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The Cross and the Rising Sun: The Canadian Protestant Missionary Movement in the Japanese Empire, 1872-1931.

Dr. Ion indicates his purpose as stressing "the importance of Canadian missionaries in the Japanese Empire as agents of informal relations between Canada and Japan" (p. xi). Although he disclaims any intention of giving a detailed history or theology of the missions with which he deals, in actual fact he gives a rather thorough historical and, to a lesser extent, theological picture. He has confined himself to the Methodist (later United Church), Presbyterian, and Anglican churches.

He sees Canadian missionaries revealing in their life and work Canadian attitudes and culture, but he also shows how the differing social, cultural, and political situations in the two countries produced differing approaches, types of involvement, and results. While recognizing the limitations of the Canadian missionary movement, he affirms the contributions made in the education of women, agriculture, social work, and the introduction to the kind of leisure pursuits that are not a part of Japanese life.

Further, during the period covered, Canadian missionaries were a primary source of information regarding the Japanese empire, both for government and the Canadian church. One wishes that he had dealt in more detail with the actual effect this had on attitudes and opinions in Canada.

For some reason, in dealing with the location of Canadian missionaries, he does not mention comity arrangements between missions, which often determined such location. Also, in noting the contribution of women missionaries, he barely refers to the establishment of church kindergartens that became a significant feature of rural community life.

Ion is an associate professor in the history department, Royal Military College of Canada, and a specialist in modern Japanese history. He has provided us with a perceptive analysis of the role of Canadian missionaries outlined in his preface.

E. F. Carey is a retired minister of the United Church of Canada, with sixteen years of experience as an evangelistic missionary in Japan and twenty years as area secretary for Asia and the Pacific for the Division of World Outreach of the United Church of Canada.
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Author:Carey, E.F.
Publication:International Bulletin of Missionary Research
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Words:334
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