このシリーズでは、私が1994年に執筆した統一神学大学院(Unification Theological Seminary)の神学課程修士論文(Divinity Thesis)を日英二か国語で掲載している。



VI. Mukyokai and Japanese Society. (Cont.)

Uchimura’s Christian friends assured that bowing in this case was not an act of worship. After reflection, he decided to follow and from his sick bed sent a friend and fellow teacher to fulfill the duty for him. But it was too late. A newspaper picked up the story and spread it across the country. The repercussions were so great that Uchimura was forced to resign his post.(16)
This incident became a great chance for those who had been seeking opportunities to attack Christianity. At first Buddhists joined the attacks of the nationalistic mass communications. Their main point was that while Buddhism had been supportive and accommodated itself to the national polity (kokutai) throughout history, Christianity was a dangerous religion “prejudicial to peace and order, and antagonistic to their duties as subjects.” They insisted that the constitution does not permit religious freedom to such a religion.(17)Here, we can see the revival of a legacy from Kirishitan missions that Christianity could not be incorporated into the framework of Japanese religion and would be detrimental to the cause of social and political harmony.
The response of Christianity to this incident was divided into two. The Russian Orthodox Church proclaimed that Uchimura should have paid respect for the Emperor as a subject, therefore, he deserved to be accused.(18) The Protestant Church itself was divided into two opinions concerning this issue. Nippon Kirisuto Kyokwai (Icchi Kyokwai) led by Masahisa Uemura insisted that Christians should reject even the act of bowing itself. Five members centering in Uemura issued a joint statement on a newspaper which declared that “if we are demanded a religious worship to the Emperor as a deity, we must resist it at the risk of our life.” They also lodged a protest against the coercion of the act of bowing before a mere picture of the Emperor or a paper with the Imperial Rescript on Education.(19)This joint statement caused further controversies. On the other hand, Nippon Kumiai Kirisuto Kyokwai led by Tokio Yokoi and Tsurin Kanamori was loose and tolerant to the act of bowing. They deplored that all Christians began to be regarded as disloyal by society because of this controversy.(20)
In a series of articles published in 1891 and 1892 on the theme of the conflict of education and religion (Kyoiku to Shukyo no Shototsu Ronso) a leading professor of the Imperial University, Inoue Tetsujiro, attacked the loyalty of Christians and asserted that the Christian faith was incompatible with the principles and duties of a Japanese subject. Thus, he maintained, Christians were traitors and Uchimura was an outstanding example.(21)

(16)op cit, Ebisawa and Ouchi, p.296.
(17)Ibid., Vol.2, p.35.
(18)Ibid., Vol.1, p.150.
(19)Ibid., Vol.1, p.156.
(20)Ibid., Vol.2, p.37.
(21)op cit, Thomas, p.204.

カテゴリー: 統一神学大学院修士論文シリーズ パーマリンク