【October 2018 No.399】Reflections on the Mission 21 International Youth Ambassador Program

I recently returned from participating in the Mission 21 International Youth Ambassador Program June 11-24. Mission 21 is an evangelistic group centered in Basel, Switzerland that began at a missionary school in 1815. This is linked to a young adult project started two years ago, in 2016, when European young adults visited Mission 21-related religious organizations throughout the world and, in 2018, invited to Switzerland one young adult from each Mission 21-related religious body throughout the world.

During the first week in Aarau, Switzerland, we spent our time in workshops on international solidarity and discussing the issues faced in each country. We also took part in a portion of the Mission 21 Synod that was taking place at the same time. At the synod, there were reports of the situation in each country of the world and a joint sharing of the various perspectives on the theme of immigrants and refugees, which is being discussed throughout the world. Two youth coordinators from among the ambassadors made presentations and proposals. At the “mission feast” held after the worship service on Sunday, we enjoyed food from the Mission 21-related areas in stalls that became places to experience the warm fellowship of the Mission 21 project site.

During the first half of the second week, all participants of every team were sent to various areas in Europe, and those of us on the Asian team went to Germany. We interacted with seminary students and young adults in the area, and those of us from Japan sensed the deep significance of our going to Germany, which had been similarly defeated in World War II. We also visited the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) to consider and discuss mission. Following that, the participants met together once again in Basil, where we mutually shared what we had discovered, held workshops, then closed the meeting and returned to our respective countries.

One insight I gained from this program is that young adults think for themselves. The goal of this program was to stimulate young adult participation in the work of Mission 21, and various opportunities were provided. Out of those experiences, the declaration we proposed to the synod was: “We are present not only future” (sic). Young adults are not just persons to be educated, but are independent beings who are living out the present. Moreover, this program was fundamentally managed by young adults. At times they led; at times they related to us as friends of the same age, serving us from the same level. Through “caring for travelers,” they interacted as young adults.

The second insight was in regard to Christianity and international relations. When I have discussions with my fellow Asians, I pointedly make it clear that I think the invasion of Asia by the Japanese military was absolutely wrong. In the same way, Europe was also a colonizer and even used evangelism to accomplish this end. Likewise, there is a long history of the church being very strongly in the background of international cooperation between Europe and North America, as well as in mission activities, and that is a wonderful thing. But on the other hand, when going to another country to do something, people as a rule must fight the temptation of being arrogant and prejudicial. I realized that for this reason, the concept of working “with” the local culture rather than of going “to” a local culture is important, and what is necessary is an ecumenism based on mutual “solidarity” rather than a relationship based merely on giving and receiving. The work of the mission organizations that I encountered in Europe is accomplished through prayer. I think it would be wonderful if in Japan as well, we could bring peace to the world through the Bible.

Finally, I want to express my gratitude to the Kyodan and Mission 21 for giving me this opportunity. (Tr. RT)

by Kishi Hikari, member of Chiba Honcho Church Chiba Subdistrict, Tokyo District


mission21 International Youth Ambassador Programに参加して

千葉本町教会 岸ひかり

 私は、6月11日から24日にかけて、mission21 International Youth Ambassador Programに参加してきました。



 日曜日には礼拝後、mission21関連地域の食事が屋台のように楽しめる「mission feast」があり、mission21のプロジェクトサイトを知り交流する暖かい場所となっていました。



 当プログラムから得た学びのひとつは、青年の主体性です。当プログラムの目的がmission21の活動に青年の参加を促すことであったので、様々な機会が与えられました。その中で私達が総会へ提出した声明は「we are present not only future」です。青年は常に被教育対象なのではなく、今を生きる主体的な存在なのです。また、このプログラムは基本的に青年によって運営されました。彼らは時に導き時に同じ年代の友達として接し、同じ目線に立って奉仕してくれました。「旅人をもてなす」ことを通して、青年としてのアクションを示してくれました。


【October 2018 No.399】Frederick Charles Klein: Founder of Nagoya Gakuin

On the gravestone of Dr. Frederick Charles Klein, located in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, is written the following words: “Not to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45). Klein devoted his life to God, to the church, to humanity, and to Nagoya Gakuin, a boys’ school located in Nagoya.

Klein was born in Washington D.C. in 1857, and in 1866, his family moved to Baltimore. He was baptized in 1873 when he was 16 years old, which was the same year the Meiji Government in Japan lifted the ban on Christianity. In 1876, Klein entered Western Maryland College (McDaniel College), and in 1883, he married Mary Elizabeth Patton. That same year the Methodist Protestant Church sent them as missionaries to Japan, where Klein became the Director of Evangelism of Yokohama District. In consultation with the Mission Board, he handled financial matters in general, along with administration of property, schools, and churches. He also began evangelistic activities in Fujisawa (near Yokohama). He worked with a missionary woman named Harriette Briten to develop English schools, Sunday schools, churches, and an anti-alcohol association.

In 1885, he traveled to Kyoto, Osaka, and Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture in order to investigate the status of evangelism there. While staying in Nagoya, he met Yamane Torajiro, who appealed for help in establishing an English language school in Nagoya. At that time, it was the fourth largest city in Japan, with a population of about 150,000 people. One Japanese pastor said to him, “Nagoya is a conservative city. During the Edo period, it was a big castle town where Buddhism was very strong. It is a spiritually barren place and would be difficult for missionaries to cultivate.” These words set Klein’s heart on fire with a desire to nurture Nagoya spiritually, and he said, “My mission is to choose the most difficult place and open up a road there, turning my ideals into reality.”

Yokohama had a foreign settlement with missionaries and many other Americans and Europeans, and so evangelism flourished. But Nagoya was a city where Confucianism and Buddhism were strong and where many ancient Shinto shrines were located. Thus, people there valued the traditional religions, and many considered Christianity a dangerous cult. But Klein jumped headfirst into such a place. Nevertheless, the establishment of Nagoya Gakuin was a thorny path from the beginning.

On July 11, 1887, Aichi Anglo College was established. The plan was to recruit 50 students, but only 12 students showed up. The school building was a private house that had been remodeled. Klein was the school principal, and Yamane was in charge of administration. Shortly after the establishment of the school, Yamane said, “Mr. Klein, this is a school for teaching English. It would be problematic for us to teach Christianity. Not only does it go against my thinking but also we will be disliked by people.” Yamane, who was a scholar of Chinese classics, understood the thinking of people in Nagoya. At that time, learning English was thought to be the first step to success in life, and many people were studying English. However, as Yamane told Klein, there were people who cherished traditional religion and thought that Christianity was unnecessary.

Furthermore, Klein was instructed by the prefectural Board of Education to “remove the Bible from the curriculum.” The director of the prefectural Board of Education also instructed him, “It is forbidden to provide formal religious education to students who are 14 years of age or younger. If the school removes all religion classes from the curriculum, permission will be granted to open the school.” Thus, Klein felt pressure from people both inside and outside the school. Nevertheless, Klein refused to back down even one step. He said, “Bible-based religious education will be practiced every day. Education is not just about teaching knowledge. We must also teach and nurture the mind. That is the reason for religion, and the reason for Christianity.”

At the time, Ito Hirobumi was serving as the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Klein sent a letter of appeal to Ito, requesting official recognition as a Christian school. The appeal was denied, but as a result of the appeal process, there was some correspondence with the prefectural Board of Education. On the application form, the word “Bible” was changed to “moral education” so that the prefectural government would not interfere with the religious education, and Nagoya Eiwa Gakko was officially recognized. Then Yamane and Klein went their separate ways. It was decided that the motto of Nagoya Eiwa Gakko education would be “Fear God; Love People.”

On July 11, 1888, something very strange happened. The remodeled private house used as a school building collapsed. It was exactly one year after the school had opened, and fortunately no one was injured. As a result, Klein began working on constructing an actual school building. He went back to the USA temporarily in order to raise funds for construction. The construction of a Western-style school building began in 1889. Klein returned to Nagoya in 1890, bringing with him the funds that he had gathered from the U.S. churches that had donated money for the school. When the Western-style school building was completed, it caught the attention of many people.

There are few clues that tell us how Klein taught both the Bible and the English language. According to one of the first students of the school, Makino Yoshio, who later became famous in England as a painter, Klein educated the whole person and showed students a way of life that was full of love and deep faith. In 1893, people were sad to see Klein return to the USA to receive treatment for an illness. He had been in Nagoya for a period of less than six years, but because of the work for which he risked his life, “Nagoya Eiwa Gakko” (later “Nagoya Gakuin”) was born and began to grow. After that, Klein was appointed to a position in the Methodist Protestant Church in America and devoted the rest of his life to serving God and humanity. In 1926, at his home in Berwyn, Maryland, he finished his work in this world and went to be with the Lord.

During the Meiji Era, several Christian schools like this one were founded throughout Japan due to the efforts of missionaries. By coming into contact with the character of these missionaries, many Japanese people were inspired to become Christians. The motto “Fear God; Love People” has been faithfully passed on for the past 130 years. At Nagoya Eiwa Gakko, Klein’s way of living and his faith were continued by both students and faculty. Since that time, the baton of “Fear God Love People” has been passed along for 130 years until the present time. (Tr. KT)

                                         —Oyabu Hiroyasu, chaplain Nagoya Gakuin


受け継がれた「敬神愛人Fear God Love People」のバトン~名古屋学院創設者 フレデリック・チャールズ・クライン宣教師

名古屋学院 宗教部長 大藪博康



 1866年ボルティモアに移住し、1873年(16歳)受洗。―この年日本では明治政府がキリシタン禁制を解除した。― 1876年ウエスタン・メリーランド大学入学。1882年メソジスト・プロテスタント教会の日本派遣宣教師となり横浜地区伝道団監督に就いた。1883年メアリー・エリザベス・パットンと結婚し日本に渡った。横浜ではアメリカの伝道本部と連絡を取りながら財政全般、土地、学校、教会の運営に従事した。横浜、藤沢で伝道を開始し、ブリタン女性宣教師とともに、英語学校、日曜学校、禁酒会、教会づくりに取り組んだ。


 1887年(明治20年)7月11日「愛知英語学校」設立。50名募集して12名が集まった。民家を改造した校舎。校長クライン博士、校主山根虎次郎。開設からしばらくして、山根が言った。「クラインさん。ここは英語を教える学校です。キリスト教を教えては困ります。私の思想とも反するし、人々に嫌われます。」漢学者である山根は当時の名古屋の人々の思いを理解する人物であった。当時、英語を学ぶことが身を立て世に出る第一歩と考えられ多くの人が英語を学んだ。しかし宗教は伝統的なものを重んじるのでキリスト教はいらない。そのような人々の思いを山根はクライン博士に伝えた。更に県教育局Bureau of education (?)から「教科から聖書を外すよう」と指示があった。県教育局長からも「14歳以下の生徒に公式に宗教教育を施すことは禁止する。教科過程から宗教の授業を外すならば開校を許可する」との指示。クライン博士は学校内外の両方から反発を受けた。








【October 2018 No.399】6th Global Inter-Religious Conference Held in Hiroshima

The 6th Global Inter-Religious Conference on Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution, the “peace” constitution, was held June 13-15 at the Hiroshima International Conference Center. Many Kyodan members, including Moderator Ishibashi Hideo, joined together with representatives from member churches of the National Christian Council in Japan, the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox churches, and several other Christian churches. Also represented were various Buddhist sects, such as the Jodo Shinshu Otani sect, the Honganji sect, the Nichiren Nihonzan Myohoji sect, and the Rissho Kosei-kai. Overseas participants were from Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, Germany, Australia, Canada, the UK, and the USA. In total, there were 250 attendees.

This approximately biennial conference took place this year at an International Conference Center located next to the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Resource Center, which made the reality of atomic threats feel closer. After the recent adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations, the historic handshake on the Korean Peninsula between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea, and the Singapore summit meeting between the leaders of North Korea and the USA, this conference opened amid circumstances that suggest to peace-seeking people of faith an advancement toward the true “proactive contribution to peace” proclaimed in the Preamble and Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution. And yet, this is also a time when the Abe cabinet is forcing on the Diet its political agenda, including the revision of the Preamble and Article 9.

The conference offered a diverse program, beginning with a keynote lecture by Mr. Yuasa Ichiro, founder and representative of the NGO Peace Depot, titled “Toward the Realization of Peace and a Nuclear-Free Zone in Northeast Asia,” testimonies of atomic bomb survivors, reports on the spread of military presence in Okinawa and Miyako Island, presentations from several overseas participants about initiatives for peace in their countries, and a final plenary session to complete a joint statement. It was a wonderful opportunity for people of different faiths to share deep prayers for peace.

Through this conference it was made clear that for Japan, Article 9 is not only an expression of our desire for safety and peace in our own country but also represents a solemn confession and promise to the world—especially to neighboring countries of Asia—that Japan will never again commit the mistake of invasion. Fittingly for such a “global” gathering of “religious persons,” we also affirmed the self-evident truth that the peace-seeking spirit of Article 9 is at the heart of each of our faiths. The words of a Buddhist participant, who said, “Our strong commitment to safeguard Article 9 must begin from repentance and confession” informed me that the deep confession and regret of our churches for their collaboration toward war is also present within the hearts of Buddhist followers.

In our last activity together, we gathered at the Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound to offer a litany of prayers, according to the tradition of each faith group represented.

(Tr. DM)

                               —Akiyama Toru, general secretary





(秋山 徹報)

【October 2018 No.399】Workplace Prayers of a Believer in his 20s

by Ono Hajime, employee   East Japan Railway Company Member,  Mukaigawara Church, Kanagawa District

As a crew member in the metropolitan train network, I transport many lives. As I do not have many Sundays off, I cannot go to church very often, but I pray every day and give thanks to God.

I started working for the East Japan Railway Company in April three years ago, just after I graduated from university, and I am currently a crew member. My reason for choosing this job was not that I especially like trains. Rather, I felt that being part of a rail operation that routinely puts many people on trains and transports lives every day of the year would be a worthwhile job that I wanted to try.

I was baptized when I was a third-year university student, just as I was getting involved in job-hunting. I was born into a Christian home, and Christianity was always part of my life. As a small child, I grew up in the church, but when I was in elementary school I joined the local baseball club, and as I continued to be busy with baseball through junior high school and high school, I stopped being involved in church life.

When I went to Tokyo to attend university I didn’t look for a church. I wasn’t attending church anywhere, but then at my parents’ suggestion I visited one nearby. One of the members there asked me about my favorite Bible verse, and even though I had drifted away from church life, I automatically responded with 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances.” As a result of this, I started to think about being baptized.

This text is carved into a wooden plaque hanging in my home and is engraved in my mind. When these words left my mouth, I thought, “I am able to live as this text says. That’s because Jesus is walking with me, even when I’m not going to church.” After I was baptized, I attended church quite regularly until I started work, but once I was working, it became difficult to go. This has led to two changes in my attitude toward my faith.

The first change is that each worship service I can attend has become very important to me. For workers in the railway system, the days off in a week are not fixed. We have a system of rotating responsibilities much like shift work, which means that the days and the hours that we work are always changing. An early shift starts 4 a.m., and a late shift means working until 1 a.m. After being baptized, I felt that being involved in church life was important, so not being able to attend worship felt sinful and made me heavy-hearted. However, this means that every time I can attend, I concentrate fully on the service.

The second change is that the frequency of my prayers to God has increased because of my opportunities for direct contact with other people’s lives. I am currently working as a train conductor, so my duties include giving the signal for departure, opening and closing the doors, and making announcements in the train. In the midst of all this, I may also be involved in people’s lives.

The other day while I was working, someone bent on suicide entered a railroad crossing. Happily, that person survived without injury, but for the first time in my life, right before my eyes, I saw a person who had decided to die. I will never forget that terrified face for the rest of my life. Almost every day trains come to a halt because of a fatal accident somewhere on the line. I find it hard to think about the fact that this means not only that so many people have lost their lives but also that far more people are left grieving.

Before this happened, I already had the custom of praying, “Let me spend this day safely,” before starting work every day. There was no loss of life in this incident, but since then I have been praying not only for my own safety but for everyone else’s safety and for the safe running of the trains as well.

Of course, not every day is calm and peaceful. I make mistakes in my work, unpleasant things happen, and I encounter appalling scenes. So I often find myself tempted to think it is impossible to “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances.” At such times, I look back and give thanks for the good things that have happened that day, and confess what I did wrong. Then I think of the next day, and pray that the next day will pass safely.

In the future, as I aim to become a driver and a transport manager, I want to keep on praying as I do my job. (Tr. SN)

—From Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend), May 2018 issue


20代の証し 仕事とわたし 祈りをもって運行業務に携わる

小野 創(おの はじめ)JR東日本職員(神奈川・向河原教会員)











 毎日が平穏な日というわけではありません。仕事で失敗したり、嫌なことがあったり、凄惨な場面に遭遇することがあります。「いつも喜んでいなさい。絶えず祈りなさい。どんなことにも感謝しなさい」なんて考えられるか! と思うことも多々あります。そのようなときは、その日を振り返って良かったことに感謝し、悪かったことを悔い改めています。そして、明日を思って、明日は安全に1日を過ごせますようにと祈っています。


【October 2018 No.399】Church Topics “Somenkai”: Seminar on Making Udon and Soba Noodles

 by Ushiki Keiichi, member  Kakamigahara Church, Chubu District

A men’s fellowship meets at our church every month. Seven years ago, we considered starting an event we could do throughout the year, and one of our members suggested holding a class on making noodles from scratch. As a result, we decided to form what we called a “somenkai” (noodle fellowship) separate from our sonenkai (men’s fellowship). [Ed. note: The character for “noodle,” pronounced “men,” was used instead of “nen” (year or age) to form this made-up word for a play-on-words effect.]

We generally hold our event on the third Sunday of the month, and from June to August we make soba noodles, while the rest of the year we make udon. [Ed. note: Soba noodles are thin and made of buckwheat flour, while udon noodles are thick and made of wheat flour.] Two of our members were experienced noodle-makers, so they serve as teachers, while the 6 “somenkai” members make noodles for 30 to 40 people each time.

For udon noodles, we gather an hour before the worship service to first knead the flour and press it down to the right thickness to let it set for awhile. After the service, we do the additional work of folding and cutting the dough to make the noodles. The children then take the noodles to the kitchen, where the women do the final preparation for the meal. For soba noodles, the process is a bit different, and we take about one hour after the service to make those. We eat the udon noodles hot in a soup with various toppings, and serve the soba noodles cold.

We now make the noodles more efficiently than when we began seven years ago, and the pastor and church members along with any guests enjoy the meal after church. As soba noodles are rather thin and difficult to cut properly, taking quite a bit of time, the church purchased a special cutting board for making noodles. We store it at the church, and various members contribute to provide the ingredients each week. Thus, the “somenkai” exists with the help and cooperation of the pastor and church members. It has been a great encouragement to our team for everyone to say how delicious the noodles are.

Through this activity, the fellowship of our sonenkai as a whole has certainly deepened, and from February 2017, we added a new activity, which is to hold a cooking class for men on the third Wednesday of every month. It’s entitled, “Let’s prepare a simple meal and eat together.” We’d like to continue to increase our activities in the future. (Tr. TB)

From Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend), May, 2018 issue


うどんとそばの麺打ち講習会 壮麺会

岐阜・各務原教会員 牛木恵一








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