The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Japan
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) (Japanese: 末日聖徒イエス・キリスト教会) was established in Japan in 1901 when the first LDS Church missionaries arrived on August 12, 1901. Among them was Heber J. Grant, at the time a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, the 7th President of the Church. Accompanying Grant was Horace S. Ensign, Louis A. Kelsch and Alma O. Taylor. The first baptism was on March 8, 1902 when Grant baptized Hajime Nakazawa, a former Kannushi (Shinto priest).
In 1901 Heber J. Grant established the first LDS Church mission in Asia, headquartered in Tokyo. However, on August 7, 1924, then President Grant, closed the mission to await a more "favorable time". All missionaries then left for the United States. Fujiya Nara, a Japanese convert, was appointed presiding elder by the First Presidency over the small group of Japanese members that remained. Nara published a newsletter, "Shuro" (Palm) and held meetings with the remaining members.
On February 24, 1937 the Japanese-Central Pacific Mission, a mission aimed at teaching primarily Japanese people in Hawaii, was opened, headquarters in Honolulu, Hawaii, with Hilton A. Robertson as president. However, it was not until March 6, 1948, that then Mission president Edward L. Clissold was given permission to return to Japan to do missionary work.
Clissold had been part of the United States military occupation forces in Japan after World War II. While there he ran an advertisement seeking out members of the LDS Church who had been baptized prior to the missionaries leaving in 1924. He was able to find some, including Fujiya Nara, and reestablish the Church there. Prior to this from 1943 to 1944 Clissold had been acting president of the Central Pacific Mission, a mission in Hawaii that was aimed at teaching primarily Japanese people. The first five missionaries arrived in Japan on June 26, 1948.
It was not until April 26, 1964 that the first meetinghouse in Japan, the Tokyo North Branch, was dedicated by Gordon B. Hinckley, at the time a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, the 15th President of the Church.
As of March 15, 2011 there were over 630 missionaries serving in the church's six missions in Japan.
- Japan Fukuoka Mission
- Japan Kobe Mission
- Japan Nagoya Mission
- Japan Sapporo Mission
- Japan Sendai Mission
- Japan Tokyo Mission
- Japan Tokyo South Mission (re-created July 2013).
Missionaries in Japan often use a specific type of slang called senkyoshigo when communicating with each other. This "mission language" has been used nearly universally in the missions of Japan. It is distinct from but combines aspects of the English and Japanese languages. Some words and expressions are mission- or language-specific, while others are common with non-Japanese missions, such as calling the halfway point of a mission the "hump" or hump day, or describing a missionary who is excited about returning home as "trunky" as he has already packed his trunk.
On October 27, 1980, the Tokyo Japan Temple (formerly the Tokyo Temple) (東京神殿 Tōkyō Shinden ) was dedicated. This was the first temple in Asia and the first in a non-Christian country, for the LDS Church. President Spencer W. Kimball described it as "the most significant and important event in the history of Asia."
The Tokyo Temple was followed by the Fukuoka Japan Temple (福岡神殿 Fukuoka Shinden ), dedicated on June 11, 2000 and the Sapporo Japan Temple (札幌神殿 Sapporo Shinden ), under construction as of 22 October 22, 2011
|18. Tokyo Japan|
|88. Fukuoka Japan|
|150. Sapporo Japan (Under Construction)|
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Country information: Japan". The Church News (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Retrieved April 6, 2012.
- Heber J. Grant (2002). "The Life and Ministry of Heber J. Grant". Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. LDS Church publication number 35970
- Yukiko, Konno (April 1993). "Fujiya Nara: Twice a Pioneer". Ensign (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Retrieved April 6, 2012.
- Taylor, Scott. "LDS Church in Japan: Moving missionaries, making donations". Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News Publishing Company). Retrieved April 6, 2012.
- New mission presidents by area for 2013
- Smout, Kary D. (Summer 1988). "Senkyoshigo: A Missionary English of Japan". American Speech 63 (2): 137–149. doi:10.2307/454418. JSTOR 454418.
- Brother Paul's Mormon Bathroom Reader. Cedar Fort. p. 359. ISBN 1-55517-895-2.
- "President Thomas S. Monson: 'Welcome to Conference'", Deseret News, October 3, 2009, retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Talor, Scott (October 4, 2009), "Brigham City among five new locales for LDS temples", Deseret News, retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Groundbreaking Held For Sapporo Japan Temple, "News Release", Newsroom (LDS Church), October 22, 2011, retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Official website (Japanese)