Rev. Hisashi Yoshikawa & Family, c. 1910.



1910sKyoto-Nara-Osaka-KobeReligious
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“Family group representing three generations of Christians in Japan. Rev. H. Yoshikawa stands in middle [with white collar] with his wife on his left, with his parents seated and children grouped about,” c. 1910.

“General Evangelist Hisashi Yoshikawa is our oldest living ordained worker. With the exception of Mrs. Uchida, no Baptist worker in Japan, missionary or Japanese, has so long been in active service.

“Mr. Yoshikawa is the son of a knight [samurai] high in favor of the great lord [daimyo] of Himeji, a feudal center of importance in olden times. Young Yoshikawa was leader of a band of young men who formed a league to keep Christianity forever out of the Himeji clan. He broke up preaching services which our Kobe Christians undertook to hold in Himeji.

“In his twenties he visited a relative who was pastor of the Kobe Baptist Church. Here he was begged to take for a time the position of a teacher of classics who had suddenly left the little school. He did so, avowing that he hated Christianity as much as ever and was not responsible for what the school did, being only a temporary teacher. He has often remarked since then, that although he did not choose the Lord, the Lord chose him. He began teaching in January; by May his opposition had ceased; before summer his wife had become a Christian; on August fifth he was himself haptized by Dr. Rhees.

“When he returned to Himeji, his old cronies demanded an explanation of his sudden change. For two hours he preached to them so earnestly that opposition faded away. In time young Yoshikawa gave himself to the Christian ministry.

“Meanwhile something had happened in his old home. The parents had taken a young officer into the house, who turned out to· be a Christian. His earnestness led the parents to Christ, and they were the first to be baptized in the ancient castle town of Himeji. After a short course in the budding theological seminary, Yoshikawa San labored in the vicinity of Himeji, then in the Prefecture of Yamaguchi. In Kobe he did remarkable work, and the church there is perhaps the leading Baptist church of Japan. He is now best known as general evangelist.”

Our Baptist Neighbors in Japan, American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society, June 1923

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