60,000 people, forty-two miles south of Osaka. The work was difficult, because there then was no railway, and to reach the place involved either a night on a small steamer, or seven or eight hours in a jinrikisha. Part of the time I was without any Japanese helper able to take the Sunday service, and was obliged to go every week myself. This meant during one year more than three hundred hours and about 2,000 miles of jinrikisha travel, to say nothing of the nights on the steamer. By the end of the period, however, the work was fairly established.
In the last year a further extension took place. Mr. Motoda, whom I had baptized next after my Japanese teacher, and who as a student had exercised a remarkably strong influence on the students of the school and young men in the congregation, was anxious to go to America to study. I persuaded him, however, to stay one year as an evangelistic worker with me, promising when he went to do all I could to help him towards the education he desired. This promise I performed, and by the help of various friends he was enabled to graduate at Kenyon College and the Philadelphia Divinity School, and, with the aid of a fellowship from the latter, became a Ph.D. of the University of Pennsylvania, and took also a year's work in Sociology at Columbia. Mr. Motoda went some miles up the river from Wakayama, and there established a very fruitful work in the towns of Nate and Kokawa. Out of this came [8/9] the Rev. Messrs. Naide and Ogata, already mentioned. Towards the last of the year we branched out still further, holding services at various places up the river, as far as Gojo, in the neighboring province of Yamato.
A third part of my work during this period was literary. I began in my first year to work on the translation of hymns. There was already a hymnbook containing some fifty hymns, prepared by the Rev. C. F. Warren of the C. M. S. About the middle of my sixth year I was able to publish a book containing one hundred and forty-three hymns, which came into general use in our missions and those of the Church of England. I also published the next year a "Manual of Christian Doctrine," a book of some two hundred pages, which was, I believe, of some use to the better educated class of inquirers. It has been long out of print now. This last work was done by dictation to an amanuensis, chiefly when I was in the country on evangelistic tours.
Besides these, I may mention two or three incidental matters. The first was helping in the establishment of St. Barnabas' Hospital. So far as I know, I made the first direct proposal to the Board for this, and my letter was printed by them and used in raising money for buildings and land. The second was architectural work in drawing plans, making contracts, and overseeing the work of building for the hospital, St. Timothy's School, and the chapel, still used by Christ Church. A third was the acquirement of land for the mission. Land thus acquired by me or on my motion for the schools and the hospital amounts to about 1200 tsubo (43,200 square feet). It was bought partly out of appropriations, partly [9/10] by direct authorization of the Board to me. The Board owns nearly an equal amount of land in Osaka with whose purchase I had nothing to do, but I am only speaking now of what was bought by me, and in all probability would not and could not have been otherwise acquired. Its total cost, including buildings which were used for St. Agnes's and St. Timothy's schools, was less than $2000. Its present value I reckon (at 200 yen per tsubo) as $120,000. It could not be sold for that amount while the present industrial depression lasts, but will no doubt be worth much more than that in time to come. It is in one of the best sites in a great city, is held on perpetual lease from the Japanese government, with a ground rent of considerably less than one cent a square foot per annum, is not subject to land-tax, and, by the decision of the Hague Tribunal, is free from house-tax also. I dwell on this partly because I take pleasure in feeling, with St. Paul, that my work has been without charge, for this land properly managed should return a good deal more than has been or will be spent on me, partly because it is an aspect of mission work which is often overlooked. How many people know, for example, that Bishop Schereschewsky, scholar and translator of the Bible, acquired the splendid property of thirteen acres in Shanghai on which St. John's College stands, by borrowing money from his Chinese friends, and repaying it out of the rent of older mission property leased to the Chinese? If the two million dollars of property owned abroad by the Missionary Society were taken into account, it would be plain that missionaries are not by any means as expensive as they appear to be. It is true that most of this value [10/11] is "unearned increment," which ought not to be brought back to this country, but should be used for the endowment of the institutions of the native churches. But that does not destroy it.
I have only one great and lasting regret as I look back on this period; that my work in St. Timothy's School was not maintained. I overstaid my furlough nearly a year, hoping that some one might come to keep it alive. It was closed by the Rev. Henry D. Page, into whose charge it had passed, not long after my departure. He had been only a year in Japan, and with a heavy load of pastoral and evangelistic work upon him could hardly have been expected to do otherwise than he did. The real cause of the discontinuance was general want of appreciation of the relative value of educational work, and of the immense importance of continuity in the life of institutions formed to carry it on.
To offset his inexperience in the work and imperfect knowledge of the language, Mr. Page had one great advantage in the work that he took over. I left to him a little group of eight young men in training for mission work in the C. M. S. Divinity School in Osaka. They were all young Christians, some of not more than a year's standing. My anxieties as to their steadfastness were great, but not realized. One of them was obliged to give up by ill-health. The rest were all at work, either in the field or in preparation for it, on my return a year later. This result I believe was in great part due to the earnestness, devotion and force of character of Mr. Page, under whose charge they were left.
SECOND PERIOD, 1887-1891
Coming back in the autumn of 1887 from my first furlough, I found Mr. Page in charge not only of my work, but also of that of Mr. McKim, who had gone home on furlough in the spring. My work up the river from Wakayama had been developed under Mr. Page's charge until there were regular congregations in various places, and in Wakayama a church building was under way. In this field it only remained for me to continue to look after what he and his helpers had watered and tended so effectually.
In addition to this older out-station work, it was laid upon me to develop new, and the one place of supreme importance which I entered was Kyoto, now the see city of the district. The Japanese in chief charge of this work under me was full of energy and zeal, and a congregation was soon established in the Gojo district of the city, which is now known as St. John's Church, and which continued in the house which I first rented for it for some fifteen years or more. One year before my removal to Tokyo this Kyoto work was put in charge of the Rev. J. C. Ambler, who took up his residence there. It remained later still for the Rev. A. D. Gring to start the important work at the north end of the city, where the present St. Agnes's School was established, the buildings for this and for Holy Trinity Church erected, and the two men who have been the main stay of the work ever since, Mr. Matsuyama and Mr. Tamura, brought into our church, so that we have now in Kyoto St. John's among the business people of the southern section, and Holy Trinity and the school in the educational centre in the northern section.
 Other stations which I was able to open were Fukui, later abandoned for a time, but reopened under the Rev. Charles Reifsnider, and Tsuruga, where a congregation was gathered, and a warehouse given by one of the people was converted into a cosy little church, since burned. Obama, then a station of the Missionary Society of the Japanese Church, was under my care also. It was interesting because the Bishop (Bickersteth) was an Englishman, the priest in charge an American, and the evangelist, Mr. Tagawa, a Japanese.
Besides this out-station work was that in the city of Osaka. The original church, St. Timothy's, was in this period under Mr. Page's charge. But the Ladies' Institute, founded by Mr. Mori and Mrs. Laning, gave opportunity for a new congregation, and here, on the foundation of a Sunday school already in operation, St. John's Church was established. Tho it was under my general oversight, most of the preaching, and practically all of the pastoral work, was done by Mr. Otsuka, evangelist in charge.
About the middle of this second period a Mission Conference was held in Tokyo, and I was appointed to read a paper on the subject of a Divinity School. There was then a "catechetical school" in Tokyo. but there was general agreement that this did not meet the need. I appended to my paper twenty resolutions looking to the establishment of something better. Nineteen of these were carried in the Conference and accepted by the Bishop, and thus Trinity Divinity School was constituted. The general purport of the resolutions was to provide that the standard should be as high and the instruction as thoro as the means available permitted. The resolution that failed [13/14] provided for the teaching of New Testament Greek, but the one man who spoke against this in the Conference afterwards taught New Testament Greek in the school himself. To me were assigned the subjects of Apologetics and Ethics, which certainly seemed important enough to form a department by themselves in a country where evangelistic workers have to meet continually nearly every objection that has ever been urged against Christianity anywhere, and where it is of the last importance that the fundamental principles of Christian living should be clearly grasped and taught. In connection with my professorship I had translation's made for my classes of Mark Hopkins's Evidences of Christianity, Flint's Theism, Harris's Self-Revelation of God, a great part of Bishop Lightfoot's Essays on " Supernatural Religion," the Apostolic Fathers, and half of Newman Smyth's Christian Ethics. This Divinity School work took me to Tokyo for two periods of six weeks each every year. Its prosecution was so difficult under these circumstances and involved so much separation from my family that when Bishop Hare came out in charge of the mission I asked him to transfer me to Tokyo, which he did. This meant the relinquishment of general evangelistic work, but it seemed to me that Mr. McKim, Mr. Dooman and Mr. Ambler were sufficient for the superintendence of this. It has long been and is still my belief, that where, as in Japan, most of the work has to be done by natives, one of the most injurious things that can happen to it is too much superintendence. If a man is really fit to do the work he should have a free hand, and if he cannot be trusted in this way he will probably do little good in any way.
 During both this and the following period a large part of my time was given to the committee on the revision of the Prayer Book translation, an arduous task, for the revision was really a new translation, and all of those who were engaged in it needed much training before they were able to do their best work.
Going to Tokyo at the beginning of this third period, I was brought in closer touch than before with the Divinity School, and with my colleagues in the faculty. It was a very remarkable school in one respect, because of the completeness with which at that time it represented all the various schools of thought in the church. Probably never in the history of the world before had any Divinity School representing a Church (state institutions in Germany and elsewhere are a different matter) had so great a variety of theological opinion among its professors. Yet this did not prevent real unity of spirit and aim. The school was then governed by the faculty, and its members cooperated with remarkable unanimity in endeavoring to make both its teaching and its government as efficient as possible.
I had expected when I came to Tokyo to give my whole time to my Divinity School professorship and my part in Prayer Book translation, quite enough work for one man. But in addition I had suddenly thrown upon me the work of teaching psychology and ethics to the senior class in St. Paul's School. The psychology was particularly difficult because there was no satisfactory text-book then procurable in Tokyo, and I was obliged to make abridgments of parts of [15/16] Professor James's larger book (the smaller had not then been published) and Ladd's Physiological Psychology, and manifold them for the use of the students.
At the end of my first year in Tokyo Mr. Gardiner, the Head Master of St. Paul's School, went to America on furlough, and the Standing Committee, then acting as Ecclesiastical Authority, put me in charge of the school in his place. Already in its upper classes some college work was being done, and the students in these classes, in general maturity and capacity, were quite equal to our college students. My problem was first to try to make the school more truly a college. I had been committed to this long before, having ten years earlier read a paper before a meeting of our Mission Conference in which I had maintained that we must have a college, if our work was to be properly done. In this belief I had been greatly influenced by Bishop Schereschewsky, with whom I had been brought much in contact, and whose course in refusing to accept the Episcopate until he had been assured that he would be enabled to establish a college in Shanghai had excited my admiration and hearty approval. In pursuance of this end I changed the name of St. Paul's School to St. Paul's College, and endeavored by all the means at my disposal to make it worthy of the name. The Standing Committee gave me their hearty support, and I am glad to testify that in this as in other matters they governed well, and did much to prepare for Bishop McKim the opportunity which awaited him on his consecration.
My second aim was to bring St. Paul's more in touch with the Japanese educational system. At an [16/17] earlier time this had been unnecessary, for a mission school which taught English well and was fairly good in other respects, was sure of its constituency, whether its curriculum followed the national system or not. At this later period the conditions were different, and St. Paul's now had fewer pupils than at an earlier time, when it was not so good as I found it on my arrival. Now, the pivot on which the whole Japanese system of higher education turned was the Middle School;--High School as we should call it. It was exceedingly difficult for students to get into the colleges, which could receive only a fraction of the applicants, unless they were graduates of middle schools, and all but impossible to get into the university except from these government colleges. To attain our aim two things were necessary; first, that our lower classes should be remodelled to conform to the middle school curriculum as prescribed by the Department of Education, and secondly that we should have a middle school license from the government, which alone gave the postponement of conscription necessary to students who desired to go on to the higher education. It was quite easy to remodel our system, tho of course this required time. To apply for government license was another matter, for there was a good deal of opposition to this in our own as in other missions, because of the restrictions on religious teaching and worship which license involved. My contention was that the restrictions were comparatively unimportant, and largely nominal, while the benefit of having more and better students far outweighed them. Before the end of my service as president of the college the curriculum had been remodelled, the Bishop's consent to apply for license [17/18] given, and the application made. The actual granting of the license took considerable time, but the mere application for it, combined with the known reputation of the school for good teaching, decidedly increased the number of applicants for admission, and insured the growth which has followed under my successors, Mr. Lloyd and Mr. Tucker. The subjects taught in the college were chiefly English, German, Greek, political economy, philosophy and history. No natural science or mathematics were included, because it was thought that the Middle School course, which included considerably more of these than high schools in this country, provided sufficient for the purposes of a general education. The college students were few; they could not under the conditions of that time be many. But the work was of vital importance in providing a proper training for candidates for the ministry. Short as was the time during which this college work continued, our brief clergy list shows marks of what was done. The Rev. Messrs. Daito, Kimura, Suto, Ikezawa and Inagaki, as well as others not yet ordained, were prepared here for the Divinity School. Unfortunately the college shared the fate, for a time at least, which had earlier overtaken St. Timothy's School in Osaka. The name continued, but the thing ceased to exist, all that remained being the Middle School. So far as I know, no students except those entered in my time or shortly after had the benefit of proper preparation for the theological school, until the recent revival of the college work under Mr. Tucker. I know of nothing that has ever done more to weaken our work than this abandonment of the college, which for some years made it necessary either to take immature graduates of middle schools directly [18/19] into the Divinity School, or to lose them altogether from the work. May the revived college under President Tucker meet with a better fate.
The college was not the only part of my work that came to an end in this manner. Besides this and the Middle School, we had established an English Language School in the student district of Kanda for men who had already had the training given by the middle schools and private language schools. This was so successful and did such good work that after my time the government Department of Education suggested that it be made a Higher Normal School to train teachers of English for the middle schools. It was a great opportunity for a work of wide influence. But the English Language School also was closed. No fault I believe as to the termination of either this or the college work is to be ascribed to Mr. Lloyd, my immediate successor at St. Paul's. He did his best, and he is a thoroly capable man.
Another important part of my work as the president of St. Paul's was the special oversight of the students preparing to enter the Divinity School. It was a hard time for them. On the one hand the anti-foreign and anti-Christian reaction had made the task of the church difficult and discouraging, and on the other ordination had been made so difficult, coming in most cases long years after graduation from the Divinity School, that young men aspiring to the ministry had little encouragement to believe that they could reach it, however personally worthy they might be. That we lost a good many men under these circumstances is not surprising. It is cause for sincere thankfulness that we kept any at all.
 Still another work fell upon me in this period, the charge of the preparatory department of the Divinity School. This was opened at my suggestion for candidates not trained in St. Paul's College, mostly older men. With few exceptions they were graduates of middle or normal schools, knowing some English, but needing a good deal more to meet the entrance requirement of the Divinity School, which called for ability to read and understand readily English commentaries on the Bible. English was therefore the principal subject taught. In addition to this there were courses in psychology and ethics, intended to meet the literary requirements of the Japanese canon on ordination, while special instruction was given to men who were lacking in subjects taught in the middle schools, mostly mathematics and physical science. Without such work as was done here and in the college, the men, when their time for ordination came, would either have to make individual preparation for literary examinations, a very difficult task after they had become engaged in active mission work, or receive a dispensation from the Bishop in subjects that form part of the equipment of an ordinarily well educated Japanese. After two years, during which a considerable number of men completed their preparation to enter the Divinity School proper, it was thought it would be more economical to have this work done thereafter at St. Paul's College. This arrangement would have answered the purpose fairly well if it had been carried into effect. But I remember no cases in which this was done, tho there may have been two or three, the men being usually put into the Divinity School without it, and when the college work at St. Paul's came to an end, the possibility of this ended with [20/21] it. Of men now in orders Messrs. Murata, Nakamura, and Ohashi in the Kyoto District, and Mr. Shiga in the Tokyo District, were students of this preparatory department, as were also a number of others not yet ordained. Besides these, the Rev. Messrs. Sakai, Suto and Kimura of the Tokyo District, and Sone and Ikezawa of the Kyoto District, were students of St. Paul's College under my presidency. Of the twenty native deacons and priests in the Tokyo District there are only six whom I do not remember to have had at some time under my instruction or oversight in some one or more of these schools, and of the fourteen in the Kyoto District only one. Besides these now in orders there are others engaged in the mission work and likely to be ordained later. In every such case, of course, one man's influence is only a small part of a larger whole, and I cannot say as to my Tokyo work, as I could as to the earlier work at St. Timothy's, that my part was essential to the result of bringing these men into the ministry.
During the latter part of my stay in Tokyo a partial breakdown brought on by over-work and influenza led to my being relieved of my professorship in the Divinity School. In October of 1897 I left Tokyo on furlough, with the expectation that I was to go back to my work at St. Paul's, the Bishop having told me that he expected me to resume it, his appointment of the Rev. Arthur Lloyd in my place being only ad interim. Later he wrote to me that he had made Mr. Lloyd's appointment permanent, and expected me to go back to evangelistic work in the outstations of the Kyoto District. This was not in accordance with my own desire, for my whole career had, I [21/22] thought, shown that the educational work was that for which I was best fitted. I especially regretted my professorship of apologetics and ethics, which I had hoped some time to work up to a state of greater efficiency than had been possible before under the pressure of other work. What made the regret keenest was that my department, which had seemed to me, under the conditions in Japan, one of great importance, and needing the full time of one man, was abolished, and the work made a minor part of that of the professor of systematic theology. None the less, when the time for the change came, I went, and without remonstrance. I had never believed that the absolute power given to Foreign Missionary Bishops, so far beyond what Bishops at home possess, to remove any missionary at any time from any work, tended to efficiency, and doubt whether a majority of the Church's representatives in the General Convention ever intended to confer such authority, or even knew of its existence. Nevertheless it was the law of the Church, and it was my duty to obey.
Before ending my report of this period I must mention one thing more. Not long after I became president of St. Paul's the college building was pronounced unsafe, and I was sent under Bishop McKim's authority to America to endeavor to raise money for rebuilding. It was just after the panic of 1893, but persons were found who gave us about $8,000. I was absent from Japan five months. Shortly after my return came the severe earthquake which destroyed the building and killed one of our teachers. After this more money came, making a total of about $20,000. Land, now quite valuable, [22/23] was bought, and two buildings erected on it, one of them, a dormitory, probably the safest in an earthquake of any at that time built in Japan.
FOURTH PERIOD, 1899-1908
Going back to my old place in Osaka, I entered there upon the oversight of eight outstations. Two of these were places in which I had started the work years before, the others had been established under Mr. McKim's charge. In these, as in all such stations, resident evangelists (incorrectly called "catechists") did the chief part of the work, holding services, preaching, visiting the people of whom they had the pastoral oversight, meeting inquirers, and preparing candidates for baptism and confirmation. My work was to advise and direct the men in charge, to visit each station on one Sunday in the month to preach and administer the sacraments, and otherwise to assist my men in every way I could.
In the autumn of 1899 I removed my residence to Nara. Here we had a Middle School for boys, which had been begun through the contributions and labors of members of the Nara church and their friends in the city, and had been greatly assisted in its development by the Rev. Isaac Dooman, who had put an immense amount of energy and strenuous labor into its upbuilding. I had already had occasion to know it by its fruits, for men had been sent from it to Tokyo to prepare for the ministry both in St. Paul's and the Divinity School. It was the coming of one of these, Mr. Kimura, and another young Christian from Osaka, Mr. Suto, that had done more than anything else to strengthen the Christian spirit in St. [23/24] Paul's College in Tokyo when I first took charge of it. These men, coming in at a critical time, when two others who had been the chief leaders among the students had gone out, had kept the predominating influence among the students Christian, as before. The unusually good training that the Nara men had received in English from Mr. Dooman, himself not born to the English language, had also greatly impressed me. I was very glad therefore to go to Nara, where I could live (my family being then absent) in the school dormitory, teach a little English, and have the evening prayers and religious instruction in my own study, where the government regulations could not possibly be construed so as to interfere with them. Mr. Frank E. Wood, representative of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, and his family were also in Nara, and helpful in many ways. Most important of all, so far as the school was concerned, was the principal, Mr. Oshima. He was a graduate of the Agricultural College in Sapporo, where he had become a Christian under the influence of Mr. Clarke, who had left for a time the presidency of the Amherst Agricultural College to establish a similar institution in Japan. The strong Christian influence which Mr. Clarke exerted led to the establishment of a students' church, noted for zeal and earnestness, but not connected with any denomination of Christians. Mr. Oshima, tho not a member of our Church, was an interested attendant upon its services, and a great help to the work, not only there, but in the region about, and this not merely by his high character and wide influence, but by actively helping us in the propagation of the faith, taking journeys of considerable length to join us in preaching to non-Christian people. I had great [24/25] hopes that he might some time be led to identify himself completely with us, but he had been hindered in this by a person who was foolish enough to say to him that it would be to his own personal advantage to join the Church which supported the school! I lay stress on all this, because it was misrepresentation of Mr. Oshima, and his attitude toward the Church that seemed to be the chief moving cause in the closing of the school.
In spite of all the religious influences that were working among both students and teachers, the visible advance was slow. It was towards the end of the anti-Christian reaction, when the enemies of religion were making their last desperate effort to crush the Christian movement altogether, and we could not reasonably look for speedy results.
My own personal relation to the school, besides that of chaplain and teacher, was first as treasurer, and later as president, of the Board of Directors by whom it was governed, and I was able in this capacity to do something towards getting it a larger appropriation and more efficient staff.
In the middle of this year came a serious panic among those engaged in Christian educational work in Japan. The Minister of Education had issued an "instruction" to the governors of the various prefectures, directing them to see to it that no religious instruction or worship should be permitted in schools having government licenses. This differed from former "instructions" in no important respect except that it was in some way made public. Being a private "instruction" to the governors, no one else was in any way obliged to take cognizance of it. The chief result of its publication was to bring down upon the [25/26] minister a storm of denunciation in the newspapers for his bigotry. Similar instructions in earlier times had been largely disregarded in practice. This one was in great part officially explained away, so that it became only an application to religion of the general rule of the Department of Education that no teaching should be made compulsory upon students that was not included in the official curriculum laid down for middle schools, or especially sanctioned by the Department. Prayers and instruction went on as before in my rooms without objection, and could just as well have been held in a class-room or assembly room if we had wished to have them there.
The "instruction," however, created a great ferment in the missionary world, where there were very few who had had occasion to know much about the educational regulations, such matters being usually attended to, not by missionaries, but by the native staff of the mission schools. A conference of missionaries interested in education was called to meet in Tokyo, to consult as to what ought to be done, and as I was one of a very few who had had previous acquaintance with the subject, I thought it my duty to go, and do what I could to quiet what seemed to me a needless alarm. I found the indignation and alarm among the members of the conference very great. Resolutions, which I did what I could to oppose both in the committee appointed to consider them and in the conference itself, and which if followed would pretty nearly have destroyed both St. Paul's and the Nara school, were passed by a large majority. Several mission schools returned their government licenses, and were greatly injured thereby. Happily, the close of the agitation left our own mission practically unanimous [26/27] in the opinion that the licenses of our schools ought not to be given up, and the result, as far as St. Paul's was concerned, was that from having been about the smallest of the schools supported by the older missions, it not only became the largest in numbers, but greatly gained in moral and spiritual influence. Not long after this the boys' school established by the Church of England Mission in Osaka applied for and received, to its great benefit, a government license, and other schools, which had relinquished theirs, later received them again.
At the end of the school year I went to America for a summer visit to my family, and was detained until past mid-winter by illness. When I returned, the Nara school had been closed. And so for the third time this half of our mission was left without its most important institution, a school for the training of boys and young men, to act as a recruiting ground for the native ministry, and a feeder to the Divinity School. To make matters worse, announcement was made in the Spirit of Missions that the school was closed by the unanimous consent of the Board of Directors, when as a matter of fact they all disapproved of the closing.
Coming once more to Japan I again settled in Osaka, where most of my family soon after joined me. Two of my eight country stations were now transferred on my request and his to Mr. Dooman, as that number made my Sunday visitations too hurried, while he could conveniently manage these two in addition to his own, as he had done during my absence. Not long afterwards Dr. Correll joined the mission, and four of the remaining stations were put into his hands, leaving me with two, both in the charge [27/28] of a Japanese deacon, the Rev. Mr. Fukuroi. It seemed to me that the people of the larger station, Takata, were able to do more towards Mr. Fukuroi's salary. By giving one third of this they could meet the condition laid down by the Bishops for ordination to the priesthood. I had been considering for some little time how best to endeavor to stir the people up to this, and, having it on my mind, by a sudden impulse brought the subject up, I don't quite remember how, in my Easter sermon, asking the people to give special consideration to the matter during the coming week. In a few days I received an announcement from them that they had resolved to double their payment, and as this proved still insufficient, they made a further increase, and in a short time Mr. Fukuroi, who had long possessed every qualification but this, was ordained priest, and my last outstations passed out of my hands into his.
I had some years before, after the completion of the Prayer Book revision, which at first did not include the Psalter or the Epistles and Gospels, taken part in the revision of the Psalter also, and had later been made a member of the committee of the General Synod of the Japanese Church appointed to revise the translation of the Epistles and Gospels. I had myself proposed this work in the Synod, not however, for the sake of having in the Prayer Book a different translation from the one in ordinary use, but in the hope that it might lead to the revision of the whole New Testament translation, which in its best parts was exceedingly good, very unusually so for a first translation, but in places poor, and in general called for revision both for the improvement of the style, and for greater accuracy and completeness in [28/29] rendering the meaning of the original. The members of this committee, however, were all busy men, and little had been accomplished. My other work having come to an end, the Bishop appointed me to literary work, and I was enabled to give more time to this translation than the other members of the committee could spare.
This work went on for a time, and some progress was made. But for years the conviction had been growing on me that the best translation could not be done in a comparatively large committee. I began to see more and more why the best Bible translations had nearly always been done by individuals, Jerome in the Vulgate, Luther in German, Wicliffe, Tyndale and Coverdale in English. The work that had been more or less well done in committees, as in the case of the English King James and revised versions, had been mainly in comparatively slight improvements and corrections of translations that in general style were already excellent. The committee on which I was serving was a very good one, quite as good I think as any that is likely to be formed under present conditions in Japan. But I was continually feeling how much we were all hindered by having to combine the almost incompatible processes of debate and literary composition. Besides this, our committee was appointed only to revise the Epistles and Gospels in the Prayer Book, while what everybody really wanted was not this, but a revised translation of the whole New Testament at least. So with Mr. Matsuyama, my colleague in sub-committee work, and with the consent of the Bishop, I undertook this larger work. I did it largely because of Mr. Matsuyama, who had been chief native assistant to the original translators [29/30] many years before, and to whom was principally due the beauty, simplicity and force of style which marked the best parts of the old version. I had had myself probably a longer continuous training in translation than any other missionary except possibly Bishop Foss, and seemed to be the only one with both the time and the training to do the work. I had besides worked so long with Mr. Matsuyama that I had become very familiar with the semi-classical style in which the best of the old translation was written, and of which he was a master. To carry out this new purpose I asked and received leave to come to this country to make fuller preparation and become better acquainted with the later authorities on my subject.
My last six months before leaving Japan were given, however to a different work. I had long before promised the Dean of the C. M. S. Divinity School in Osaka to deliver some lectures to his students. The subject I selected was Theism, for the treatment of which I had been preparing both during my Divinity School professorship and earlier, when I had lectured upon this in Osaka and Wakayama. I had two or three lectures in mind when I made my promise, but these grew to ten, and were delivered in Kobe in English, and in Osaka in Japanese, during the late winter and early spring of 1905. An attempt (perhaps unwise, tho it did not seem so at the time) to revise and complete these for publication has hindered to some degree my New Testament translation since my return here.
What led to my delivering these lectures in Kobe was that for the five months before I left Japan I was in charge of All Saints' Church, and used them there [30/31] in place of Sunday evening sermons. This was a church for English-speaking foreign residents, having a mixed congregation mainly of English and Americans, using the English Prayer Book, and under Bishop Foss, the English Bishop in charge of the district. In earlier years, when the congregation was too weak to have a chaplain of its own, I had taken part with others of the English and American clergy in Osaka and Kobe in maintaining its services. The chaplain having resigned, I received permission to take charge of the church, and use the stipend for the expenses of my translation work. I was glad to do this, giving to the work my Sundays and two weekday afternoons. At first the afternoons were given to visiting the people, but I found the church in difficulties and felt obliged to divert a good deal of the time to an endeavor to extricate it from these. It had a good church building, and part of the amount needed to buy a parsonage, but the church was on leased land at a high rent, liable to be raised every five years, the congregation was unable legally to hold its own property, and the future looked very doubtful unless these difficulties could be met. The first task was to persuade the owner of the land to sell it, which he had previously refused to do. In this, with some difficulty, I was successful. The people themselves made arrangements for the money needed, partly by subscriptions, chiefly by borrowing. The next task was to get the church incorporated so that it could hold its property. Application had time and again been made to the government for incorporation of Christian congregations, but this had never been granted. Nothing daunted, we tried again. One of the church committee interested the British Minister in our plan. I was [31/32] able, when I went to Tokyo to attend the sessions of the General Synod of the Nippon Sei Kokwai, to explain our needs to the official in charge, and to enlist the co-operation of the American minister, and incorporation was finally achieved. I also made plans and drew up a contract, which was signed the night before I sailed, for the building of a parsonage, now for some time in use. And so the church was left with a debt indeed, but one which seemed quite manageable, in full possession of its own property, and with the dread of losing this, and of the perpetual increase of its liabilities for ground-rent, both removed. I have dwelt upon this because it seems to me a good illustration of the opportunities given to missionaries in the foreign field to help the people of their own blood.
As to my translation work, since I came to America I have been spending most of the time, apart from general preparation, on St. Matthew alone. This seems very long, but so many questions have been studied and settled in doing this that the rest of the work has become comparatively easy. I have lately been able to make my first draft of St. Mark in not much over a month, and that of more than a third of St. Luke in about three weeks, in spite of the fact that this work involves very careful attention to preserve as far as may be the minute differences and resemblances between these Gospels. This first draft of the second and third Gospels should need much less revision by my colleague than that of St. Matthew, as it has had the benefit of the careful and repeated revision he gave to that. I have a reasonable prospect therefore of completing within a few months more a translation of the last three Gospels and the Acts of the [32/33] Apostles, the final revision of which, after my colleague has revised my draft, ought not to take a very long time. There is every probability that the whole New Testament could be completed before the end of 1910 if I could give my whole time to it. As I shall need to take other work when my retirement takes effect in September, I suppose it must be more or less delayed. I shall need also of course to be with my colleague, either here or in Japan, for a final revision of the whole. The work is one of supreme importance, and I look upon it as a very great privilege to be engaged in it. I have received decided encouragement to go on with it from several competent judges to whom I have shown it, and have been gratified by reappointment at the General Synod of our Japanese Church, the Nippon Sei Kokwai, last June, on the committee on the translation of the Epistles and Gospels from which I had resigned. This, I am assured, was not intended to interfere with what Mr. Matsuyama and I are doing, but to pave the way as far as can now be done towards the acceptance of our work when it is completed, if it should prove itself worthy of acceptance.
I must now turn back for a moment to mention one part of my work in Japan of which I have not yet spoken. Since the organization of the Nippon Sei Kokwai, twenty years ago, I have been a member of the General Synod of that Church, elected and re-elected so long as I was in Japan, by my brethren of the clergy in the District in which for the time being I was working, in every session but one, the first after my removal in 1891 from Osaka to Tokyo. Now, membership in this General Synod puts the man elected in a position of some awkwardness, of a kind which [33/34] is not met with in our American General Convention. In Japan as here, the consent of the Bishops and of clerical and lay delegates is required for all legislation. In America, however, where the deputies are opposed to the Bishops, as they often are, the opposition has an altogether impersonal aspect, consisting only of voting or speaking against resolutions passed by another house. In Japan the Bishops, tho they vote separately, sit in the same house. Delegates therefore, unless they are to abdicate their functions altogether, have at times not only to vote and speak against the proposals of the Bishops in their presence, but in many cases to oppose the individual Bishops (their own Bishop it may be) who make the proposals. A delegate who takes any large part in the proceedings, as older members naturally do, may easily make on undiscriminating observers the impression that he is insubordinate to rightful authority, and such impressions are easily and naturally communicated to others. Like others I have been long exposed to this misconception, but I have naturally felt it my duty to disregard it and to act according to my best judgment as the representative of my brethren. It is sufficient approval of my course that they continued to re-elect me down to the very eve of my departure from Japan.
And now in conclusion I wish to express my deep appreciation of the thoughtful care of its missionaries which has been so long characteristic of the Board, and of the personal kindness I have received from the various Bishops, Bishop Williams, Bishop Hare, Bishop McKim and Bishop Partridge, under whose jurisdiction I have served. I wish to give my testimony also to the harmony with [34/35] which, in spite of great differences of opinion and belief on many subjects, our missionaries have worked together to a common end. In St. Timothy's School, St. Paul's College, and the Divinity School, where chiefly I have been associated with other missionaries in my work, I can not remember one case in which all did not work cordially together to the utmost of their power towards the accomplishment of the common aim. And as to my Japanese fellow-workers, with whom my association has been closest of all, their patience and good will, their faithfulness and energy, have been a perpetual delight to me, as they are still an unfading remembrance. To have had under one's oversight in the evangelistic work perhaps forty men or more and never to have found any unfaithfulness or unkindness in any, but to have seen all intent upon their work, trustworthy in the use of funds committed to their charge, and consecrated to the service of God and of their fellow-men, is a wonderful experience. They have taught me much, and helped me greatly. I wish that my leadership had been more worthy of their loyalty and devotion. So too with my colleagues in school work. Not all were Christians, in name at least. But all worked loyally and faithfully to the common end of building up in mind and character the young men committed to our charge. Last of all I must make mention of my wife, who for many years, in addition to the care of her children and her home, and work of her own among the women, gave faithful and effectual help in many ways, both to my own work and to that of others. At fifty-nine I have not yet come to the time when I can spend my life in [35/36] looking back, but when that time does come, what my fellow-workers have done with me and for me will furnish abundant material for the retrospect.
THEODOSIUS STEVENS TYNG.
CAMBRIDGE, MASS., January, 1909.