Japan's Modern Prophet
464 pages, 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
20 b&w photographs
Release Date:01 Jan 2006
Release Date:15 Aug 2005
CA$95.00 Back Order
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Release Date:01 Oct 2007

Japan's Modern Prophet

Uchimura Kanzô, 1861-1930

UBC Press
Uchimura Kanzô was one of Japan’s foremost thinkers. His ideas
influenced contemporary novelists, statesmen, reformers, and religious
leaders. The originator and proponent of a particularly
"Japanese" form of Christianity known as mukyôkai, Uchimura
struggled with the tensions between his love for the homeland and his
love for God. Articulate, prolific, passionate, and profound, he earned
a reputation as the most consistent critic of his society and
knowledgeable Japanese interpreter of Christianity and its Bible.
Through this exceptional man’s life, John Howes charts what it
meant to live during the introduction of Christianity to Japan.


  • 2006, Winner - Canada-Japan Literary Award, Canada Council for the Arts
  • 2006, Winner - Outstanding Academic Title, Choice Magazine
This huge, ambitious study is the final product of 50 years of research and reflection, and should become an indispensable first reference for anyone seeking detailed information in English about Uchimura. A welcome addition to the fast-growing body of valuable new writing on Japan. C.L. Yates, Earlham College, Choice
In researching this masterful work, Howes delved deeply into Uchimura’s writings, diaries and letters in order to portray his subject as a passionate yet conflicted man influenced as much by internal pressures as he was by external forces ... With this book, Howes has made an important and detailed contribution to our understanding of Japanese Christians in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Jeff Alexander, the University of British Columbia, Pacific Affairs, vol. 78, no. 4, winter 2005/2006
This long-awaited critical biography of Uchimura, by John Howes, professor emeritus of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, represents over fifty years of dedicated study ... The book is skillfully structure, enabling Howes to link his sensitive analysis of Uchimura’s intellectual development to the major events in his life and the world around him. Helen Ballhatchet, Keio University, Tokyo, International Bulletin of Missionary Research, vol. 30, no. 3, July 2006
John F. Howes, Professor Emeritus of Asian Studies atthe University of British Columbia, was awarded the Order of the RisingSun by the Government of Japan in 2004.



Part 1: I Refuse

1 Education of a Meiji Samurai

2 Budding Civil Servant

3 Birth of a Writer

4 Justification of Self and of Nation

5 Out into the World

Part 2: The Pact with God

6 With Luther Presiding

7 The Taught

8 The Teaching: Christianity and the Bible

9 The Teaching: Institutions and Individuals

10 The Last Chance

Part 3: I Am Not

11 Christ Is Coming

12 The Bible and Japan

13 The Sage

14 Telling Off the West

15 Maturing Vipers

16 What Is Mukyôkai?

Conclusion: Uchimura Kanzô in History


Selected Bibliography


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