• en

Baptist Churches in Pre-WWII Imperial Japan

Licensing

This album highlights the Wada family Christian missionary work in Japan before 1930. The Wada family started and served at several churches in Northern Japan as well as the Tokyo and Hiroshima areas before the American Baptist Home Missions asked the family to come to the United States. After graduating with a law degree from Tokyo Imperial University, Rev. Wada continued his education by attending The Baptist Theological Seminary of Yokohama established by Albert Arnold Bennett, a missionary of the American Baptist Missionary Union (now called Kanto Gakuin University). It was in Yokohama that two Baptist missionaries Jonathan Goble and Nathan Brown established the First Baptist Church in Japan. The Yokohama Baptist theology was a more evangelical approach to Christianity. This probably explains Rev. Wada’s focus on evangelism and missionary work. One of its early leaders, Honda Yoichi, became the president of the YMCA’s governing body. Rev Wada went on overseas missionary trips to Japan occupied Manchuria, Korea and Siberia for the Japan YMCA. This album is just in its infancy, so check back for updates. There are hundreds of photos and documents of the Wada family missionary work in Japan, Manchuria, Korea, Siberia and other ares in Russia.

Slides in this album 

Tono Baptist Church, Iwate-ken

One of the oldest Christian churches in Northern Japan.   Modeled after the Baptist church in Morioka.  American Baptist missionary Annie Buzzell is standing in front of the Tono Church.

Tono Baptist Church, Iwate-ken Japan
Contributed by: mhomma

Back of Tono Baptist church photo

Great Grandmother Kuni Wada grew up thinking her name was Sen which is what her father called her.  She was to be named Sen, probably after her father Dr. Sentei Hara. But as a physician, he was away at the time of her birth.  She found out her real name ...

Back of Tono Baptist church post card
Contributed by: mhomma

Tono Church Article - Annie Buzzell worked with Rev. M. Wada

Mrs. Annie Buzzell, a Baptist missionary, ran the Tono Sunday School and Mrs. Kuni Wada played the piano at the church.

Tono Church Article - Annie Buzzell worked with Rev. M. Wada
Contributed by: mhomma

Tono Baptist Church, 2006

Visited the Tono Baptist Church, Iwate-ken in 2006.

Tono Baptist Church, 2006
Contributed by: mhomma

Tono Baptist Church interior 2006

The wood for the interior of the church was the wood originally used to build the original church purchased by Rev. Wada around 1910.

Tono Baptist Church interior 2006
Contributed by: mhomma

Baptism records: Rev. Wada - Rev. Sawano

My Great Grandfather saved his and Rev. Sawano's Baptist records

Baptism records: Rev. Wada - Rev. Sawano
Contributed by: mhomma

Baptism in Meiji-era Japan

Rev Wada's countryside Baptisms

Baptism in Meiji-era Japan
Contributed by: mhomma

Kamaishi Baptist Church, Iwate-ken - 1912

The Kamaishi church was just to the east of the Tono Baptist church.  The Wada family visited the church often.

Kamaishi Baptist Church, Iwate-ken - 1912
Contributed by: mhomma

Keijo City - Seoul Korea

The Wada family served at a Christian mission in Korea where Uncle Michihiko "Mike" Wada was born in 1913.

Keijo City - Seoul Korea
Contributed by: mhomma

Countryside evangelism

Rev. M. Wada speaking

Countryside evangelism
Contributed by: mhomma

Triennial Baptist Convention

Joint meeting of Northern and Southern Baptist missionaries in Japan.  Rev. Masahiko Wada is seated in the 3rd row from the front and 2nd from the right. There are four Southern Baptist missionaries in the back row in this photo - George W. Bouldin (the tall one), Charles Kelsey Dozier, J. ...

Triennial Baptist Convention
Contributed by: mhomma

1918 Church service in Vladivostok, Russia

Possibly Vladivostok Russia.  The Japan YMCA sent many missionaries to this region.

1918 Church service in Vladivostok, Russia
Contributed by: mhomma

Christian mission with children in Russia, circa 1920s

Rev. Masahiko Wada's photo albums have many pictures of the Christian Far East missions in Port Arthur, Siberia, and the Russia Far East.

Christian mission with children in Russia, circa 1920s
Contributed by: mhomma

Russian Church

Many Russian churches were converted to Christian missions.

Russian Church
Contributed by: mhomma

Rev. Wada with Southern Baptist Ministers

Great Grandfather, Rev. Wada, 3rd row from the front 6th from the left next to Rev. Mutsuo Gotou.  See next slide for list of names.

Great Grandmother Kuni Wada, front row 3rd from the left

Rev. Wada with Southern Baptist Ministers
Contributed by: mhomma

Rev. Wada with Southern Baptist Ministers description

Information provided by Russ Borg, SBC Japan Missionary

Rev. Wada with Southern Baptist Ministers description
Contributed by: mhomma

Kure Baptist Church members

This is an early photo of Kure Baptist Church. The church met in rented quarters (probably this house) until their church building was completed in 1922. So this is pre-1922, probably mid to late 1910s.

Emma and Elizabeth Ray are the young girls.  Standing next to Franklin Ray with ...

Kure Baptist Church members
Contributed by: mhomma

Kure Baptist Church, Hiroshima-ken

Kure Baptist Church. The church building was constructed in 1922.  The Wada family was at Kure Baptist Church from around 1923 - 1928.

Kure Baptist Church, Hiroshima-ken
Contributed by: mhomma

Kure Baptist Church, Japan 1923

From August 1923 to 1928, the Wada family lived in Kure, Hiroshima-ken, and attended a Southern Baptist Church. Evangelism brought two well known Navy officials to the church. One was the head of the Navy hospital and the other was the head of the ammunition factory. Many Ensigns from the ...

First Baptist Church of Kure, Hiroshima-ken, Japan 1923
Contributed by: mhomma

Kure Baptist Church Nursery School

Mrs. Kuni Wada taught at the church school. It was said that her bible lessons were often done in English, just as she learned them. This attracted many children as their families wanted them to learn English.

Kure Baptist Church Nursery School
Contributed by: mhomma

Kure Baptist Church Nursery School play time

Uncle Yas Wada remembered playing with the other nursery school kids. The church was the largest in the area and many Baptist Women's Mission's teachers taught classes there.

Kure Baptist Church Nursery School play time
Contributed by: mhomma

Kure Church Missionaries - Rev. Franklin & Daisy Ray

Southern Baptist Missionaries to the Hiroshima area.

Rev. Franklin & Daisy Ray
Contributed by: mhomma

Pastor M. Wada with Kure Japan Missionaries

Pastor Wada with missionary Daisy Ray and children Elizabeth, Emma, and Hermon. Hermon briefly returned to Japan as an SBC missionary with his wife from 1934 to 1937, after college and seminary. 

Pastor M. Wada with Kure Japan Missionaries
Contributed by: mhomma

Kure Baptist Church Women's Group

Naomi Schell in the middle, Daisy Ray on the right.  Kuni Wada between the 2 SBC missionaries grandmother Mutsu Wada Homma behind Naomi and mother, Kuni.

Kure Baptist Church Women's Group
Contributed by: mhomma

Kuni Wada with Baptist missionaries in Seinan Gakuin Fukuoka City in 1932

Corrected 2020: Many missionary families came to visit Kuni Anazawa Wada, seated in the front right. Southern Baptist Missionaries Rev. Charles Kelsey Dozier and Maude Burke Dozier are in back.  Front Center: Maude Dozier’s mother – Delia T. Burke.

Information provided by Mr. Russ Borg, SBC Japan missionary

Kuni Wada with Baptist missionaries in Seinan Gakuin Fukuoka City in 1932
Contributed by: mhomma

Kure Baptist Church, Hiroshima-ken

Aunt Midori Wada Murai, standing in the 2nd row far left, and Kuni Anazawa Wada standing in the back row 4th from the left.

Kure Baptist Church, Hiroshima-ken
Contributed by: mhomma

Kure Nihon Kirisuto Kyoukai

Not too far from the Kure Baptist Church

Kure Nihon Kirisuto Kyoukai
Contributed by: mhomma

Kure Nihon Kirisuto Kyoukai, circa 1924

Not too far from the Kure Baptist Church

Kure Nihon Kirisuto Kyoukai, circa 1924
Contributed by: mhomma

Chofu Baptist Church Japan

In 1928, Rev. Wada accepted a position at a Baptist Church in Chofu. However, Rev. Wada was called to serve in the USA and left on Nov 12, 1928 on the SS “Taiyo Maru” NYK for San Francisco. After Rev. Wada left Chofu Baptist Church, Kuni Wada took care of ...

Chofu Baptist Church Japan
Contributed by: mhomma

Chofu Baptist Church Japan description - SBC missionaries













SBC Missionaries


Life


Japan Service


1

Chofu Baptist Church Japan description - SBC missionaries
Contributed by: mhomma

Chofu Baptist Church description - Japanese Pastors

Japanese Pastors

1.      Genroku Ozaki (d. 1934)

2.      Kiyoki Yuya (1890-1971)

3.      Kamori Shimose (1876-1955)

4.      Y. Fujinuma (d. 1936)

5.      Tsuruki Arase (1872-1950)

6.      Takeo Katatani

7.      Tateo Takahashi

8.      Sadamoto Kawano ...

Chofu Baptist Church description - Japanese Pastors
Contributed by: mhomma

Wada family with Chofu Baptist church members

Michihiko "Mike" (front row center), Kuni Wada,  Midori in Chofu 1930 after Rev. Wada and eldest daughter Mutsu left for the USA.

Wada family with Chofu Baptist church members
Contributed by: mhomma

SBC Boy's School in Fukuoka

30 Anniv SBC in Japan - Rev. C. K. Dozier

SBC Boy's School in Fukuoka
Contributed by: mhomma

30th Anniversary SBC in Japan (VI) - Japan Missionaries

30th Anniversary of Southern Baptist Convention work in Japan

30th Anniversary SBC in Japan (VI) - Japan Missionaries
Contributed by: mhomma

SBC Missionaries with names












SBC Missionaries with names
Contributed by: mhomma


 


SBC Missionary


Life


Japan Service


1

SBC Japan Missionaries with names















SBC Missionaries


J. Griifin Chapman


Vecie King Chapman


George W. ...

SBC Japan Missionaries with names
Contributed by: mhomma

30th Anniversary SBC in Japan - Rev. Sato & Fujinuma

30th Anniversary of Southern Baptist Convention work in Japan

30th Anniversary SBC in Japan - Rev. Sato & Fujinuma
Contributed by: mhomma

Sunday School at Seinan Jo Gakuin (Baptist Girls School in Kokura, Japan)

Seinan Jo Gakuin (Baptist Girls School in Kokura, Japan) opened in April 1922. The students went to school six days a week. On Sundays, a half-day Sunday School was held on campus. There were only three buildings in the beginning - the main classroom building (which reverted to a dorm ...

Sunday School at Seinan Jo Gakuin (Baptist Girls School in Kokura, Japan)
Contributed by: mhomma

SBC 30th Anniversary

Rev. T. Arase

SBC 30th Anniversary
Contributed by: mhomma

Kokura Baptist Church

Southern Baptist Church Kokura Japan 1908

Kokura Baptist Church
Contributed by: mhomma

Hiroshima Baptist Church

Please describe me

Hiroshima Baptist Church
Contributed by: mhomma

Kumamoto Baptist Church

Built in 1905 and dedicated that year on October 8. The missionary couple in the photo are Harvey and Lucile Clarke. They served together in Kumamoto from 1899 to 1920. Their home church and association - First Baptist Atlanta and the Stone Mountain Association - paid for the construction of ...

Kumamoto Baptist Church
Contributed by: mhomma

Moji Baptist Church

Please describe me

Moji Baptist Church
Contributed by: mhomma

Nagasaki Baptist Church

The church was started in 1896 by SBC missionary E. N. Walne and Japanese Pastor Hanji Sugano. It continues on to this day. The church building in this photo was used between 1926 to 1953. It survived the atomic blast because it was sheltered by a hill. The pastor of ...

Nagasaki Baptist Church
Contributed by: mhomma

Yawata Baptist Church

The caption in this photo and in the one of the five pastors includes a phrase like "independence memorial." Yawata Baptist Church became self-supporting in 1924, meaning they no longer were dependent upon mission funds. I am positive this it was this "independence" is referring to. The church was celebrating ...

Yawata Baptist Church
Contributed by: mhomma

Yawata Baptist Church in Kitakyushu (north part of Fukuoka Prefecture)

Yawata Baptist Church in Kitakyushu (north part of Fukuoka Prefecture). This is a commemorative photo from the church building dedication, which would have been in October 1922

Yawata Baptist Church in Kitakyushu (north part of Fukuoka Prefecture)
Contributed by: mhomma

First Y.W.A. conference in Kokura, Japan.

Baptist missionaries are attending the service.   Grandmother Mutsu Wada Homma attended and wore her dark colored kimono (justright of center).  July 21-26 1926.

Missionary Maggie Lee Bouldin is in the upper left-hand corner. She served as 院長 or president/principal of Seinan Jo Gakuin from 1925-1927.  Information provided bt Russ Borg, ...

First Y.W.A. conference in Kokura, Japan.
Contributed by: mhomma

SBC Womens Mtg at Seinan Gakuin Chapel, Fukuoka ~1920s

Kuni Wada 2nd row 4th from the left.  Standing in the center back of this photo is Grace Anne Hughes Mills. She served in Japan as a single missionary with the Northern Baptists from 1900-1910, and then married a Southern Baptist missionary named Ernest Mills and worked with him in ...

SBC Womens Mtg at Seinan Gakuin Chapel, Fukuoka ~1920s
Contributed by: mhomma

Japan YWA Summer Assembly, 1928

Seinan Jo Gakuin Baptist Girls School in Kokura

Japan YWA Summer Assembly, 1928
Contributed by: mhomma

Church play

Outreach with the use of church plays was very popular in the Wada's churches.

Known for their church plays
Contributed by: mhomma

Ten Commandments Lantern slide

One of many of the Wada family's lantern slides.  They were used in the Sunday schools in Japan as well as in the USA.

Ten Commandments Lantern slide
Contributed by: mhomma

David & Goliath lantern slide

One of many of the Wada family's lantern slides.  They were used in the Sunday schools in Japan as well as in the USA.

David & Goliath lantern slide
Contributed by: mhomma

The Last Prayer

Part of the Wada family's lantern slide collection used in their ministry in Japan and the USA.

The Last Prayer
Contributed by: mhomma

Abraham and Isaac Bible Story

Part of the Wada family's lantern slide collection used in their ministry in Japan and the USA.

Abraham and Isaac Bible Story
Contributed by: mhomma

American Baptist Japan Missionaries, June 1929

American Baptist Japan Missionaries, June 1929.  Japan Baptist Mission Convention Gotemba.

American Baptist Japan Missionaries, June 1929
Contributed by: mhomma

Rev. Wada speaking - Event was called a “shinsei undou” translated “New Life Movement”

Rev. Wada speaking - Revival event called a “shinsei undou”  translated “New Life Movement”.  

Mrs. Kuni Wada was often asked to help interface with the new missionaries and guests.  She was brought up in missionary schools in Morioka and spoke English, French, and German in addition to Japanese.

Rev. Wada speaking to missionaries, probably in Tokyo
Contributed by: mhomma

Makiki Christian Church in Honolulu, HI USA

Since 1904, Makiki Christian Church has been the home of a prayerful, worshiping community.


In 1923, Rev. Takie Okumura wrote to Rev. Wada and asked him to come to Hawaii to minister to the growing Japanese population.   Rev. ...

Makiki Christian Church in Honolulu, HI USA
Contributed by: mhomma

Album Type

online exhibition

mhomma — Last modified Sep 21 2020 5:30 p.m.


Login or register
to contribute to the Nikkei Album

Welcome to the NEW Nikkei Album!

We've launched Nikkei Album in beta, so everyone can now start uploading and creating their own albums. There may be things that don't work quite right yet. Please email us to report any errors.

Browse the Nikkei Album

Kizuna 2020: Nikkei Kindness and Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Read the stories and share your own!

More Than a Game: Nikkei Sports

Read the Nikkei sports stories >>

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation