“Governor Ariyoshi of Kanagawa, at the laying of the corner stone of the new building of the Yokohama YMCA, said that wherever there is a YMCA – whether in schools or in cities but especially in the first- it is proving a wholesome agency for the upbuilding of character.
“The Ministry of Education has ordered that the 30,000 young men’s clubs throughout the country with their three million members should become similar agencies for public service and character building.”
– Record of Christian Work, Vol. XXXV, 1906
Tokyo YMCA, c. 1955
“Early in the Meiji period, Tokyo/Ginza was the center of civilization. There were always young Christian leaders gathered on the second floor of a bookstore dealing with overseas books (such as the Bible) called ‘Cross Stores’. It seems that young people who are enthusiastic and vigorous are controversial about Christianity and Japan’s future. Among them, the state of the YMCA campaign in the United States was conveyed, and a story telling me to organize YMCA in Japan also came up. And on May 8th 1880 (Meiji 13) the Tokyo YMCA ceremony ceremony was held at Seijayabashi Church. Osaka YMCA was established in Osaka in two years, and in 1884 (Meiji 17) Yokohama YMCA was established.
“Yokohama YMCA, centered on Yokohama Seaside Church, opened on October 18, 1884 (Meiji 17), 40 years after the birth of YMCA movement in London. Activities centered on young people spread from the coastal church to the finger-road church; many young people also gathered together the Bible study group, English study group, lecture meeting, music concert, etc., which opened the door to general citizens … In the Taisho era, the first indoor stadium in Yokohama was completed, and we tried to disseminate civic sports including basketball, volleyball, badminton and others.”
–The birth of YMCA and the history of Yokohama YMCA, Yokohama YMCA, 2012