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A surrey of fifty years, 

hy .::-:-:i.. . 
Dwight "Shitney Learned. 



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A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 



AN ADDRESS DELIVERED IN CONNECTION WITH 
THE CELEBRATION OF THE SEMI CENTENNIAL 
OF THE AMERICAN BOARD'S JAPAN MISSION 



^, A^ ^dlt^ S^^ 





ARIMA, MAY 24 
1919 



A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 



AN ADDRESS DELIVERED IN CONNECTION WITH 
THE CELEBRATION OF THE SEMICENTENNIAL 
OF THE AMERICAN BOARD'S JAPAN MISSION 











ARIMA, MAY 24 
1919 



•* A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 

of the time and whose health was precarious; (3) Kobe was much more 
healthful than Tokyo, where Mrs. Greene's health was likely to suffer in the 
damp season about to begin ; (4) since Mr, Greene came to Tokyo two 
Presbyterian missionaries had been located there, and Dr. Blodgett had 
noticed a sensitiveness on the part of some of that church at home with 
regard to Mr, Greene's " interference with their operations ". Mr. Greene 
wrote a few weeks later, — " Even in the few w^eeks I w^as at Yedo I more 
than once found myself embarrassed by the presence of the Presbyterians. 
There was not the most perfect harmony in their councils, and the task of 
keeping on both sides of the fence was sometimes far from an easy one." 
So the Greenes moved to Kobe in March, 1870, and it is to be notc3 that 
this change w^as made with the express intention of leaving the Presby- 
terian and Reformed missions undisturbed in the Tokyo- Yokohama region, 
and the expectation that they would do the same for us in the Kci-han-shin, 
the region of Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe, there being then no other mission at 
work in Japan but the American Episcopalian, and theirs belnj^ very small. 
That is, the policy in mind then and for some years afterwards was that 
which has been carried out in some countries of the partitioning of the 
field between diflfercnt missions. Kobe, then a separate municipality from 
Hyogo, had been opened to trade and foreign residence only two yCcirs 
before this, and was still a very small place with perhaps ten thousand 
inhabitants. 



If we ask what were the conditions under w^hich the new mission began 
its work, we find there were very great and serious obstacles, but also some 
favorable conditions. It has certainly been a thing to l)e thankful for that 
from the beginning of our mission history we have lived under a stable and 
just government. Mr, Greene's apprehension that he might have to take 
refuge with the foreign forces in Yokohama cannot have lasted long ; our 
work has never been interrupted by civil vears or by mob violence ; we 
have not bten molested by corrupt officials. But on the other hand, this 
government was strong enough to lay a heavy hand on any Christian 
activity which it wished to check, and for several years it did very effectually 
prevent all public work and greatly hindered private w^ork. For instance, 
ii physician connected with the Kobe Hospital came to Mr. Gulick to learn 
English to fit him to be an interpreter in the hospital, but soon received 
orders from his superiors to keep away from the missionaries. Perhaps a 
still greater obstacle was the fact that as a result of two centuries of strict 
prohibition of Christianity the mass of the people had l)een trained to 
believe that this religion was bad, exceedingly harmful to the country, and 
extremely dangerous to have anything to do with. All this of course was 
in addition to the difficulty caused by the strong attachment of very many 



A SURVEY OF FIFIV YEARS . ^ 5. 

of the people to their old religions, and in addition to the sp2cial difficulty 
occasioned by the supposed conflict of Christianity with what might be 
called the new religioa of worship of the Emperor. But on the other hand, 
again, there was the strong desire for learning English and foreign science 
on the part of not a few — especially Samurai and physicians — who were 
w^ell fitted to become leaders in a new movement, w^hile many of the young 
Samurai had lost their old occupation as retainers of the Daimyo and had 
not yet become engrossed in any new business and so had leisure to learn a 
new language or a new religion, w^hile those who accepted the new religion 
had time and ability to Ijecome teachers of it as s_oon as they could get a 
little instruction. Intensely patriotic, too, they were eager to get the best 
things of western culture for their countrymen, and almost the only way 
they had for learning of the west was by going to the missionaries. As 
early as January, 1874?, Mr. Greene tells of the surprise of a China mission- 
ary who attended the Japanese service in Kobe and was told of the social 
position of many of the congregation, the like of which he said could not be 
found in all China. Sanda, among the mountains back from Kobe, was a 
small place and its ex-daimyo bad not been a great lord, but a number of 
his former retainers were living in Kobe ready for any movement, and 
from among them came the young men w^ho formed the nucleus of the first 
church and became the preachers spoken of by Mr. Davis in his account of 
those days, while Dr. Berry has vividly told of the access which, medical 
work gave to the ambitious physicians of that time. Also Christianity 
was a new^ thing, and as soon as the government's opposition was relaxed 
there w^ere in such a city as Kobe not a few w^ho were curious to learu 
what it really was. So, difficult as the situation then was, in some 
respects it soon was easier than it has been during the last quarter of a 
century. 



Suppose now we glance for a moment at the five men who had come to 
the Japan mission by the end of 1872 — during the first three years— and 
who may be called the Fathers or Founders of the mission. MR. GREENE 
was well known to all of the mission except those who have come during 
the last five or six years, was the first to welcome some of us to Japan, 
was the kind host of many more during visits to Tokyo, and was loved 
and honored by all as the Father of the Mission, a part Avhich few if any 
of the mission could have played so well. He w^as a man of broad 
sympathies and wide interests and varied lines of work, — translation, 
teaching, architecture and the like — btit alw^ays deeply interested in the 
direct evangelistic work and himself taking a very active part in it as 
long as he was able. He was first and foremost a missionary of the 
Gospel of Christ, but always recognised and magnified his opportuni- 



6 A SURVEV OV FIPTV VBARS 

ties for service to people of other missions, to the foreign community, and 
to the Japanese nation in international relations ; a scholar holding fast to 
the essentials of the faith but quick to examine the working of modern 
thought and to accept its assured results ; it was with justice that he was 
the first of us to receive an honorary degree, and the only one to be given 
the degree of LL.D., and that he was decorated by the Inijierial Govern- 
ment. MR. GULICK was a missionary of the old school, a worthy son of 
the old Puritans, a man who had no use for liturgical forms on the one 
side or for modern theology on the other ; a man rather dry in appearance 
but of a w^arra heart and of a quiet humor conspicuously shown in his 
famous story of the Annals of No ; a man w^ho edited the first Christian 
l^eriodical in Japan, helped lay the foundations of four stations, and has 
had a varied experience among w^idely separated islands of the great 
Pacific. MR. DAVIS'S spirit is indicated by his favorite exclamation of 
GREAT GUNS. Whether the guns were material or spiritual, he was 
always in the thick of the battle, the present w^as always the critical 
moment, life was "worth a hundred dollars a minute," great success or 
great disaster might be expected in the immediate future ; to change the 
figure, he was an organist playing on a great instrument and would " pull 
out all the stops." Life was certainly real and earnest wheic he was, 
and the old Gospel and old ideas were good enough for him, but he was 
alw^ays eager to welcome new forms or methods of Work, and so great 
was his sympathy and so loving his fellowship that, however much his old 
pupils might differ from him in theology or in methods of administration, 
they nevQr ceased to love and honor him — a m^n of widely different tem- 
perament from Dr. Neesima but pre-eminently fitted to be his associate and 
his beloved brother. DR. BERRY'S suavity and dignified bearing are now • 
familiar to us all, and we can easily imagine how serviceable they were in 
dealing with suspicious or unfriendly officials in those early days, and how 
well fitted he was to win friends for the mission and to open doors of 
work. His varied and devoted service to the Japanese people in so many 
lines of medical and social progress was well recognised by the decoration 
bestowed on him a few years ago. DR. GORDON had l)een a younger 
contemporary of Mr. Greene at Andover, but his early home and his college 
life were far removed from New England influences, the most so of all 
these five, but entirely one with them in heart and spirit. Only a couple of 
years after his arrival lie was obliged because of trouble with his eyes to 
spend weeks or months in darkness, and, whether or not the result of that 
experience, he always seemed to me to be especially a man who lived as 
seeing Him who is invisible, the missionary saint, as Mr. Davis was the 
missionary hero, Dr. Berry the missionary gentleman, Mr. Gulick the mis- 
sionary Puritan, and Mr. Greene the missionary statesman. No one could 



A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 7 

be ignorant that Col. Davis had served through the great war ; very 
likely there were not a few who never knew that Dr. Gordon had served 
three years in that same conflict. He was perhaps the most scholarly in 
his tastes of these five men, and probably only one other of the mission hiis 
made so extensive a study of Buddhism. 

Did I speak of five founders of the inission ? Should I not rather say 
there were ten, including the five women w^ho so fully and worthily 
seconded and aided the work of the five men, and if we extend that period 
of three years just a few months we shall surely include the two pioneers 
of women's work, MISSES TALCOTT and DUDLEY. Somewhat as Mr. 
Neesima is the ideal founder of the Doshisha although he w^as not himself 
a great teacher or a great administrator, so Miss Talcott's memory is 
fittingly cherished in Kobe College although her chief w^ork w^as done in 
many other lines and other places, and Miss Dudley w^ell deserves always 
to be remembered with her. We may in a sense say that the presence of 
these two sainted women is continued with us to-day in the person of the 
one who was so long and intimately ^associated with them both and who 
so fully shares their spirit. 

The succession of strong leaders was well continued by five more who 
came in the course of the two years after Dr. Gordon, — MR. ATKINSON, 
the first man to preach the Gospel in Shikoku, one of the most zealous of 
the mission in work for the foreign community, and the founder of Morn- 
ing Light ; MR. LEAVITT, w^hose theories of self-support seemed to some 
of us extreme (and still seem so) but w^ho certainly worked with great zeal 
in that cause; DR. TAYLOR,, who did so long, continuous, devoted and 
successful a work as a medical missionary, the last non-episcopal mis- 
sionary to do that work in Japan ; DR. ADAMS, who had equal skill and 
devotion and no doubt would have done equally fine work if his life had 
not been cut short before his work was much more than begun, and who 
incidentally w^as the organiser of the mission's system of accounts ; and 
MR. DEFOREST, whose decoration, the first given to any member of the 
mission, was a fitting recognition of his varied services to Japan and 
its people. 



Now a few words as to the mission's field of work or sphere of in- 
fluence. Mr. Greene, in abandoning Tokyo to the Presbyterians and 
coming to Kobe, had, as we have seen, both Osaka and Kyoto also 
definitely in mind as the field of the mission, and just as soon as possible 
both were occupied, there being then and for a number of years afterwards 
no other work in all this region except by the Episcopalians, and thus 
these three cities, the Kei-han-shin, so nearly and closely related with each 
other and together containing so large a part of the varied life and activity 



8 A SURVEY or FIFTY YEARS 

of Japan, both of the past and the present, may well be called the original 
and central field of our mission, still containing its offices of administra- 
tion and a very large part of its educational work as well as the central 
offices of the Kiimiai body. Already in May, 1872, Mr. and Mrs. Gulick 
were living in^Kyoto and rejoicing in the hope of being able to continue 
there and make it a new center of w^ork. They were disappointed in this 
and had to move down the river to ()feaka, which thus became the second 
station of the mission, but it was only three years later that Kyoto 
was permanently occupied, a number of years before any other mission 
ojy?ned a station outside of the treaty ports. Included from the beginning 
in the field of the Kyoto station was the region around Lake Biwa on, the 
cast, but farther extension in that direction was not easy. On the other 
hand, Kobe and Osaka are so closely connected in trade with all the region 
down the Inland Sea to the west that it was natural -for the mission 
from an early day to look in that direction for room for new work, and 
thus both Mr. Atkinson's visit to Matsuyama and Imabari on Shikoku 
in 1876 and the opening of the mission's fourth station at Okayama 
(ninety miles west of Kobe) in 1878 were in the natural and proper line 
of expansion. If at an early date the work begun on Shikoku had been 
followed up by opening one or two stations on that island, a step had been 
taken from Okayama to the next chief center on that coast, Hiroshima, 
another had been taken across to Kyushu at Fukuoka (where twice the 
mission came near locating a station), and then the mission had gone on to 
Kumamoto, with which it had so close relations, only some little filling in 
would have been needed to make the mission the dominating Christian 
force in air western Japan. But instead of this we find the mission only 
after a number of years opening any station west of Okayama, and only 
three in all that region (one of which it finally gave up), so that it is only 
a small factor in the Christian movement in that part of the country, and 
on the other hand we find the fifth station opened far away in the opposite 
direction at Niigata, entirely separate from the proper field of the mission, 
so much so that the Prudential Committee had a fair amount of reason for 
making it a new mission, the North Japan Mission, and the sixth station 
was opened equally far away at Sendai in the midst of the German 
Reformed work. The idea or hojie of dividing the country with the 
missions of Presbyterian policy was soon frustrated by the opening of 
Kumiai w^ork in Annaka and in Tok}-©, as well as by the, coming of Pres- 
l)3'terian missionaries to Osaka and later to Kyoto, and it was no long 
time before it became evident that the Kumiai churches would occupy*the 
whole country just as fast and as far as they were able. But it cannot be 
said that the fourteen stations which the mission has opened have been 
located in any such way as might have been expected if the intention had 



A SURVEY OF riFTY YEAKS 9 

loeen to choose strategic points to cover the whole country and make 
Congregationalism a nation-wide force. 

In considering how it happened that the mission's work came to be 
scattered in this irregular way, neither adapted to occupy some one large 
section of the country nor conspicuously fitted for a movement intended to 
reach the whole qpuntry, it must be remembered that during all those early 
years missionaries were not free to live w^here they pleased ; they could not 
choose strategic centers and occupy them as might seem best ; they could 
reside in any place outside of treaty limits only by getting some Japanese 
to employ them and obtain permission for them to live there. So mission- 
aries could obtain the right of residence only where they had friends 
substantial enough to serve as their " employers." Thus Niigata seemed 
very attractive as being an open port where foreigners could stand on their 
own feet without having to pose as employees of Japanese and tying 
themselves up to do certain specified lines of work, and so it is not strange 
that to the two men who were free to open a new station in 1883 this 
capital of a great province seemed more attractive than Fukuoka w^hich 
c^red the only apparent alternative. At that special meeting at Kobe in 
June, 1883, the mission hardly realised what it was doing, and perhaps it 
must be coafessed that no one felt the responsibility of laying out a policy 
for the mission's expansion, but more or less unconsciously it then made 
the choice of disf)ersion rather than concentration and of opportunism 
rather than forming a definite policy, with the result that three years later 
when there came what seemed so very special a call to go to Sendai it w^as 
comparatively easy to accept it. In much the same way in the following 
years, if a family found what seemed a good opening in any part of the 
empire, from Sapporo to Miyaaaki, and felt a call to occupy it, the mission 
assented, and so the founding of almost every one of our stations is due to 
some one or two men. 

Although Japan is emphatically one country and its territory is not so 
very large, it extends over a wide range of latitude, and as it includes a 
great variety of climate so also it exhibits a great diversity of social 
conditions. Thus it is not strange that the fourteen stations of the 
mission, though all sharing in the same general conditions common to the 
whole country, have had very varied experiences and have met, with very 
various degrees of success. The four earliest (Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto, Oka- 
yama) have had their fair share of difficulties but have perhaps been the 
most prosperous, and — ^together with the great capital — have the largest 
churches and those most independent of missionary aid, as is perhaps 
shown by the fact that so large a part of the members of these stations are 
engaged in educational or literary work. Niigata proved to be an especially 
difficult field, and in spite of all the faithful work that has been done there 



10 A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 

and the very great opportunity which once seemed to be oflFered there for 
Christian educational work it is still perhaps the hardest of all, w^hile the 
station has -varied from being one of the very largest of the whole mission 
to being left for considerable intervals with no resident missionary. ^ The 
bright hopes with which the school at Sendai were opened were doomed to 
disappointment, Niigata and Sendai alike showing the unwisdom of 
endeavoring to build up a Christian w^ork with funds contributed by non- 
Christians. In view of the unique work which Mr. and Mrs. DeForest did 
there and that which Miss Bradshaw is still doing no one of us would wish 
to see Sendai blotted from the mission history, but yet it might be difficult 
to say that the mission did not make a mistake in going there, and though 
we regret to fgive it up it has seemed best to leave that field to the other 
missions so well represented there. Two others, Kumamoto and Tsu, were 
given Tip so long'ago that many of those now in the mission may hardly 
know that once there were bright hopes connected with each of them, and 
the imfortunate circumstances connected with their failure may well be 
forgotten. Maebashi has always been of especial interest because of the 
connection of Dr. Neesima's family with that province, and it was said 
some years ago that Christian principles more nearly moved the whole 
province there than anywhere else in Japan. Along with Matsuyama it 
has always seemed one of the more encouraging fields, and both are able to 
show a variety of Christian work in active operation and with much 
success. Tottori and Miyazaki were the two latest of all the fourteen 
stations to be reached by steam communication and have always seemed to 
present both the advantages and the drawbacks of communities somew^hat 
widely removed from the main centers of social life and progress. 
Sapporo, on the other hand, though distant in space, has always presented 
an especially attractive field with its rapid growth and its multitudes of 
new settlers coming in comparatively open to new influences, a region 
presenting many of the toils and also many of the joys of true pioneer life. 

The survey of the mission's field suggests another question, one easier 
to ask than to answer, — how far it is wise for a mission to persist in a field 
that proves especially difficult and unpromising, and how far it is better to 
concentrate strength on the more fruitful fields with the hope that the 
influence of the work done there will in time be felt in the more backward 
regions. It has sometimes seemed that the division of work between the 
mission and the Kumiai body was that the latter took the comparatively 
easy ])laces, where self-supporting churches might be hoped for within a 
few years, leaving to the mission the difficult fields where self-support is a 
thing of the distant future. The mission's own policy has not been always 
easy to define. Years ago Dr. Gordon said of- Fukui as a difficult out- 
station of Kyoto that the station ought either to do more for it or 



A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 11 

abandon it, but the mission has largely been in the position of being unable 
to do more for the difficult fields and yet of being unwilling to abandon 
them. Closely connected with this is the question of the concentration or 
dispersion of evangelistic forces. I once heard one of my classmates, 
Edward Hume who w^Ith his wife did so grand a w^ork in Bombay, argue 
that the true mission policy was to build up a very strong work in some 
such great centers as Bombay and leave the native church to carry the ligh t 
to the rest of the country, an opinion which seems much in line with th^ 
recommendation made to us by the Deputation of last year. It is a 
question which this mission has never debated, but it is to be noticed that 
the mission's actual practice has been that of dispersion, typified in an 
extreme form by the division of the 59 Christians of Kyoto 42 years ago 
into three tiny churches. In the mission it w^ould almost seem that the 
policy of each station was to open w^ork in as many places as possible 
rather than to build up a few strong churches. There is no doubt much to 
be said on each side, and for many years there was always the hope 
cherished by at least some of the mission that if only all the work could be 
kept going a little longer larger appropriations would enable it to be 
properly cared for, but with the recent very great increase in the cost of al j 
parts of the work and with the recommendations of the Deputation, we 
seem to have come to the point where it w^ould be eminently w^ise to consider 
more carefully what the policy of the mission is to be, whether to continue 
jn a weak way all the work we have undertaken or to curtail in some 
directions that we may enlarge in others where the outlook is more 
hopeful. 

If it be asked w^liat the mission has been doing in these fourteen stations 
during these fifty years, it may be said that almost all the varied forms of 
missionary activity have been carried on for longer or shorter times in 
some or all of the stations, — evangelistic, educational, literary, medical and 
philanthropic, but the last named two have been limited in time and place. 
Apart from co-operation — sometimes very important — w^ith institutions 
begun and administered by Japanese, the mission's philanthropic Twork is 
almost limited to that begun and maintained by the zeal and energy of two 
ladies. Medical work w^as exceedingly important in the early years, both 
for its own sake and as a means of getting access to the people, so it is 
not strange that of the first eleven men sent to the mission four were 
physicians, but the rapid advance of medical science among the Japanese 
has largely taken away the need for such work and the Episcopalians alone 
have continued it, though there is reason to think that a Christian hospital, 
well established and maintained in such a city as Osaka, w^ould still be of 
great value and well worth while. Literary work, too, including transla- 



J 2 , . A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 

tion, books, tracts and papers, has demanded much of the time of some 
members of the mission ; the work done in all of these four lines has been 
large in amount and of great importance ; but this too has now been very 
largely passed over to the Japanese or to the Christian Literature Society, 
to which the mission makes a substantial subsidy. Nor should mention be 
forgotten of the very valuable work done for Christian hymnology, es- 
pecially by one member of the mission. 

But very much the larger part of the mission's time and money has 
been expended either in direct evangelistic w^ork or in the various forms of 
teaching, — theological school, boys' schools, girls' schools, Bible women's 
school, nurses' school, and kindergartens, not to speak of the great amount 
of time that has been given to private classes from the time w^hen Mr. 
Greene had four pupilg in the very first month of his residence in Japan 
down to the present. So prominent a part of our w^ork has this been that 
I find that of cdl the full members of the mission except the married ladies 
fully one half have for longer or shorter times been engaged in regular school 
work, vi'hile several of the married ladies and all of the associate memliers 
of the mission have done the same work. There may be said to have l)een 
four stages in this work, — (1) that in which schools and students were few, 
but the students were all eager to learn all that the missionaries had to 
teach and nearly all became Christians : (2) that in w^hich there was an 
intense desire for foreign learning and the government schools of higher 
grade w^ere still few, so that any school which taught English attracted a 
crowd of students whose fees w^ere very likely sufficient to meet all expenses 
except the services of the missionary teachers, and even non-Christians 
were willing to support thoroughly Christian schools, so that, for example, 
it seemed that Christian influence might take possession of nW the higher 
education in the great Niigata province, and also all the pupils were easy 
to reach with Christian teaching ; (3) the time of reaction, when foreign 
things were at a great discount, the establishment of government institu- 
tions with superior equipment and special privileges took away most of 
the pupils, and the Japanese managers of the Christian schools imder Japan- 
ese control felt constrained to minimise the Christian elements in a des- 
perate eflfort to prolong the life of their schools ; (4) the more recent years 
when the demand for higher education — especially as a preparation for 
business — has again far out-run the capacity of the government schools, 
and the demand for higher education for girls has become a very striking 
feature of the situation, together with the great growth of the kindergarten 
work. If the scanty number of pupils twenty years ago made a difficult 
situation for the Christian schools, the present situation — with a host of 
students crowding into the schools for training for business — has some 
serious problems of another kind. That education has been a very import- 



k. 



A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 13 

ant part of missionary work in Japan is indisputable ; that connected with 
it there have Ijeen sad disappointments as well as happy successes is also 
not to be denied ; that educational work in Japan is severely handicapped 
imless Japanese are given a prominent part in the management, and that 
such mixture of influences sometimes makes a complicated and difficult sit- 
uation is likewise easy to see ; that ediicational work is likely to continue 
to be an important part of the mission's work seems to be the fact, and 
whether or not any changes will have to be made in it can only be 
determined in the future. 

But however much the educational w^ork has absorbed the time of many 
of the mission, the evangelistic work has always been regarded as funda- 
mental, and fully two-thirds of the men of the mission are now engaged in 
it. Street preaching and daily preaching to passers-by in chajicls have 
seldom been attempted in our mission, and the great all-day preaching 
services in theaters, so popular a few years ago w^hen Christianity was 
more of a curiosity in Japan, seem to be a thing of the past now. A large 
part of the churches, too/are now ministered to by their own i)astors and 
have seldom any need of the services of a foreigner, nor has the general 
missionary any such work as the supervision of common schools*, but there 
is still an abundance of directly evangelistic work to be done by the mission- 
ary if only he can be provided vsrith the necessary means for doing it. As 
compared with the early days, there are now^ no passports to be bothered 
with and the means of communication are very much better ; but during 
the past few^ years the expense of all parts of the work has very greatly 
increased. 



The history of some missions, as in China or Turkey, contains thrilling 
stories of endurance even unto death in times of war or persecution ; that 
of some, as in Africa and the islands of the South Sea, contains equally' 
romantic stories of great perils on land or sea ; in other countries, as Korea 
and some parts of India, wonderful stories are told of the conversion of 
whole communities or at least of great masses of the population ; in others 
the raising up of peoples from savagery to some degree of civilisation is 
the undoubted work of mis.sions. Mission history in Japan can tell littie 
of such perils, such sufferings, or such striking and wonderful results on a 
grand and conspicuous scale ; the bomlnistic threatening indulged in at 
some former times seems bigger now on paper than it did to us at the time 
in reality ; while great progress has been made, it is so much less than was 
confidently expected at one time that it is liable to be rather a disappoint, 
ment than an encouragement, and it is impossible to say how much is the 
work of the mission and how much that of the self-governing churches ; 
while it cannot be denied that missionary influence has had a share in 



14 A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 

wTiatever moral improvement has taken place in Japanese society during the 
past fifty years, it would be absurd to claim for missionaries the credit for all 
Japan's social progress ; thus in comparison -with some other mission fields 
the history of ourmission may perhaps seem commonplace and hardly worth 
telling. It would seem, too, to be idle to attempt to make the history in- 
teresting by narrating detached events and stories of individuals w^hich have 
no permanent significance, however interesting they might be as indications 
that the Gospel works in individual hearts in Japan as in other countries, 
and although there have been not a few, especially in earlier times, who 
showed as true courage and endurance as in the times of the martyrs. As for 
the lack of such striking and wonderful results on a large scale as some mis- 
sion lands can show and as were once hoped for in Japan, we may with all 
humility say that it is not due to difierence in consecration or ability or ex- 
cellence of methods. We ourselves have seen how very varied results within 
the field of our mission have been due to the varied conditions of the 
various parts of the country ; still more do conditions difier between Japan 
and such a land as Korea, or between the Japanese nation and the depress- 
ed castes of India. Such men as the ten whom I have named as founders 
and such women as their w^ives and as Misses Talcott and Dudley were 
certainly not inferior to the missionaries of any land. 

But to the student of the history of missions the story of the past half 
century in Japan is of interest and value as showing the reaction to Chris- 
tianity in modern times of such a people as the Japanese, a people intensely 
proud and self-reliant (as a nation) having a long historjr of their own and 
a highly developed social structure, brought into sudden contact with all 
the accumulated results of the centuries of western progress. Looking at 
this history as a whole we easily see the same division into four stages that 
have been mentioned in the case of the educational work. In the first, lasting 
till ;about 1880 or 1881, Christianity was a new and strange thing; even 
after the edicts prohibiting it were removed in 1873 there was no open and 
avowed toleration and most people were very much afraid of it, even the 
very name was something to be dreaded ; not a few of those who came 
into Christianity came through severe persecution in their homes ; but on 
the other hand there were not a few here and there who were curious to 
know what this strange religion was and curious to hear what those 
strange foreigners had to say, as well as some who really were eager to 
learn English and western science and w^ere ready to run risks to get in- 
struction from missionaries, so that more or fewer hearers could be found 
w^herever missionaries were then free to go. Of course many who came 
from curiosity soon went away, and some who seemed most determined to 
learn were the first to fall awa}^ but some were attracted by the kindness 
of the missionary and the spiritual power of his teaching or found satisfac- 



A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 15 

tion for their spiritual needs. The scores or hundreds who became Chris- 
tians during these years were often the more zealous and devoted because 
of the obstacles or persecutions which they had braved, many of them were 
naturally fitted to become leaders, but all were spiritual children — or grand- 
children — of the missionaries and were personally attached to them by close 
ties of afiFection, though very few were ever financially and materially 
dependent on the foreigners. Both then and during the next period a large 
part of the men who became real inquirers were more or less led by love 
of country — sometimes more by that than by purely religious motives. The 
word Bamtneikaikwa had been coined to translate " Civilisation " ; the 
Japanese, especially the young Samurai, w^ere intensely patriotic and longed 
to obtain for their country the blessings supposed to be signified by that 
long word ; their country was emerging from its long seclusion and not a 
day ought to be lost in introducing all that was good in enlightened coui- 
tries ; every missionary was ready to assure them that Christianity was the 
best thing in western civilisation, in fact the very foundation of it, and the 
bright young Samurai who learned it from them were' ready to accept 
whatever they were taught and were eager to make it known to their 
countrymen. 

During the next period, say from 1881 to 1890, this intense desire to 
get Bummeikaikwa, without a day's delay, pervaded a great part of the 
nation along with a keen zest for all foreign things from knitting to reli- 
gion, and the missionaries w^ere still the chief sources from w^hich they could 
be learned. The schools were full of pupil-, all the more so because gov- 
ernment schools above the primary grade were yet comparatively scarce 
and for girls hardly existed at all ; if any one would provide buildings for 
a school and the mission w^ould furnish one or two men or women to teach 
English the fees from the throng of pupils would meet the running expenses, 
especially as salaries were still low ; most of the students were easily led to 
accept Christianity ; great preaching meetings drew throngs of attentive 
hearers ; churches grew up almost like mushrooms wherever anyone would 
do a little work ; all who accepted Christianity took it without question 
just as they were taught ; even cautious thinkers such as Mr. Greene pro- 
phesied that the glorious victory of our religion in Japan would move all 
Eastern Asia if not still more distant lands ; and years afterwards people 
were lamenting that through lack of a sufl&cient force of missionaries the 
church had missed a great opportimlty to bring the whole nation to Christ. 
For myself I have never been able to believe that any number of mission- 
aries could have won a complete and lasting victory for Christianity then 
or have lessened the following reaction, and I think most would now agree 
that the great apparent progress of Christianity during those years when 
the number of Kumiai church members was increased more than ten-fold in 



1(5 A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEAKS 

eight 3^ears was largely only a part of a temporary craze for western things, 
from wliich comparatively little of permanent spiritual value could be 
expected. 

Fr(5m such an excessive eagerness for all things new and foreign it vsras 
inevitable that there should be a rcciction, and equally natural that Chris- 
tianity should share in it, but several things combined to make the thii'd 
I>eriod — say from 1892 to 1900 — an especially trying one for missions and 
for our mission in particular. The establishment of higher schools by the 
government brought a competition into educational work which would 
have been severe in any case and was fatal to not a few schools at stich a 
time eis this. The desire to show their independence led not a few^ of the 
Jaj)anese leaders virantonly to antagonise the missionaries ; an opportunity 
to disparage them as behind the times w^as given by the coming in just then 
of new ideas in Theology Avhich were eagerly taken up in an extreme form 
by some of the Japanese as a mark of progress and independence, and 
which for a time greatly lessened the fervor and spiritual power of their 
preaching; the death of Dr. Neesima in 1890 had taken av^ray one who if 
he had lived and had a fair measure of health might have done a great deal 
to keep the mission and the Japanese leaders together ; the joint adminis- 
tration of the evangelistic funds — however fine it might seem as an "inte- 
gration " of mission and churches — furnished an occasion for growing 
friction and misunderstanding. It certainly is not easy to believe that 
some of the Japanese leaders v.^ere not wilfully exciting antipathy to the 
mission as a means of stirring up the churches to cut loose from foreign aid 
to their Missionary Society. As one of them has said, " We crucified the 
missionaries, but we were f young and did not know better." &o difficult 
was the situation that it w^as seriously urged by some of the mission that 
\ve cut loose from the Kumiai body and organise churches entirely separate 
from it. The separation from the Missionary Society in 1895, leaving that 
society to govern itself and deixjnd on Japanese contributions, did bring 
much relief in that respect, but just then the difficulties with the Doshisha 
— indirectly growing out of the general condition of things — brought new 
trotibles. As a result of all these causes two stations were abandoned, for 
three years the mission withdrew froin connection with the Doshisha, five 
schools which had been of much promise were given up, three departments 
of the Doshisha were abandoned, the number of pupils in the remaining 
schools was very greatly reduced, the c'lurch membership grew only four 
per cent in ten years, and the working force of the mission was reduced 
from 90 to 53, but at the end of the century harmony had been restored 
between missionai-ies and the Japanese leaders, the revision of the treaties 
had given freedom of travel and residence in all parts of the land, and there 
was a general feeling that better times were at hand. . 



A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 17 

The new century opened* with a new form of work, the Taikyo Dendo, 
a genera], united, forward evangelistic movement, w^ith lantern processions 
to attract hearers, with cards for those interested to sign ; but more 
important w^as the renewed courage and spirit for aggressive work, and 
the renewed preaching of a positive gospel. The permanent results of the 
parading and the card-signing were not by any means so great as the 
published numbers might seem to show, it being found then, as since in 
later evangelistic campaigns, that many people w^ill sign such cards or even 
declare themselves as having decided to become Christians who have very 
little stable purpose and w^ho are soon lost from sight, but the renevsred life 
of the churches has in general continued, and so most emphatically has the 
fellowship of foreign and Japanese workers. 



If our mission has made little or no contribution to the Romance of 
Missions and can show no martj'rs, it has ]x;rhaps added some valuable 
experience in the line of the Relations of Foreign Missionaries and Native 
Churches, which was the topic of a paper by Secretary Wood at that 
meeting at Pittsburg fifty years ago. Mr. Greene no doubt heard this 
paper ; it may be that I am the only one of the mission who has read it, 
but our mission seems faithfully to have followed the principles laid down 
by Dr. Wood, — that the policy of the Board is to gather self-supporting 
and self-governing churches and to establish the pastoral relation at the 
earliest possible date ; that the mission sliould not be over-cautious in 
devolving responsibilities on native organisations and a native ministry ; 
that missionaries should not become pastors of native churches ; that it 
seems better generally Jfor missionaries not to become membei's of native 
ecclesiastical bodies in common with native pastors ; that the missionaries 
are revSponsible for the disbursement of mission funds, and should neither 
commit this responsibility to natives nor seek the control of the funds of 
the native churches. ;: ,■.; ■-,■/■, -"■-:^::'\:,- ■ \:^::'/[,.: >>:;-- 

Of course in the very first stages of the work the relations of the 
missionary to the Japanese Christians were necessarily very close, as they 
still are where he begins entirely new work. The first believers were very 
few, received their teaching directly from the missionary and were glad of 
his aid and counsel both as individuals and as a little church, though it is 
probably more common now than it was then for a missionary to become 
a member of some one church, his relation to that church being simply that 
of a private member, a purely individual and personal matter. As to the 
official relations betw^een the mission and the churches, it may be said that, 
with one striking exception they have been exactly that which Dr. Wood 
advised and the Board approved fifty years ago, made easier perhaps by 
the fact that the early Christians were so largely from the Samurai ekiss 



IB 



A SURVEV OF FIl'TV YEARS 



ready and eagci- to take the direction of tlie*life and work of the churches 
and in no way disposed to seek missionary control or direction. This w^as 
entirely in harmony with the desires of the mission, and it has never sought 
to direct the faith, the polity, or the administration of the Kumiai 
Churches ; the missionaries have never been official members of Bukw^ai or 
Sokveai ; in short the mission has had no official connection with the 
Kumiai body ; and on the other hand it has kept in its own hands the 
administration of the mission funds and the direction of the mission work. 

The one striking exception, of course, was the official co-operation with 
the Missionary Society during the fifteen years 1879—1894, when the 
"general evangelistic" funds were contributed to that Society and the 
whole was administered by a joint committee chosen partly by the mission 
and partly by the Society. Before that each station was carrying on 
evangelistic work with its own station or out-station funds, and the 
Society was doing such work as it ^vas able with the contributions received 
from the few churches of that time. Then came the opportunity for a 
very considerable expansion of the work through the unexpected evan- 
gelistic grant from the Board just at the time that the first class was about 
to gi-aduate from the Theological School, and the mission had to choose 
between undertaking a wide work separate from that of the Missionary 
Society and amalgamation with that Society. It is not strange that the 
latter alternative seemed the wiser one, and if I may speak for myself I 
may say that my own strong preference for keeping the two lines of work 
separate was quite overborne by the apparent weight of the reasons for 
the opposite course. So for fifteen years we had "integration" most 
imdoubtedly in the general work, the mission and the Kumiai bo'dy being 
officially united to that extent with combined funds and joint administra- 
tion, and sick enough we all became of it. It is safe to say that no one 
who went through that experience would ever want to try anything like it 
again. It put the mission into the odious position of taking a hand in the 
direction of the work of a Japanese society ; it greatly lessened the interest 
of the churches in the support of that society as is w^ell show^n by the great 
increase of their contributions after it cut loose from connection with the 
mission ; it gave occasion for unlimited friction in matters of administra- 
tion ; it greatly aggravated, as I have said, the unfriendhness of the 
Japanese leaders in the dark days ; so the termination of this " integration ' 
in 1895, initiated by the mission and heartily welcomed by tTie churches, 
brought great satisfaction to both sides. 

The termination of this official relation of the mission as a w^hole w^ith 
the Kumiai body as a whole still left not a few Kumiai churches dependent 



on station evangelistic funds, help given by the station missionary to a 
church withw hich hz hi d close personal acquaintance and towardswbich 



A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEAKS 19 

he could show personal friendship, and thus far less objectionable than the 
combination of foreigners and Japanese in an official board having no 
personal touch -with any individual work or worker, but even this was 
terminated ten years later, and since then no Kumiai church is aided with 
foreign funds and the mission as such has no official relations either with 
the Kumiai body or w^ith any Kumiai church. This may seem strange and 
abnormal to some of our friends, but the happy relations of informal and 
unofficial friendship and fellowship with the Kumiai Churches and Kumiai 
leaders w^hich w^e have enjoyed for so many years, now made still closer 
and more intimate by the appointment of a Field Secretary to represent the 
mission in conferences, formal or informal, wth the Kumiai bod3', seem to 
us to be far better than any results that could be gained by any organic 
integra.tion of mission and churches ; they are free to carry on their w^ork 
without any possible suspicion that the mission is seeking to govern or 
direct them, and we are equally free on our side to use our resources as we 
judge best, w^hile each gives aid and help infoimally to the other. 



If we think we have worked out a happy solution (at least for Japan) 
of the problem of the Relations of Missions and Churches, we are very far 
from boasting of any success in another great problem, now more and 
more coming to the front on many mission fields, — that of Christian Union. 
We have indeed not been without experience in this line; three times it has 
seemed that some measure of union was almost certain of success, and 
every time there w^as complete failure. The first w^as a movement among 
missionaries, the second among the Japanese, and the third arose among 
the churches at home, but all met the same fate. 

In 1872, except for a very small Episcopal work, the only missions 
were the Presbyterial (Presbyterian and Reformed) and Congregational, 
the former working in the Kwanto, the latter in the Kwansai, and it 
certainly was a worthy thought that, while each cultivated its own field 
with its ow^n methods, the churches should all have one common name, a 
common creed and organisation, and should unite in one common General 
Conference or Synod, a plan which seemed to be accepted by all at the 
First Missionary Convention, that held at Yokohama in 1872. All the five 
men of our mission were there, although the jiassage from Kobe to Yoko- 
hama then cost $20., and besides nine members of the Presbyterial 
missions the elders of the foreign churches at Yokohama and Tokyo (Dr. 
Elhott and Mr. Griffis) and Capt. Yvatson of the U. S. Navy sat with the 
Convention. (This vsras the Watson w^ho commanded the Texas in the 
battle of Santiago 26 years afterwards, and who when his sailors w^ere 
cheering over the victory said, " Don't cheer, boys, they are dying.") 
This movement for union was thus begun in good season, before any 



20 A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 

churches had been organised and before the Japanese Christians had formed 
any settled habits of church administration to be an obstacle to complete 
union, and, entered upon apparently with such complete unanimity, it seems 
as if it surely ought to have been successful, but it seems never to have 
worked at hU. The exact reasons for its failure c£m perhaps not now be 
learned ; jierhaps there was some lack of real earnest desire for union 
among the growing Presbyterial missions; at least it may be pointed out 
that, with the one group of missionaries w^orking in Tokj-^o and Yc)ko- 
hama, and the other far away in Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto, it would have 
been no easy thing to perfect and preserve a real organic union between 
them, especially with the imperfect means of communication of those days. 
It was fifteen years before another attempt at union was ma,de (leaving 
out of account the union of churches having the same faith and polity), and 
again it was between the same two groups. Congregational and Presby- 
terial, but now the chuiches were well organised bodies able both to 
initiate such a movement and also to thwart it. One of our mission found 
a reason for withholding sympathy from the movement in the fact that 
the first draft of the ])roposed constitution for the united body w^as drawn 
up by two foreigners, but the movement was truly Japanese from beginning 
to end, the few foreigners who had the privilege of serving on the commit- 
tee being greatly in the minority and having only a minor part in the 
discussions. When the joint committee knelt together in prayer at the close 
of our work we gave most hearty thanks for the harmony with which we 
had worked together during the four days of our meeting and for the good 
prospect that the result of our labors would be accepted by the churches. 
And yet it was a complete failure. Apparently the mass of the Kumiai 
Christians had gone into the movement without any such real downright 
desire for union as vsrould lead them to change for its sake any of the 
customs to w^hich they had become attached, and in particular the proposed 
])]an seemed to them to exalt overmuch the office of the pastors in making 
them ex-officio delegates from the churches to Conferences, a feeling vphich 
may have been aggravated by the fact that the one layman chosen to 
represent the Kumiai Churches on the joint committee was unfortunately 
unable to attend its sessions. It seemed regrettable that a very feve of the 
mission felt constrained to oppose the union movement in order to preserve 
" pure Congregational principles " (as though it was uncongregational for 
a church to be represented by pastor and delegate) and held up the story of 
the Pilgrim Fathers as if their heroism was a conclusive reason why 
Japanese Congregationalists should forever form a sect by themselves, but 
the large majority of the mission heartily sympathised with the movement, 
and its failure was entirely di:e to the Kumiai Christians, with the Doshi- 
sha school boys in the lead. No doubt if the churches had no real heart for 



A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 21 

organic union it was well that the plan failed^ and the story is interesting. 
as show^ing how^ closely people may become attached to usages, even in 
minor matters, w^hich have become associated with their religious experi- 
ence, and as indicating how little appeal the thought of organic union 
made to the average Christian. (Does it make much more now^ ?) 

The third movement w^as of a very different kind and was of comf)ara- 
tively small importance, but for a short time it seemed probable that the 
Congregationalists, United Brethren and Protestant Methodists in the 
United States w^ould unite, in w^hich case it was to be expected that the 
churches affiliated with these missions would sooner or later have come 
together. We are thankful that at least the United Brethren have united 
with us in the Theological School, For a few days once it seemed not 
imlikely that the Baptists would do the same, and here again it is under- 
stood that the plan was given up because of objection on the part of the 
Japanese (the Baptists this time). It might be mentioned too that Dr. 
Gordon came to the mission from the Cumberland Presbyterians, and for a 
few^ years it was hoped that the mission of that church w^ould at least 
w^ork in very close fellowship w^ith us, so that the Hail brothers -have 
always seemed somewhat nearer to us than any other missionaries. 

Those of us who have seen these various projects for union fail one 
after another may perhaps be excused for being somewhat pessimistic as to 
any church union succeeding in Japan, though w^e should perhaps find it 
not very easy to explain why church tmion should be so much more difficult 
to accomplish in Japan than in China and India. It may be pointed out 
that the movement here was b?gun before there was so much approval of 
the idea of union as there is^n theory at least — now at home ; also that 
the very fact that the churches in Japan are so far advanced in other w^ays, 
each of the larger bodies having a -well developed and vigorous life of its 
own with customs w^hich are indigenous to itself, makes them less desirous 
of a larger union, to secure which some of these forms and customs would 
have to be sacrificed. We can rejoice at least that to so very great a degree 
the various missions and churches of Japan have alwiiys co-ojierated in 
various forms of informal fellowship as well as in such formal organisa- 
tions as the Conference of Federated Missions, and our mission may l)e 
proud that one of its numlaer w^as the leader in proposing this Conference 
as another was the prime mover in the preparation of the Union Hymnal. 



And now what shall I say as to our fellowship as members of one 
mission during these fifty years ? During this time 210 men and women 
have been connected with the mission as fuller associate members, and, 
although no mortal has met them all, some of us older ones have had the 
privilege of knowing nearly all (I have known all but three), and very 



22 A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 

many of us have come into very close association with each other. As 
those whom I called the Five Founders came from widely separated 
regions, from various churches, from various experiences, and with very 
various characteristics and idiosyncrasies, so it has been all through the 
mission history, and this close fellowship of men and w^omen of so varied 
characters and experiences, but of one common purpose, has been, so to 
speak, a highly important by-product of missionary life. In the days when 
all the mission lived in stations near together, and again during the years 
when so large a part of the mission passed the summer vacation together 
in the Hieizan camp, the opportunity for intimate acquaintance was 
especially good, but even since w^e have become so w^idely scattered that 
some of us meet only at annual meeting, the mission fellowship is a very 
real and living thing, and I think we were wise in unanimously rejecting 
any proposal which might have interfered with the common discussion of 
mission problems at annual meeting. 

That among so many men and women and with so great a number of 
perplexing problems to be solved there should be differences of opinion at 
times is nothing strange, though I confess that before coming to Japan I 
w^as a little astonished at hearing from Miss Talcott that the brethren had 
some difficulty in " seeing eye to eye " at the annual meeting of 1874, and I 
know of some who were somewhat scandalised in attending their first mis- 
sion meeting to find such decided differences of opinion and such warm 
debates. But it can truly be said that there have never been cliques or 
parties in the mission, and the lively discussions over some mission problems 
have been no hindrance to hearty fellowship and mutual esteem. The 
sharpest division w^as no doubt that w^hich occurred in regard to self-support 
between those holding the extreme views and those taking a more moder- 
ate position ; there was a somewhat serious divergence of opinion betveeen 
the majority who favored the movement for union and the minority w^ho 
doubted its wisdom ; there have been occasional disagreements on other 
more or less grave questions ; but the real fellow^ship of the mission has 
never been broken ; now for many years there have been no serious dif- 
ferences of opinion and no "burning questions" to demand long discus- 
sions ; and any one who can look back over a considerable portion of this 
half century must agree with me that it is a privilege for which one cannot 
be too grateful to have had a part in this fellowship and to have been as- 
sociated wth such a company of men and w^omen. 

Dr. Berry, I have heard, was once much disappointed in some action 
of the mission, but years afterwards I heard him say that he believed 
the mission had always been right. I should myself hardly venture to say 
that ; I think a serious mistake was made in subsidising the Missionary 
Society, and I am inclined to think the same of the opening of w^ork in 



• A SURVEY OP PIFTV yEARS S9 

Niigata and Sendai, but I am sure that the mission has always honestly 
and heartily endeavored to do the b^st it could according to the light it 
had, and it is quite possible that its action in these matters was after all 
the best thing that could have been done at that time. It is however in- 
teresting and somewhat pathetic to go through the old mission records and 
read the resolutions burled in that " cemetery " as Mr. Atkinson once called 
it, — good resolutions with fine preambles — especially when Dr. Berry drew 
them— but how often left to slumber in innocuous desuetude. In the days 
when mission policy and church customs were still in the formative stage 
w^hat satisfaction we took in passing these resolutions, carefully framed to 
conciliate all shades of opinion in the mission and laying out a beautiful 
ideal for the mission to aim at ; but the course of events generally proved 
stronger than all these resolutions ; in short the policy of the mission has 
been much more the development of the course of events than the result of 
a definite plan laid down systematically in advance. How little the mission 
could foresee the future is shown for example in the annual meeting of 
1887, when much time and thought w^ere devoted to making plans with 
reference to a wide expansion of the mission w^ork, plans which came to 
nothing whatever, w^hile little attention was paid to the vote that initiated 
the kindergarten w^ork which has become so very important. 

It is a striking fact, too, that a very large part of the mission's advance 
has been the result, not of a mission policy deliberately formed, but of 
individual enterprise. Most of the mission's stations have been (j)pened by 
the enterprise of some one family, as Miyazaki by the Clarks and Sapporo 
by the Curtises ; the philanthropic work in Okayama and Matsuyama was 
all begun by individuals ; so were the kindergartens ; and the same is true of 
most of the mission's literary work. This -perhaps is in line with the 
democratic pdlicy w^hich has always prevailed in the mission. No one has 
ever aspired to play the part of bishop or superintendent, there has been 
nothing like a division into older or leading members of the mission and 
younger or subordinate members, the appointment of a Standing Commit- 
tee (C. A. I.) was put oflf as long as possible and the committee has been 
given in practice only very limited powers ; to a large extent each station 
has been free to determine its own line and method of work, and as stations 
have seldom contained more than one man each for general work, this has 
generally meant a free hand for each man engaged in this work. So much 
has this been the case that it was once asked in annual meeting, "Are w^e 
a mission or a group of stations? " Possibly a more systematic planning 
of the work of the mission as a whole w^ould have been more effective ; very 
likely any limitation of freedom of individual initiative would have been a 
loss ; the hesitation of the mission even to appoint a Field Secretary last 
year seems to show that the democratic spirit still remains in the mission ; 



YAIE WVMry SCHOOI 



24 A SURVEY OF FIFTY YEARS 

that so large -a part of the mission finally voted to appoint such a general 
secretary jDerhaps indicates that in the future along with the preservation of 
individual and local freedom there will be somewhat more of co-ordination 
of the various parts of the mission work. 

In looking over the list of the 169 men and women wlio <:ame out as 
full members of the mission, presumably in most cases with the expectation 
of finding their life work here, one cannot but be impressed w^ith the great 
variety of their experiences. Four did not even fill out a single year here, 
and 32 (nearly a fifth) did not remain longer than five years. Why some 
who seemed to be well fitted for the work retired from it so early is not al- 
ways easy to explain ; perhaps it is equally surprising that some of us have 
been able to continue so long. If we look at the work of those who have 
fallen asleep we can easily believe that some of them found in Japan full and 
abundant scope for their talents and w^on the recognition to w^hich they 
were well entitled. Such in various ways was the experience of Mr. Greene, 
Mr. Atkinson and Mr. DeForest ; in Toky^o, Kobe and Sendai they each 
seem to have found just the right place and each in his own w^ay they won 
w^ell deserved honor. Of others, fine as was the w^ork they did, it might 
possibly be imagined that in some other circumstances they w^ould have 
had still better scope and done even a wider work. Others, w^ho seemed to be 
well fitted for the work, somehow never found just the place and opportu- 
nity to show w^hat they could do, or w^ere cut off before their work was 
much more than begun. So some of us have had the privilege of continu- 
ing for a lifetime in one place and one work, while others have perhaps 
gained a wider experience by being moved from place to place. But, with 
all these differences in experiences, we are to-day, as we alw^ays have 
been, a one and united mission, -with one common purpose^ one faith, one 
common Master, united in one common fellowship with each other and 
closely allied in free and fraternal co-operation with the Kumiai Churches 
of Japan. 

When Mr. Greene began his work in Kobe the great Franco-German 
w^ar was just about to begin, ushering in great changes in Europe, opening 
in fact a new period of the w^orld's history ; we meet to-day at the close of 
a still greater w^ar w^hlch is likely to be the occasion ot still greater changes 
and will, w^e hope, bring in a much better era for the world. Already how 
different jn many ways is the world we live in from that of 1869. When 
Mr. Greene moved from Tokyo to Kobe with the hope of extending the 
mission's work to " Miyako which the natives call Kyoto," little did he 
dream that before he died he would travel from Tokyo to the old capital in 
twelve hours by express train, would ride about the streets of that city in 
cars moved by power drawn from Lake Biwa, and would read by light 



A SURVEY O? FIFTY YEARS 25 

. from the same source ; still less that he would ride about these streets in 
horseless carriages, get messages at sea by wireless telegraphy, anl see m?n 
flying over Tokyo. Equally great, though less visible to the eye, arc t! e 
changes of the past half century in men's thought? whether we look at the 
foreign w^orld or at Japan, and certainly the position of the missionary in 
Japan is far different from that of the early days. No longer does he feel any 
need to keep near the foreign ships for protection, no longer is he tied up to 
a few treaty-ports, no longer do Japanese risk their lives by coming to him ; 
on the other hand no longer are people drawn to Christianity by its novelty, 
no longer do any Japanese think the adoption of Christianity necessary to 
secure admission of their country to the fellowship of the Great Powers nor 
do physicians need to come to tlie missionary to learn modern medicine ; no 
longer is there a group of young Samurai free from business engagements 
and open to give their time to evangelistic work ; the missionary is no 
longer the spiritual father of all Japanese Christians, but may find liimse'f 
the younger brother of an experienced and well educated pastor and may 
perhaps be glad to become assistant pastor under him. Great wisdom, 
patience and tact were needed fifty years ago to ope:i the work amid 
all the difficulties and dangers of that time ; perhaps quite as much of 
these qualities is needed by the missionary now. 

When Dr. Barton wrote in approval of the project of a Mission History 
he suggested that it might contain a forecast of the future of mission work 
in Japan. No one of the editorial committee would take the role of Pro- 
phet and probably no one of the mission will compete for the position, but 
I think we would all agree in believing that there will be a place for the 
foreign missionary in Japan for manj' years to come, both for the all-round 
missionary and for the one of special gifts who can become a leader in some 
particular line of work. If we rejoice that there are so many churches 
which have attained to that stage where they make no call for the mis- 
sionary's services except possibly as a sort of assistant pastor, we cannot 
but recognise that there are not a few others which are in real need of his 
help — direct or Indirect— as well as very many openings for the building up 
of new churches imder missionary leadership ; if we have no longer the aid 
of Christian medical work, we still have large opportunities in educational 
work including the very important work for the little children an J their 
homes through the kindergarten— one of the most interesting developments 
of the second half of our mission history ; if our Japanese brethren rightly 
value their indeiK;ndcnce of foreign domination, they are also open-minde 1 
to learn new ideas and new methods from any one who is really able to 
teach something worth learning ; if any attitude which looks like condes- 
cension or a consciousness of superiority is absolutely fatal to success in 
Japan, yet a real brotherly approach with true sympathy and helpful- 



98 A suRVEV OP FiFTV ysAnsi 

ness— if joined with ability really to give help — will succeed in the future as 
it has in the past, and such a missionary will not soon become superfluous 
here. Our friends who visited us last year suggested that we concentrate 
resources upon some one station so as to make it a ." demonstration- 
center " ; we are unable so far to see our way to do exactly that, but 
may it not be that our ideal should be to make each part of our work — 
kindergarten, school, social work, or evangelistic w^ork— just as far as pos- 
sible a demonstration of how such work should be done as a part of the 
Christian movement, aiming at quality rather' than quantity, intensive 
rather than extensive work. Our mission has sometimes in the past been 
criticised by people not Congregationalists for giving too much freedom to 
the Japanese churches, and perhaps sometimes suspected of tolerating too 
much freedom of theological thought ; we believe that the policy of free- 
dom has been justified by its restilts and is the on'y one that w^ill work in the 
Japan of the Tv^renticth Century, it remains for us more and more to show^ 
that freedom of thought and of i vcstigation is compatible with a living 
and growing faith, that freedom of individual or station w^ork can be com- 
bined with efficiency as a mission, and that freedom ot missionary 
initiative can be combined with the most effective and cordial alliance with 
the vrork of the Kumiai Churches. 

The founders of my native state chose as their motto Qui transtulit 
sustinet, in the faith that the God by whose guidance and help they had 
come through varied perils from afar to Connecticut w^ould protect and 
bless that conmionwcalth amid whatever perils might arise in the future. 
May we not greet the next half century of our mission history with a like 
faith, — that the God who 'worked through Greene, Davis, Gordon, DeForest 
and others in the planting and early growth of this work will not forsake 
it in the years to come, but w^ill do even greater things through this mis- 
sion and through these churches in the future than in the past ; that 
Christ's kingdom of righteousness and love will surely be established in the 
hearts of this great people w^ith w^homand for whom we are working ; and 
that the Spirit w^ho guided and encouraged the fathers amid the difficulties 
and perplexities of the early years w^ill uot cease to bless and sustain the 
w^ork of the sons in all the experiences of the years to come. 



Date Due [ 


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ORD BROS. Inc. 
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YALE UNIVERSITY UBRARY 




3 9002 02964 4755 



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A BTirvey of fifty year s, 

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