Hokusei Gakuen: Founded by women missionaries on the frontier of Japan

Hokusei Gakuen remembers three U.S. missionaries, in particular, as women who gave completely of themselves for the establishment of the school. Hokusei Gakuen was founded by Sarah C. Smith, who established the educational principles of the school. Following Smith, Alice M. Monk brought further development through her leadership and innovation. After World War II, Elizabeth M. Evans led the school through its transition to the newly developed national educational system. Through the work of these missionaries, Hokusei Gakuen was founded and nurtured.
Sarah C. Smith
Hokusei Gakuen is located in Sapporo, on the island of Hokkaido. Nowadays, Sapporo is called the greatest city north of Tokyo. Sarah C. Smith was assigned to Tokyo in 1880 by the Association of Presbyterian Mission International. Three years later she became ill due to the Tokyo climate and moved to Sapporo, where the climate was similar to her place of origin in New York State. She recovered within several months and remained in Sapporo to further the mission work there. She asked the mission board in her hometown for support to establish a school for girls. However, around 1880, Sapporo was still a frontier, having just been opened for development, so the board decided that it was not a suitable area to establish such a school. As the mission board determined that there was little hope of success and provided no financial support, she waited for another opportunity and moved on to Hakodate, which was a more advanced city in Hokkaido at that time.
In December 1886, Smith was invited to teach English at the Public Teacher’s College of Sapporo. She accepted the position and planned to open her own school at the same time. She had gained support from people in local government as well as from the business and academic circles. As the result, she was able to open a school for girls in 1887 without the permission of her home mission board. For nearly two years, she completely supported the school through her own efforts. Afterwards, the mission board recognized her strong commitment and began supporting her.
In 1894, Smith’s School for Women was renamed Hokusei Girls’ School. The word hokusei (north star) is taken from Philippines 2:15, “Shine like stars in a dark world.” Through her dedicated work in establishing the school and carrying out its educational goals, Smith left a lasting impression on her students as she shared life with them in personal ways and overcame scarcity to serve them. Overturning a forecast of “little hope of success” and defying multiple difficulties, she built a solid foundation for the school. Smith returned to America in 1931, when she was 80 years old, bringing to a close 50 years of service in Japan. During that time she had brought women’s education to the frontier of Japan and spread the gospel of Christ. She had worked tirelessly to raise the level of education, culture, and morality. At her last worship service, she read the words from Romans 15:3: “For even Christ did not please himself.” (NIV) These words provide a condensed summary of Smith’s lifestyle.
Alice M. Monk
After working for almost 20 years following the founding of the school, Smith became concerned about the lack of missionaries, as she was hoping to find someone she could trust to follow her. In November 1905, Alice M. Monk came to Hokusei Girls’ School. Although an effort was made by Joshigakuin in Tokyo to have Monk teach at that school, she chose instead to teach at Hokusei, where conditions were less than favorable. This was when she was 33 years old, just one year after her arrival in Japan. Monk helped consolidate the educational program and worked for its expansion as well. Monk became principal in 1915, and in the same year the school was recognized by the Ministry of Education. A new site for the school was obtained in 1924; a dormitory and a missionary house were built in 1926. Then in 1929, a modern three-story frame building was completed. Today this is the site of the junior and senior high school. In 1989, as a part of the centennial celebration, the missionary house was restored to its original state. In 1998, it was registered as “tangible cultural property.”
Intending to dedicate her entire life to Hokusei, Monk made plans to remain in Sapporo for the duration of her life. However, history’s timing did not allow it. U.S. missionaries were told by the Japanese government to return to their country, and on August 15, 1941, Monk left Sapporo. When she returned to the U.S. she became ill and, following years of poor health, died in Washington State in 1952. She was never able to return to Sapporo.
Elizabeth M. Evans
Elizabeth Evans arrived in Hokusei in October 1911 when she was 25 years old. She came only six years after Monk, but because of the brilliance of both Smith and Monk, her distinguished service was not as noticeable. However, when Evans arrived at Hokuriku, Smith’s health was not good, and because Monk assumed most of the administrative work, Evans took over much of the teaching and direct contact with the students.
In 1941, two months before all U.S. missionaries left Japan, Evans had returned for a furlough and was forced to stay in the U.S.. The war ended in 1945, and in 1946 the school was renamed Hokusei Gakuen. However, it was a mission school without missionaries. The school asked the six missionaries who had served before the war to return. In 1947, Evans answered the call. Although the war had kept her away, she returned to embody the spirit and tradition she had received directly from Smith and Monk. Evans played a major role in the restoration of the school following the war, and was named the first president of the Women’s Junior College that was established in 1951. She reached retirement age six months later and returned to the U.S. in September 1951.
Evans died in Minneapolis in February 1972 at the age of 86. In accordance with her will, one-third of her estate was given to Hokusei Gakuen. This inheritance is the endowment for the Smith/Monk/ Evans Scholarships that continue to be used to help students. (Tr. JS)
–Kimura Ikumi,
Planning and Public Relations Office
Hokusei Gakuen
学校法人北星学園  「日本初期における女性宣教師の働き」原稿
 北星学園は、Sarah(サラ) C(C).Smith(スミス)が創設し教育の基盤を築き、後継者Alice(アリス) M(M).Monk(モンク)の学校改革により発展をみた。さらに、Elizabeth(エリザベス) M(M).Evans(エバンズ)が戦後の新体制を牽引し、今日の北星学園が導かれた。 3人の宣教師は自らのすべてを北星学園のために注いだ宣教師として、本学園の記憶に留められる。
“Sarah(サラ) C(C).Smith(スミス)”
 北星学園は、東京以北最大の都市と呼ばれる北海道札幌市に在る。Sarah C.Smith は1880年に東京に赴任したが、来日3年後に気候が合わず病にかかり、故郷によく似た気候の札幌に転地した。数ヵ月後に健康を回復したスミスは、そのまま札幌で宣教活動を続けることを決意し、伝道協会に決意と学校設立についての理解と協力を求めたが、当時の札幌は開拓途上にあり、低文化の女子教育後進地であったため、伝道協会はこの事業を「実現不可能」と判断し活動を許可しなかった。それゆえスミスは、止むを得ず北海道の先進地であった函館に留まり、宣教活動の傍ら機会を待った。
 1894年、スミス女学校は「北星女学校」と改名した。”Shine like stars in a dark world”「世にあって星のように輝く」(聖句:フィリピの信徒への手紙2章15節)が、「北星」の由来である。
“Alice(アリス) M(M).Monk(モンク)”
 開校後約20年近い労苦を重ねたスミスは、宣教師の不足に悩み、信頼に足るべき後継者を望んでいた。1905年11月、人望も極めて厚い教育者Alice (アリス)M(M).Monk(モンク)が、東京の女子学院の引き止め運動にも係らず、条件の悪い北星女学校に着任したのは、来日1年後、33歳のときであった。着任後、モンクは、一層教育内容を整備し学校形態を拡充することに努めた。1915年に校長に就任し、懸案となっていた北星女学校の文部省認可の取得、 1924年に新校地を確保した。1926年に寄宿舎、宣教師館を竣工し、1929年には木造三階建てのモダンな新校舎を竣工した。現在、校地は北星学園女子中学高等学校に受け継がれ、1989年に開学100周年を記念し復元された宣教師館は、1998年に国の「登録有形文化財」に指定されている。
“Elizabeth(エリザベス) M(M).Evans(エヴァンズ)”
  Elizabeth(エリザベス) M(M).Evans(エヴァンズ)は1911年10月、25歳のとき北星女学校に教師として着任した。モンクに遅れること6年後の着任であったが、スミスとモンクという輝かしい先駆者の中にあって、エヴァンズの功績は目立たない。しかし、エヴァンズが着任した頃、スミスの体調は思わしくなく、学校の管理はモンクに委ねられており、スミスの教育精神を受け継いで生徒への直接的な指導を助けたのはエヴァンズであった。
 1941年、全ての宣教師がアメリカ本国に帰国する約2ヶ月前に一時休暇を取得してエヴァンズは帰国していたが、そのまま留まらざるを得なかった。 1945年に終戦を迎え、再出発を期していた学校は、1946年に財団法人北星学園として改めて始動するものの、北星女学校は宣教師のいないミッションスクールになっていた。北星学園は、アメリカに帰国した6名の宣教師たちに復職を要請していたが、1947年に要請に応えたエヴァンズが帰ってきた。エヴァンズの重要な役目は戦争によって途切れたが、スミス、モンクの教育の精神と伝統を再現することによって、ミッションスクールとしての断絶を埋めたのである。
学校法人北星学園 企画広報課 教学係  木村いくみ(起草)

38th Northeast Asia Church Mission Conference Held in Sapporo

The 38th Northeast Asia Church Mission Conference was convened June 10-14 at the Sapporo City Education and Culture Hall, the 38th such conference to be held in 38 years. Local pastors and lay people in three countries–South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan–take turns raising the necessary funds and making the logistical arrangements.This year it was Japan’s turn. The Japan Committee, with Pastor Miyauchi Makoto as chairperson, spent one full year, made preparations. This year the number of participants was unusually low, due to the difficult circumstances in the participating countries. Even so, there were 21 participants from Korea, 19 from Taiwan, and 25 from Japan.
The main theme of the conference was “The Advancement of the Evangelizing Church,” and the subtheme was “Globalism and the Church, as seen from the Standpoint of Internet Mission.” The key lecture on the main theme was given by Pastor Harita Makoto of Toriizaka Church. After each particpating church’s report on its current situation, church pastors and members from the three national groups discussed possibilities for more aggressive use of the Internet in mission as well as how this information could be shared more widely and put to practical use.
Harita also addressed the question of how the Internet could be used more intentionally for mission in the three countries, apart from a mere presentation of church data. He used an overhead projector to clarify his explanations, with translation provided for the Korean and Taiwanese groups. If one large website were created, he said, local churches of any size or status could use it to compare its own organization in relation to the whole church. In today’s bewilderingly changing social situation, making use of this kind of communication would enable the exchange and sharing of mission programs and enable churches to keep updated and to respond quickly to opportunities and needs. This was the line of thought presented by the lecturer.
The conference consisted of worship, Bible study, and reports from the churches of each country. Elder Roh Dae Rae compiled the reports of the Korean churches, and Pastor Chuang Chin Hsin compiled the ones from Taiwan. For their Bible studies, Pastor Wang Kuo Lily from Taiwan spoke on the theme “Face Forward and Advance,” focusing on Philippians 3:12-14, and Pastor Kim Dae Shik from Korea addressed the topic, “By the Name of Jesus Christ,” centered on Acts 3:1-10. With the circumstances of each country needing to be taken into consideration, it was newly ascertained that to spread the Gospel word to the ends of the earth, the church must examine and question the posture of the ones who speak.
On June 13 participants separated into groups to attend worship services in Sapporo and its environs. At some churches, the Korean and Taiwanese pastors were asked to preach. A “Mission Evening” was held at Sapporo Church to close the conference. Sakae Shinobu, principal of Towa-no-mori San-ai Senior High School, preached on “The Lord’s Words, and His Silence,” with Mark 15:1-5 as his text. At this service, participating youth from Korea and Taiwan sang and led songs of praise. This year, for the first time, a program for youth was included, with youth from Korea taking major responsibility for leading it. At the end of the evening, each country’s group of participants approved a joint statement, which was read in each language.
On the second day of the conference, participants were taken to see the statue of Dr. William Clark, the first professor of Hokkaido University. (The statue is now in Hitsujigaoka Park.) Next they visited the suburban Kita Hiroshima Church, then went to Hokkaido Pioneers’ Village (the historical park in Nopporo). Professor Miki Nobuhiro of Future University Hakodate made arrangements for the day’s sightseeing and introduction to “Hokkaido and Christianity.” During the conference, there were also times when persons other than the pastors and lay persons from participating churches in the three member nations attended for the first time and enjoyed making new friends.
The conference lasted five days, but when asked what they most desired to hear of each others’ hopes, the participants from the many churches in Taiwan, Korea, and Japan were moved deeply to hope for the advance of the churches’ mission work. It was that kind of conference. The next conference is projected to convene in Korea in May or June 2011. Thanks be to Christ our Lord that this year’s conference could be held in Hokkaido, with the support of so many related people. (Tr. RB)
–Katsuyama Ken’ichiro, pastor
Takeoka Church, Chiba Subdistrict
Tokyo District
 協議会では、礼拝、聖書研究、各国の報告があり、13日には札幌市及び近郊の諸教会に分散して主日礼拝を守った。韓国や台湾の牧師が説教を担当された教会もあった。午後7時から最後のプログラムとして、札幌教会を会場に「宣教の夕べ」が行われた。とわの森三愛高等学校校長である栄忍(さかえ しのぶ)牧師が、マルコによる福音書15章1-5節をテキストに「主の言葉、そして沈黙」と題して説教された。この礼拝では韓国、台湾の参加者による賛美があった。今年初めて開催した青年のプログラムに参加した次代を担う青年たちによる賛美もあった。最後に参加者一同による共同声明が各国による言葉で朗読された。
 聖書研究では、与えられた主題を活かしつつ、Wang Kuo Lily 牧師(台湾)による「前に向かって進め」と題するフィリピの信徒への手紙3章12-14節、Kim Dae Shik 牧師(韓国)による「イエス・キリストの名によって」と題して使徒言行録3章1-10節を共に学んだ。それぞれの国の事情をふまえながら、教会は地の果てまで福音を広めるためにみ言葉のべ伝えなければならない、そのためには、語る者の姿勢が問われていることを改めて確認させられた。
 各国の報告は、韓国はRoh Dae Rae 長老、台湾はChuang Chia Hsin 牧師が担当した。

The General Secretary's Diary: Reviewing the District Assemblies

Between the end of April and June 26, all 17 Kyodan districts held their respective 2010 annual assemblies. There are several aspects of this year’s assemblies that I would like to highlight.
1. Delegates were elected in each district for the upcoming 37th Kyodan General Assembly in late October. However, Okinawa District will again decline to send delegates to the assembly. Of course the district has its reasons for this decision, but strictly speaking, this is in violation of Article 1 of the Kyodan Bylaws and is thus very sad. Likewise, Kyoto District has joined with Okinawa District in refusing to allow an official Kyodan representative to be seated at their district assemblies. According to Article 6 of the Kyodan Constitution, the purpose of having districts is to facilitate the Kyodan’s ecclesiastical functions and operations, so the presence of an official Kyodan representative provides a great opportunity for dialogue between the Kyodan and districts. Thus, I wish that such unilateral decisions would be given second thought. As a part of the body of Christ, the Kyodan functions as an orderly expression of that body. It is my profound hope that all of us would remember that fact and engage in free and open discussion, while at the same time abiding by our joint Confession of Faith and the Kyodan Constitution and Bylaws.
2. The continued decline in church membership and the accompanying financial squeeze is a serious situation that all of the districts face together. Societal factors, such as the depopulation of rural areas and the current economic hard times certainly exacerbate the problem, but we must also admit that the decline in evangelistic fervor plays a major role as well. I believe that the greatest cause of this decline is our loss of confidence in the truth as expressed in I Cor. 1:18, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” An additional concern is the peculiar understanding of the sacrament of Holy Communion held by those who insist that it is permissible to offer the sacrament to persons who are not baptized. Thus, people end up thinking that baptism is no longer necessary, and it is difficult to deny that this way of thinking contributes to the steep decline in the number of baptisms. It is certainly a situation that causes me great grief.
3. The Kyodan shows signs of a split due to issues surrounding the admonitions over differences in understandings of Holy Communion. When the church was established, especially as the Kyodan’s Constitution, Bylaws, and Confession of Faith were being formulated, there was a general consensus concerning the basic doctrines of the faith. While there were differences of opinion, no one held interpretations outside the pale. The sacrament of Holy Communion is one of those basic doctrines and is thus not something that individual churches can decide to modify at their convenience. My wish is that everyone would abide by this understanding as long as they are affiliated with the Kyodan.
4. Ordination and licensing ceremonies were held in each district, and new churches were authorized in some districts. As I watched the delegates at various assemblies give their blessings to these proceedings, I was encouraged, feeling that the Living Lord was shining a light of hope on the future of the Kyodan. The difficulty of evangelization is not something that has just been encountered recently. Indeed, in one sense, it is not an overstatement to say that the entire history of the Christian church has been one of difficulty. It is my sincere desire to strengthen our cooperation as we pray together in hope for the future of evangelism within the Kyodan. (Tr. TB)
–Naito Tomeyuki, general secretary
1, まず、第37教団総会議員が選出され、10月末の教団総会の準備が始まった。ただし沖縄教区は今回も教団総会議員を選出しなかった。それなりの言い分があるのであろうが、厳密に言えばこの事は教規則第1条違反であり、非常に残念なことである。また、今回も教団問安使を拒否した教区が二つあり、それは京都教区と沖縄教区である。教憲6条によれば、教区は、教団がその教会的機能および教務を遂行するために置いたものであり、教区総会は教団と教区との対話のよい機会として活かしていくべき場である。それを一方的に破棄するのは謹んで欲しい。教団は主キリストのからだとしての秩序をもつ制度的教会である。そのことを誠実に受け止め、信仰告白と教憲・教規を守りつつ自由に、また堂々と議論をしていってほしいと切望するものである。
2, 各教区に共通してみられた教勢の低迷と、それに伴う教会財政の悪化は深刻である。それは地方の過疎化、経済的不況など、現代社会的構造による外的理由も確かに大きいが、なんといっても教団教会の伝道力の衰退によるのではないかと鋭く反省を迫られる。「十字架の言葉は、滅んでいく者にとっては愚かなものですが、わたしたち救われる者にとっては神の力です」(Ⅰコリント1:18)という確信が失われつつあることにその最大の原因があるのではないかと思われる。
3, 聖餐理解の違いとそこから派生した戒規問題をめぐって教団は割れている観がある。もともと教団がスタートした当時、特に教憲・教規が整えられ、教団信仰告白が制定された頃は教団の基本的教理については一致していたといってよい。多生解釈に幅があったとしても度はずれた解釈はなかった。聖餐はそうした教理の基本条項であり、各個教会の考えや都合によってどうにでも解釈できるといった事ではない。このことは教団に属している以上は厳粛に受け止めてほしい。
4, 各教区総会で按手礼や准允式を執行した教区があり、また、教会設立の件が承認された教区もあった。多くの議員たちに祝された情景をみて、教団の将来 に生ける主が明るい光を差し込んでくださったことを実感して、希望を与えられたし、大いに励まされた。
 伝道の困難は今に始まったことではない。ある意味ではキリスト教会史は困難な伝道の歴史そのものといっても決して過言ではない。皆で祈りつつ、教団の伝 道の将来に望みを抱き、協力を深め強めていきたいと思う。