Readings:

Psalm 140
Job 13:13-22
Philippians 1:12-20
Luke 22:47-53

[Common of a Prophetic Witness]
[For Peace]
[For Social Justice]
[For Prophetic Witness in Society]

Preface of a Saint (1)


PRAYER (traditional language)
We bless thy Name, O God, for the witness of Toyohiko Kagawa, reformer and teacher, who was persecuted for his pacifist principles and went on to lead a movement for democracy in Japan; and we pray that thou wouldst strengthen and protect all who suffer for their fidelity to Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

PRAYER (contemporary language)
We bless your Name, O God, for the witness of Toyohiko Kagawa, reformer and teacher, who was persecuted for his pacifist principles and went on to lead a movement for democracy in Japan; and we pray that you would strengthen and protect all who suffer for their fidelity to Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thei commemoration adopted provisionally at General Convention 2009

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Last updated: 20 March 2016
 

TOYOHIKO KAGAWA

RENEWER OF SOCIETY, 23 APRIL 1960
 

Toyhoiko KagawaToyohiko Kagawa was born in 1888 in Kobe, Japan. Orphaned early, he lived first with his widowed stepmother and then with an uncle. He enrolled in a Bible class in order to learn English, and in his teens he became a Christian and was disowned by his family. In his late teens, he attended Presbyterian College in Tokyo for three years. He decided that he had a vocation to help the poor, and that in order to do so effectively he must live as one of them. Accordingly, from 1910 to 1924 he lived for all but two years in a shed six feet square (about 180 cm) in the slums of Kobe. In 1912 he unionized the shipyard workers. He spent two years (1914-1916) at Princeton studying techniques for the relief of poverty. In 1918 and 1921 he organized unions among factory workers and among farmers. He worked for universal male suffrage (granted in 1925) and for laws more favorable to trade unions.

In 1923 he was asked to supervise social work in Tokyo. His writings began to attract favorable notice from the Japanese government and abroad. He established credit unions, schools, hospitals, and churches, and wrote and spoke extensively on the application of Christian principles to the ordering of society.

He founded the Anti-War League, and in 1940 was arrested after publicly apologizing to China for the Japanese invasion of that country. In the summer of 1941 he visited the United States in an attempt to avert war between Japan and the US. After the war, despite failing health, he devoted himself to the reconciliation of democratic ideals and procedures with traditional Japanese culture. He died in Tokyo 23 April 1960.

— by James Kiefer