The Protestant Missions — September 28, 2010 at 9:51 pm

The Sarah A. Curtis Home funded by Viscount Mori Arinori.


Viscount Mori Arinori (森有礼?, August 23, 1847 – February 12, 1889) was a Meiji period Japanese statesman, diplomat and founder of Japan's modern educational system.

  • In Tokyo, one of the American Baptist missionaries, at the request of some Buddhist priests who expressed a desire to hear about Christianity, took up his abode in quarters offered him at one of their temples in Shiba.

Failing health, however, soon necessitated the withdrawal of this missionary from the field. Mr. Mori Arinori, whose memorial in favour of religious liberty has been mentioned, rented to the Baptists a house in Surugadai, Tokyo, where they established a girls school, which has since developed into the Sarah A. Curtis Home.

  • Of five young men in Kobe who expressed a desire to follow Christ, Mr. Greene wrote in January, 1874:

” I have been particularly pleased to see how readily they fall in with the theory of self-support and self-propagation. One of the aims of these young men is to make the church a missionary society, and I believe that it will be such from the start. . . . God has seen fit to make the influence of missionary work in Japan felt first and most strongly by the intelligent classes. The large majority of those who have become Christians hitherto sat of this class, both here and in Yokohama and Yedo. . . .. Whatever may be right elsewhere, there ought to be no question about having the Japanese support their own pastors and build their own churches from almost the first, if not from the very first.”

A word may be added about the method by which Dr. Berry and some other medical missionaries won the good will of the Japanese physicians. They made it a rule not to see patients except as consulting physicians in company with Japanese doctors who took charge of the case. Thus the latter were not deprived of their practice by the foreigner, they received their fees as before, and in addition they obtained valuable instruction. A further advantage was that the patient, being under closer supervision than the missionary could give, was more likely to carry out directions concerning medicine and diet. Japanese doctors were very desirous to learn the Western system of medical practice. The physicians of a city would unite in opening a dispensary to which they invited the medical missionary; and these dispensaries often proved gateways by which the Gospel entered the towns where they were established. The medical work did much to break down prejudice against foreigners, which was still very strong. Dr. Wallace Taylor of the American Board Mission has written :

‘I well remember our first going into Himeji ; how we were scrupulously shut up in our jinrikishas from view for miles before we reached the place, hurriedly run into a large samurai yashiki [quarters formerly occupied by the military classes], and the huge gate immediately shut and barred behind us. We were prisoners and carefully watched, not that we might not get out, but that no one should get in to harm us. Here we were kept and not allowed out, but patients were brought to us. After a few visits, when our patients had made known what we were and the character of our work, we were allowed out on the street, but only within certain limits and always accompanied by a guard whose vigilance we could not evade.”

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