【October 2019 No.404】The Historic Missionary Residence and Kyoai Gakuen

by Okawa Tadashi, chancellor

Kyoai Gakuen, Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture

On the Koyahara campus of Kyoai Gakuen there still stands one Western-style building. This is the Former Missionary Residence of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, which has been designated as an Important Cultural Property by Gunma Prefecture. It is now being used to house the archives of Kyoai Gakuen and serves as a witness to Kyoai Gakuen’s history and the legacy of the missionaries who served there.

 

Kyoai’s Founding and 

the American Board of Commissioners

 Kyoai Gakuen opened with the name Maebashi Eiwa Girls’ School in 1888 (Meiji 21), as the successor to Maebashi English School. The school was established because of the persistent request of Maebashi English School’s teachers, such as Fuwa Kiyo and Murayama Yuki, graduates of Kobe Girls’ School, and Sasao Nui, a graduate of Tokyo Hara Girls’ School. With the assistance of Fukasawa Toshishige, Takatsu Nakajiro, Fuwa Tadajiro, and Niijima Jo, among others, together with the support of local churches and the cooperation of American Board missionaries, the school was founded.

 

In the same year, the American Board established a base of operation (later to be called the Maebashi Mission Station*) in Maebashi, with Miss Shed as the first missionary. The first missionary couple, Rev.William and Mrs. Inez Noyes, were sent there in 1891. Also in 1891, the Board constructed a missionary residence (the West Building) beside the Girls’ School, followed in 1892 by a residence for the missionary teachers (the East Building, now Kyoai Gakuen’s Former Missionary Residence). In 1894 the Maebashi Mission Station was formally inaugurated.

 

For the next half-century after that, missionaries maintained and developed local Christian mission work, and at the same time, in Maebashi:

(1) they contributed to the formation of education at Kyoai by teaching English and Bible at the girls’school and by leading worship and showing the

lifestyle of contemporary women in the West;

(2) they established the Maebashi Kindergarten (Seishin  Kindergarten), run by the Board; and

(3) they provided material and spiritual support and leadership for Jomo Orphanage.

 

Women Missionaries who lived in the East Building

A total of 16 missionaries resided at Maebashi Mission Station during half a century, 8 of whom were senior missionaries and their wives; the other 8 were single women missionaries. The main duties of the senior missionaries were to make regular visits to the churches within the district Maebashi Mission Station served, preaching and providing support, and their wives supported them in this. On the other hand, the single women missionary teachers undertook responsibility for the management and education of Seishin Kindergarten, in the position of principal. They had an important role in the education at Kyoai Girls’ School as well, as teachers of English, music, and the Bible. Here I will introduce the main single women missionaries who lived in the East Building, which is still in existence.

 

Miss Mary Helen Shed (at Maebashi 1887~1891)

Mary Shed was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 9, 1855, and graduated from Wellesley College, having majored in natural science. In 1887 she came to Japan and served as an English teacher in Osaka and Kyoto before going to Maebashi Mission Station as an educational missionary in September of that year. As a teacher at Maebashi Eiwa Girls’ School, she endeavored to build up the education there, and by supporting the churches in the Joshu region, she established the foundation of Maebashi Mission Station. Through Jomo Christian Women’s Association, she built up relationships with the women of the area, and in her own person provided an example of the lifestyle of a modern Western woman. She also worked for the establishment of Jomo Orphanage and Seishin Kindergarten. In March 1894 she left Maebashi, and after returning to the United States, she continued to provide material and spiritual support from Boston, which is where she passed away.

 

Miss H. Frances Parmelee (at Maebashi 1892~1899)

Frances Parmelee was born in Twinsburg, Ohio, on May 13, 1852, and graduated from Lake Erie Seminary. She came to Doshisha Girls’ School in 1877 in response to the request of Niijima Jo and Jerome Dean Davis. After a temporary return to the United States to nurse her sick mother, she came back to Japan again and was stationed at Tsu Mission Station in Mie Prefecture, before moving to Maebashi Mission Station at the request of Miss Shed.  Around that time the movement to abolish licensed prostitution was becoming very noticeably active, and along with school colleagues, such as Tsune Gauntlett, Mitani Tami, and Kubushiro Ochimi, Miss Parmelee became a leader in this movement. In her old age, she lived in Kyoto and died there in 1933. She was buried in the Miyagawa family cemetery on Mt. Nyakuoji.

 

Miss Fanny E. Griswold (at Maebashi 1898~1931)

Fanny Griswold was born in Southport, New York, on Oct. 14, 1864. She graduated from prestigious Mount Holyoke College before coming to Japan in 1889 and taught at Doshisha in Kyoto before working with such people as Kashiwagi Gien at Kumamoto Girls’ School. After a year’s furlough, she returned to Japan in 1898, and at the strong request of Rev. Albrecht in Yokohama, she changed her assignment from Tottori Mission Station and went to Maebashi Mission Station. For the next 34 years, until 1931, she served in that area and made evangelism tours around the Joshu region (Gunma Prefecture), while continuing to be involved in the education at Kyoai Gakuen. She also became the second acting-head of Seishin Kindergarten and worked to establish early childhood education there. She also made her mark as a leader in the Kyofukai (Japan Christian Women’s Organization) and church women’s groups. With her return to the United States in 1931, Maebashi Mission Station closed.

 

Miss Cora F. Keith (at Maebashi 1899~1903)

Cora Keith was born in Brayton, Massachusetts in January 1873, and graduated from Mount Holyoke College. She served at the mission stations at Maebashi, Kyoto, Matsuyama, Niigata, Kobe, Tottori, and Miyazaki.

 

Miss Olive Sawyer Hoyt (at Maebashi 1902~1905)

Olive Hoyt was born in Portland, Maine on Feb. 7, 1874, and graduated from Mount Holyoke College. She served at the Maebashi, Kobe, and Matsuyama mission stations. From 1920 she was involved in women’s education as head of Shinonome Gakuen in Matsuyama.

 

Miss Marion E. Kane (at Maebashi 1926~1929)

Marion Kane was born in Dalton, Massachusetts on Nov. 20, 1899, and graduated from Columbia University. She served at the mission stations at Maebashi and Kobe. The maypole dance that she introduced at Kyoai Gakuen is still performed by students today. (Tr. SN)

*No longer in general use, the term “mission station” referred to a formal base of operation for mission work in a specific region.

 

東館の婦人宣教師たち

 大川 義(共愛学園学園長)

 前橋ステーションには、半世紀にわたり宣教師が駐在した。宣教師の総数は16人。その内訳は4組8人の主任宣教師夫妻と、8人の独身の婦人宣教師からなっている。主任宣教師の主務はマエバシ・ステーション管内諸教会の定例訪問・説教・援助等があり、これを夫人が助けた。一方独身婦人宣教師の任務は、清心幼稚園園長としてその経営と教育。共愛女学校では英語、音楽、聖書の教師として教育の重要な部分を担っていた。ここでは共愛学園に現存する東館に居住した主な独身婦人宣教師について紹介します。

Miss Mary Helen Shed   在橋(ザイキョウ)1887~1891

 1855年6月9日、アメリカ合衆国のマサチューセッツ州ボストン市に誕生。ウェズリー大学で自然科学を修得。87年英語教師として来日。大阪・京都を経て同年9月教育宣教師として前橋に着任。前橋英和女学校では教授を通して本校教育の確立に尽力し、上州の諸教会を支援して前橋ステーションの礎を築くとともに上毛基督教婦人会を通じて当地の婦人と交わり、欧米における近代女性の生き方を自ら示した。また上毛孤児院、清心幼稚園の設立にも尽力した。94年3月前橋を離れる。帰国後も、ボストンから物心両面の援助を続け、ボストンで永眠した。

 

Miss H.Frances Parmelee   在橋1892~1899

 1852年5月13日、アメリカ合衆国のオハイオ州ツウィングバーグに誕生。レイク・エリー・セミナリーを卒業。新島襄とデイヴィスの派遣要請に応じ、77年同志社女学校に着任。その後母の看病のため一時帰国、再来日し三重県の津ステーションを経て、シェッド女史の要請により前橋に着任した。この頃上州では廃娼運動が非常な盛り上がりを見せ、ガントレット恒ツネ、三谷ミタニ民タミ、久布白クブシロ落オチ実ミらが在校し、パーミリーは同運動を主導した。晩年は京都に居住、この地で1933年永眠され若ニャク王子山オウジヤマ宮川家墓地に埋葬された。

 

Miss Fanny E.Griswold      在橋 1898~1931

 1864年10月14日、アメリカ合衆国のニューヨーク州サウス・ポートに誕生。名門のマウント・ホリー・ヨーク大学を卒業後の1889年初来日、京都同志社で教えた後、熊本女学校で柏木義円らと教壇に立った。98年、一年間の休暇後再来日し、横浜でアルブレクト師の強い要請を受け、鳥取ステーション赴任を変更して前橋に着任した。この後1931年までの34年間この地にあり、上州の巡回伝道の傍ら、共愛女学校の教育に携わった。また第2代園長として清心幼稚園の幼児教育の確立に尽力した。矯風会や教会婦人会の指導にも足跡を残した。1931年彼女の帰国により、マエバシ・ステーションは閉鎖された。

 

Miss Cora F.Keith    在橋 1899~1903

 1873年1月 アメリカ合衆国のマサチューセッツ州ブレイトンに誕生。マウント・ホリー・ヨーク大学卒業。前橋、京都、松山、新潟、神戸、鳥取、宮崎各ステーションに在任。

 

Miss Olive Sawyer Hoyt      在橋 1902~1905

 1874年2月7日、アメリカ合衆国のメイン州ポートランドに誕生。マウント・ホリー・ヨーク大学卒業。前橋、神戸、松山各ステーションに在任。松山では1920年から松山東雲学園の校長として女子教育に取り組んでいる。

 

Miss Marion E.Kane         在橋  1926~1929

 1899年11月20日、アメリカ合衆国のマサチューセッツ州ダルトンに誕生。コロンビア大学卒業。前橋、神戸に在任。当時彼女が共愛に紹介した、メーデーのメイポール・ダンスは今でも、在校生により踊り継がれている。

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