Divinity Library Special Collections

Japan Resources at the Divinity Library

The Divinity Library holds original format and microform collections of manuscript and archival materials related to missionary work and the Christian church in Japan. These records are of use both in providing information about events, movements, and institutions in Japan, and in providing insight into the Western societies that sent, supported, and were embodied in the missionaries. In addition to the archival and online materials listed below, the Divinity Library holds many additional published works, periodicals, annual reports, and pamphlets that provide documentation of the growth of Christianity in Japan.  Contact the Divinity Library for more information.
Personal papers:
  • Buell, Constance (Record Group 140): American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) missionary educator who taught at Kobe College 1952-1958 after previous service in China
  • Cary, Alice (Record Group 30): taught at Kobe College, Japan 1918-1919; worked with Russian refugees in Siberia, with American Red Cross 1921-1941; missionary/social worker in Japan-Yodogawa Neighborhood House, Zenrinkan settlement center 1941-1945
  • De Forest, Charlotte B.  (Record Group 178): ABCFM missionary educator 1903-1940 serving on the faculty and as president of Kobe College; involved in work with Japanese-American detainees during World War II
  • Gring, Hattie (McClain) (Microfilm: Film Ms117): papers of Mary E. (McClain) Sword include the letters of Hattie (McClain) Gring, missionary in Japan during the 1880s and 1890s. Sponsored first by the German Reformed Church and later by the Protestant Episcopal Church, the Grings lived in Yokohama, Tokyo and Kyoto. 
  • Gulick, John (Record Group 299):  ABCFM missionary first in China and then in Kobe and Osaka 1875-1899
  • Howe, Annie ((Record Group 30): ABCFM missionary educator in Japan 1887-1927; founder of the Glory Kindergarten and Training School in Kobe
  • Laughton, James  Papers (Record Group 190):  American Baptist missionary who was captain of the Fukuin Maru mission ship off coast of Japan 1920-1926
  • Newton, John Caldwell Calhoun (Microfilm: Film Ms117): Methodist Episcopal Church South missionary educator; taught and was president of Kwansei Gakuin Union Mission College and Seminary in Kobe beginning 1888
  • Peeke, Harman V. S. (Record Group 185): Peeke and his wife were missionaries in Japan from 1893-1929, serving under the Reformed Church in America
  • Stanford, Arthur Willis (Record Group 30):  American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions missionary to Japan 1886-1920 and professor at Doshisha University 1886-1895
  • Williams, Philip E. (Record Group 30): Professor of American Literature at Tohoku Gakuin University and at Doshisha University beginning 1955

Archives of organizations:

  • American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (Microfilm: Film Ms32): American Congregational mission agency active in Japan from 1862; documents include letters written by missionaries to the home board, station reports, minutes, etc.  An example of the documentation is the extensive correspondence of O.H. Gulick who was stationed in Kobe and Nigata from 1870 to 1893. Gulick started the first Japanese Christian newspaper in 1875, the weekly Shichiichi Zappo. There is also documentation of educational work in Japan, such as re. Kobe College and Doshisha University.
  • Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church (Microfilm: Film Ms507, Film Ms510): Lutheran work 1950-1964, including Sanyo (later re-named the Chugobu) District of the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Church Missionary Society (Microfilm: Film Ms109), Section I: East Asia Mission:  British mission agency.  Examples of documentation include: Part 1: the archive of the Loochoo Naval Mission, 1843-1861, with the important journals of Dr Bernard Bettelheim and Rev G H Morton, describing their missionary activities. Researchers can study the papers relating to the main educational centre in Osaka, where the famous CMS school for girls was opened in 1879 and developed under the guidance of Miss Katherine Tristram between 1888 and 1925. There is also good material on the work of Rev John Batchelor amongst the Ainu on the island of Yezu.  (Reels 1-21). Part 2 continues coverage of the Japan Mission and comprises Original Papers for 1887-1915. There is material on the CMS missions at Osaka, Tokyo, Hakodate, Tokushima, Fukuoka, Matsuye, Hiroshima, Sapporo and Otaru. Reports from different mission stations cover the experiences of individual missionaries, their problems and working conditions. See links to guides.
  • Japan International Christian University Foundation (Record Group 89): U.S. support agency for Japan International Christian University, Tokyo founded in 1948
  • Methodist Church (Microfilm: Film Ms171): American Methodist work in Japan circa 1912-1949
  • Methodist Episcopal Church (Microfilm: Film Ms170): earlier American Methodist work in Japan circa 1885-1912
  • United Evangelical Lutheran Church (Microfilm: Film Ms464, Film Ms460): Japan program files 1930-1961
  • World Student Christian Federation (Record Group 46): documentation of the student Christian movement in Japan 1890s-1920s
Documentation of the “Nanking Massacre”:
The Divinity Library collections include notable documentation of the Japanese occupation of Nanjing during the late 1930s.  Many of these documents have been digitized and are available on the this website.
Digitized periodical related to Japan from the Day Missions Collection:
Digitized annual reports related to Japan from the Day Missions Collection:
For more information, contact the Divinity Library Special Collections Librarian, Christopher Anderson at christopher.j.anderson@yale.edu or 203 432 5289.
Last modified: 
Friday, January 28, 2022 - 1:12pm