The Protestant Missions — January 17, 2012 at 7:36 am

Opposition from “Nihon Shugi”.


A movement that attracted considerable attention because of the University professors and other scholars who were its leaders aimed at a revival of Shinto. A magazine entitled Nihon Shugi (Japanese Principles) was published, and the movement was popularly known by the same name. The writers contended that Japan was in danger of losing her national characteristics by wholesale borrowing from foreign countries, that an attempt must be made to arouse the nationalistic sentiments of the masses, and that the best way to do this would be by reviving the worship of the ancient gods.

All Japanese Christians were challenged to give plain answers to the following questions:

I. Can the worship of His Sacred Majesty the Emperor, which every loyal Japanese performs, be reconciled with the worship of God and Christ by Christians ?

2. Can the existence of authorities that are quite independent of the Japanese State, such as God, Christ, the Bible, the Pope, the Head of the Greek Church (the Czar), be regarded as harmless?

3. Can a Japanese who is a faithful servant of Christ be regarded as at the same time a faithful servant of the Emperor and a true friend of His Majesty’s faithful subjects? Or, to put the question in another way, is our Emperor to follow in the wake of Western emperors and to pray : * Son of God, have mercy upon me’?

4. Can the Christian convert answer the above questions in a manner that will satisfy our reason?”

The Christian papers ridiculed these questions as showing that loud professions of loyalty were being used as a device to uphold a weak cause. The movement though at first pushed with considerable vigor, soon passed from notice without having presented any formidable obstacle to the progress of Christianity.

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