Japanese Social Reformer and Pacifist Toyohiko Kagawa

About the Japanese social reformer Toyohiko Kagawa, history and biography of the pacifist.


TOYOHIKO KAGAWA (1888--1960)

His Person: Japanese social reformer and religious leader. Renounced wealthy Buddhist origins to embrace Christianity and work with the poor in the slums. Organized labor federations and credit unions; founded schools, hospitals, and churches; and revitalized the cooperative movement. Believed that world peace could come about only if international trade were conducted through cooperation, which he called "the love principle applied to business." Opposed the China War in 1936 and W.W. II. Imprisoned briefly and forbidden to write or preach on the subject of war by the Tojo government. Became a leader in the postwar recovery of democracy in Japan although suffering from tuberculosis and trachoma contracted in the slums. Regarded as his country's leading Christian, a modern St. Francis of Assisi, the "Gandhi of Japan." Wrote Brotherhood Economics and Love, the Law of Life.

His Belief: "I stand against all learning, all institutions, all governments, all arts, all religions, which reject love. I protest against every so-called church which preaches faith and fails to love. I oppose the politicians who rely on force and know nothing about love. If I have to be arrested for saying this, let me be handcuffed, for I had rater die quickly by the sword than die of thirst in a loveless desert."

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