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Uchimura Kanzo

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  • Born: 1861
  • Died: 1930
  • Japanese: 内村鑑三 (Uchimura Kanzou)

Uchimura Kanzô was a prominent Christian leader in Meiji period Japan, and one of the leading voices opposing militarism and imperial expansion.

His refusal to bow before the Imperial Rescript on Education in 1891, alongside his broader opposition to imperial expansion, among other issues and incidents, brought Christianity under suspicion in the 1890s.

Uchimura expressed his displeasure with the seizure of Chinese territory in 1895, and advocated a pacifist stance during the Russo-Japanese War; though many other Christian leaders took a more cautious approach to expressing political opinions, this, combined with Buddhist efforts to prove their own patriotism by differentiating themselves away from Christianity, led to considerable difficulties for Christianity in Japan.

References

  • Marius Jansen, "Japanese Imperialism: Late Meiji Perspectives," in Mark Peattie (ed.), The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895-1945, Princeton University Press (1984), 72.
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