Bo Tao

Bo Tao (Ph.D. in history, Yale 2019) is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Graduate School of Political Science at Waseda University. His research focuses on state-religion relations in modern Japan and transpacific encounters. He is currently writing a book on Kagawa based on his dissertation, “Imperial Pacifism: Kagawa Toyohiko and Christianity in the Asia-Pacific War.”

Updated March 2021

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Laying Down the Law of Love: The 1936 American Tour of Toyohiko Kagawa

It was the middle of December 1935. The Nippon Yusen liner Asama Maru had just concluded a fourteen-day voyage. After leaving Yokohama and stopping at a port of call in Honolulu, it arrived in San Francisco. As Asama Maru sailed into San Francisco Bay, its 800 passengers looked on, no doubt thinking of the ventures and reunions that lay ahead. Among the crowd on deck was a 47 year-old Japanese man whose entry into the United States was unexpectedly halted. He was discovered to have trachoma—an infection of the eye that, if untreated, leads to inflammation and blindness—and ...

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