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date: 22 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of the key historical factors that led Japanese Christians to develop their beliefs and practices in the context of early twentieth-century Japan. It places the emergence of Protestant Christianity within the larger context of Japan’s uncomfortable return to diplomatic and economic ties with western powers after over two centuries of self-imposed isolation. It particularly focuses on Christian engagement with Japan’s emergence as a colonial empire. The chapter also discusses whether or not the Bible supported colonial expansion or political dissent. In addition to offering a survey of relevant existing scholarship, it also introduces some of the key figures who engaged in these debates.

Keywords: Japan, Christianity, Protestantism, Bible, Uchimura Kanzo, Ebina Danjo, Uemura Masahisa, Kashiwagi Gien, Watase Tsuneyoshi, imperialism

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