日本基督教団 The United Church of Christ in Japan

【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。








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