Recently I happened to meet a relative of Emperor (grandson of Emperor Meiji), who is a pastor working in Osaka, Rev. Takatoshi Kobayashi.
He said in the sermon (in an audiotape), "When my mother (Shinobu) was young, her father, Emperor Meiji, said to her, 'Shinobu, if you have a boy, let him be a pastor. The time will come when he will be used.' " He was involved in the socialist thought for a while as a university student, but later he was called by God to be a pastor.
I came to know through him that Emperors Meiji and Showa were deeply related to the Christianity. Emperor Meiji invited Christian foreign missionaries to help them with their works of forming the basic social structures of Japan. One of them whom Emperor Meiji invited was a Dutch missionary, G. F. Verbeck, who contributed greatly to the Meiji government as an adviser of Emperor during the days of the Reformation of the 19th century.
Emperor Showa (Hirohito) asked an American to introduce a wonderful Christian (not too enthusiastic) woman as a tutor for the present Heisei Emperor, when he was still a young Prince. Mrs. Vining, a pious American Quaker, came to Japan as his tutor. Her influence was really great on his character. His wife (Princess Michiko) also came from a Christian family (Cathoric). He and his wife now study the Bible from a Japanese pastor (Rev. Tanaka) in the Imperial Palace on the regular basis. His first son, prince Naruhito, studies music from a Christian musician, Mr. Wakayama (Charismatic). Emperors Meiji and Showa and Emperor Showa's two brothers studied the Bible from a famous Japanese evangelist Kanzo Uchimura and his disciple Kenzo Azegami.
According to Mr. Kobayashi, about half of the workers in the Imperial Palace are Christians, which fact I had heard from other Christian friends, too. The prince's younger brother (Akishinomiya) married a woman from a Christian family. The prince himself married a woman who studied in America and stayed at a famous Christian family of puritan origin. Emperor's family is respected by Japanese people for their decent behavior and thrift life style.
Hirohito was famous for his extremely thrift and honest behavior and attitude. It is supposed this character comes from his having been raised by Lieutenant General Kawamura, a man of integrity, together with Rev. Kobayashi's mother, Shinobu, in Fukuyama-city, Hiroshima pref. while they were children.
Unfortunately Hirohito was forced to agree to opening the Pacific War with the U.S.A. (The then constitution stipulated him to agree invariably to the decisions of the Diet.) But he was a calm and intelligent scholar in nature, so he dedicated himself to the study of some kinds of sea animals and plants after the war. And it is said that when he first visited MacArthur, he said "Please execute me on behalf of Japanese people." MacArthur was surprised at this remark and his sincere attitude, so he came to respect him greatly. It is said that this is a fiction, but considering other episodes and the things that we have heard about his character, apparently, there is something worthy of being believed like that about him.
I feel God is working for the salvation of Japanese people. The most important thing is to proclaim the genuine and comprehensive gospel to Japanese. Unless they understand the true value of Christianity, they have no future.
I feel that we're going to enter a great reformation era through the Christian Reconstruction movement. Though many movements have been introduced to Christian scene in the world so far, such as possibility thinking , church growth, and so on and on, most of them have turned out to be a fad going by quickly. But the CR movement will cause a real great reformation in the world. That could be equal to the movements in the Reformation era. The influence of Christian Reconstruction will be by far greater than those of Calvin and Luther. It will be the basis of the next millennium !! I feel that the same spirit is working now as was working throughout Europe during the 15-17th centuries. May God use us more and help us to have great impacts on the world!!
Jewish origin of the Japanese culture