“Scene at the Blackmer Home”, Tokyo, c. 1920.

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“Scene at the Blackmer Home”, Tokyo, c. 1920. Opened in 1902 by Universalist missionary Catherine Osborn, Blackmer Home was named for its principal benefactor Lucian Blackmer. The Home, which housed around twenty girls, became a project of the WNMA [The Universalist Church’s “Women’s National Missionary Association”]. To augment its programs it ran a kindergarten and a Sunday school, both taught by the girls living at the Home.
The handwritten correspondence on back of the postcard reads: “Our Church Home garden in Tokyo and three of the 24 girls. They have foreign tables and chairs, and parlor downstairs, but second and third floors are Japanese. Every day they go to University or Prep. schools, every morning have devotions, piano lessons – English at other times. Each girl has their special house duty – Baby Nou chan [the young child on the left in the postcard image?] keeps the library table clean.”

See also:
Sarah Curtis Home, Tokyo, c. 1910.
“Sendai Christian Orphanage, Girls’ Cottages”, Sendai, c. 1910.
Duncan Academy, Tokyo, c. 1910.

“The greater and better part of what the Universalist church has done and is doing in Japan can never be written. It does not readily lend itself to description ; and yet it is that for which the mission exists. The part which can be told will be a very inadequate index of the work. As to buildings: two churches, a library and a home capable of accommodating twenty three girls comprise the list.

“… The Blackmer Universalist Home for Girls is an institution whose greatest value lies in its quiet influence for good. Since it began in a little room near the private dwelling of Miss Osborn some fourteen years ago, more than one hundred girls have had a residence ranging from one to five years in the home, and have thus had the benefit of its influence.

“The girls in the home are, for the most part, college students in the Woman’s University and are fitting themselves to be come teachers or to fill other places of influence. Frequently they marry from the home or soon after leaving it and establish Christian homes for themselves and for the communities in which they live.

“There is no other institution in Japan on the plan of the Blackmer home. There are rescue homes; but it must be born in mind that this is in no sense such an institution. A girl must be of good character before she can gain admission, and must maintain that character if she maintains her residence in the home.”

“The Japan Mission”, by Rev. G. I. Keirn, D.D., Onward: The Journal of the Universalist Young People, April 1911

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