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3. Look out the trail how to found the Hyakunincho church
Incident 1:   The Hyakunincho was born from big flux of time

Era of flocks --- How could only people (floch) found a church without pastor?
@There was a pastor. The scene, that he got off plane with gGetah, (a Japanese traditional wooden sandal), has been passed down. He had just back from studying abroad. Pastor Junichi Asano (1899~1981) is his name. He lectured Theology in the Aoyama University, and founded a Church at Shibuya in Tokyo (called the Mitake Church). Many people gathered there. Many young people, university students attended also. Pastor Asano encouraged everybody by his preach. Many were heartened and touched. There included main members who would found the Hyakunincho church later. The Mitake church was fulfilled with a plenty of people. It was happened not only a Sunday service but also a prayer meeting, a Bible study class (Note 5) and a society problem study meeting (Note 10). Many young people attended and passionate feelings had been growing up. Around same time, there were several home bible classes also. Those homes handled heartily Sunday schools and gathered children around there. In response to memberfs expectation, Pastor Asano founded new churches and local missionaries at various regions.
  Such time of many activities going on, suddenly, Pastor Asano resigned principal pastor of the Mitake church and moved to another church called Kinuta he founded. He put on a successor to the Mitake and kept preaching just once a month. This situation made various changes. Many members moved to the Kinuta as following Pastor Asano. Some of rest members were accumulating frustrations against the successorfs preaching.
@Time has been passing. University students at that time became to have own jobs. Because of following Pastor Asano es word, such as gWork double than othersh, they were becoming a key personnel in each world. (Those people played key role forming new church afterwards.)
@The young boys and girls in Sunday schools became university students and being in charge of a youth association in the church. The youth made own groups and acted lively. There were few theological students. At the time before they would graduate, a campus dispute had come into from many of universities. The Tokyo Theological Collage was not exception. Theological students came into strike and boycott class work also. The students attending to the Mitake church were not out side of those affaires. By the irony of fate, the successor of Pastor Asano was a professor of the Tokyo Theological Collage. Because of this successor who was the professor of protested collage, they rejected to attend a Sunday service and also worked an act of protest at the entrance. Those affaires threw confusion into the Mitake. Some supported. Some got angry. The campus dispute turned into extremism. Then, most university autholities accepted to receive the riot police for security reason. The same story came into the Tokyo theological collage. As interpreting the situation was unsecured since the theological students would obstruct the church service, the pastor of successor tried to ask and call help from the police in the case.

@The Mitake church members came to know it and split in two opinions, at the point of good or not whether a church could accept the power of the state. One said the church should stand independently from the Nation. Another said any violence should be managed by the police. A half year deep discussion was continued on those two opinions, but remained just as far apart. Under those circumstance, a certain people of 20s through 40s decided to leave from the Mitake, as basis of thought that the church should keep independency from the Nation. They started own meeting without any religious leader or pastor. Since no church building, they came around each home, and kept a Sunday service by Bible study in center. This was a previous incarnation of the Hyakunincho. From November 1st, 1970, they made it public as the Mitake praying group. And on next year April, all members attended the Mitake churchfs general meeting, and declared taking leave from there officially. They gave name on the group as gOokubo- Meetingh. Since then, they never stop their steps for 40 years.
@It was a start of the later Hyakuninncho just as a community by ordinal flocks only. They kept a Sunday service in memberfs home in turn. In a start, it was better to say praying time rather Sunday service. They prayed to God and asked for their way to go.
@They rent a room in a dormitory of the Womenfs Christian Temperance Union (Note 9) located near Okubo station. There were quite few pastors to collaborate with them, who knew the situation why they left from the Mitake. Such outside pastors offered preach for a Sunday service once or twice in a month. Rest of time, the member became in charged. He or she talked own belief instead of preach.
@Weekly report (Note 12) of a Sunday service indicated gpreachingh in a center in accordance with traditional way, but there were no pastor made it. Members were discussing on this from many aspect. Memberfs talk was not worthwhile to call gpreachingh, since not a pastor. So, after discussion, they called gencouragementh sometimes or gBible studyh depending upon content to talk.

@It was not a bad start out on a journey, but all were just try and error. After left from the Mitake, they struggled and endeavored continuously for forming a new church from their community. Too much stress poured on them. Some voice said, gBreakouth, git is impossible.h Another voice said, gIf so, what we did for!h, gWe should keep our community for that all acts are worth.h As discussing too much, getting into worries, or going move right and left. At last, they got into serious arguments with loud voices, then, got into quarrel almost. Some said, gWe need a pastorh some said gNo. We could form by ourselves.h They, each person, were looking for a future.
@They discussed and discussed, and never stopped, as if expressing sincere worry for future. And still Meeting was maintained. They used to drop off near Soba restaurant for lunch after a Sunday service. Still there, discussion was continued. Their age gave them very busy time on own works, and time goes fast. One member said, gWe are better to have a lunch in a plan of service instead of going out. We gained more time to talkh. They followed, and lunch time was scheduled inside service program.
@At present, schedule gets established as follows: After gTestimonyh, have detail report, then, lunch, gresponseh is followed. But at beginning, response was started from lunch time. Several members, one after another, open their mouth as if no moderator existed. Big voice took precedence over small voice, so, they spoke loudly. It looked they quarreled as mentioned above. When getting excited, they disregarded planed schedule and continued to discuss. Points of discussion still remained the same. gWhat shall we do from now?h gCan our way be accepted?h gCan true church forms only by our members?h or gIs this what we should do?h Everybodyfs state of life had become crashed among each other. Because of such growing intensity of discussion, a few members left quietly to search for his place.
@When two and half years passed under such circumstance, Professor Shinichi Kida, theologist, joined to the Meeting (Note 13). He just returned from study in Germany (Note 13). He recognized and acknowledged the value of Okubo-Meeting. Furthermore, he gave basis on the step of Okubo-Meeting theologically. He could not accept becoming principal pastor, but support them. Their sprits were enforced, since they encountered with Kidafs theology which gave a back ground of their act.

@Open atmosphere accelerated their discussion that was immediate response to each talk. Therefore, someone suggested that gresponseh might be better to work into the schedule. Then, they followed.
@A certain people could not have a time to make lunch box always. Volunteer went out to buy lunch box. Such situation last for a while. Some said, gIt is problem the volunteer can not join discussion.h Then, as a policy, everybody tried their best effort to bring lunch box with them.
@Hereby, the present style of a Sunday service was initialized.
@Peoplefs community (The Ookubo-Meeting) got established fairy well because Professor Kida joined.
@But still and more than before, there was hot discussion on the points; gWhat for the Okubo-Meeting exist?h or gDonft we need a Pastor?h (Note14)
@In response to an earnest request, they invited Pastor Aso from far away, Hirosaki-city and asked him to be a principal pastor, as Prof. Kida suggested.

@Now we would like to see the sceneries before receiving Pastor Aso from writings on the Roba (Note 15, the churchfs seasonal organ).


Thinking of our beliefs and church, appeared on first gRobah
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At launching@@@@@ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@Kaname Iwai

1,  A sense of serious crisis covers our World, which we never experienced, such as worldwide depression, a sensation of fear against nuclear war, and environmental destruction resulting extinct of living things. Those are big and deep problem connecting with existence of human being.
@Since going established modern science and starting technological revolution, developments have promised to bring prosperity and happiness for the human race. Ironically, our faced hard subjects now were caused from those developments or improvements. At present, it is definitively just limping relation between technological civilization and spiritual culture. It is not too much to say that mankind makes a milestone on the road to collapse, just because of technological civilization which they have made. Thatfs why, coming period is asking for spiritual recovery by all means.
2,  The role that Christian missionary had played in the history of modern Japan is significant and recognized in several sense. It was, however, they had history that Christianity made collusive relation with Japanese power structure. Modern Japan after the Meiji era step into to the formation of state power by the Emperor System as a core. Japan had mobilized every matter to this purpose. Christian missionary was not exception and mobilized over there also. Since the missionary works failed to encourage rural farm villages or industrial laborer, and instead, encouraged to the intellectual class. Those situations led Christian to have deep bible knowledge of relief, and led to study theology from the West vigorously. But on the other hand, it made separation between life reality and belief, and went into idealism. This was why churches could not resist against the rapid stream towards absolutism of the Emperor System. In result, churches fell into powerless. Furthermore, Japanese churches never tried to restart after thorough examination or investigation of its constitution at the chance of defeat of World War II. 20 years long after, UCCJ just started to discuss about gConfession of Responsibility during World Warh or gProblem of international expositionh. Therefore, we, ourselves, should come to realize those matters seriously.
3,  As standing upon reconsideration and reflection above, we have to confirm again our beliefs with new resolution. And therefore, I believe in depth, we shall be responsible to form a new church human being looking for.

@Firstly, what we are looking for churches is to confirm the Christian gospel based upon the Bible. That is initialized from piety attitude to listen to the Word first of all. Faith to the Load must be kept in center. Secondary, the church should be formed so as to bring the gospel and to confess those in honest heart. And the church should not hide behind the state power or national administration. On the contrary, churches should resist and fight against. Through such confess and struggle, we could bring the church alive to neighbors. Thirdly, we have to ask for total spiritual recovery passing through the Word of Testament. Certainly on this point, I believe the church should work for neighbors. Jesus shall encourage and preach us repeatedly to be alive as independent and responsible person. Just in the church, it might be possible that person could recover his or her own sense of humanity. Fourthly, we have to reform the church aiming to develop human resources, as standing on preaching of the gospel. In Japan, always Christian has been a small number, therefore, every member should have a role to become gthe conscience of the Japanh by onefs free will. For that purpose, every member should work seriously in their own places. At the same time, we are responsible to receive any person in the church, then, dispatching them to the society again. The church should be open for all, should not be closed for a certain people.
@Steps forwarded us is long and severe. We would like to walk ahead with praying God, who has been promised to make sure of our hope.     (Written in the first issued Roba, December 12th, 1971)


Words from a certain member at midpoint of Journey (who became a pastor a few years after, and left to new place of appointment, Takasaki)
@@What purpose the Ookubo-Meeting is existed for?
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@-Explore for future step -   @@@@@@@@Shohei Sasabuchi

@Today, I planed originally to talk about future step of the Ookubo-Meeting. I encountered recently, however, a fundamental deep question before I get into a discussion of future. I could not talk anything except this question raised in my heart this time. I would like to talk those, as tracing our intension back to the root.
@(1) This critical moment;
@Recently, I feel the Ookubo-Meeting has been going into a crisis day by day. Firstly, the Meeting is stepping into its own end. It is interesting to hear about testimony such as gLife and Bibleh or bible study of Corinthians. I can get a good knowledge of Old Testament by Prof. Kidafs talk. But, it is no more than just hearing good story. There are no movements arisen in the Meeting at all. It is just same as a salon. We do not have any act, and rather become sluggish. We do not engage in missionary work. It is an evil omen going into decay.
@Secondary, membersf training or practice is not well done in mind. It might be sure they work hard on their Job by own. The important point is, however, the connection between church and work. Church must be pushing us out to work, as encouraging or mending their way. Does our Meeting carry out a role on those? Does inquire into or correct our contradiction between own work and teaching, or problem of life and family? It is No almost! Testimony in a Sunday service comes into brain and refreshed. However, there is very little relation between own life or our step. This will be an evil omen and get into dualism that church and our life is somehow differentiated.
@Thirdly, we, ourselves, might waste our time to gather here. Individual person of member have real ability, which other churches feel envy of. I think, however, such outstanding peoplefs vitality could not be enforced here even if tenfs person gathered. Instead, minus forces would work since everybody lean on others. In other words, group activities of the Meeting could not work well, although gathered in the church we call
.
@
(2) Our way to go

@What shall we do from next as considering above questions? Simply speaking, gWe have to go forming a church based upon the Gospel, and serve to neighbors honestly.h In that church, members, one by one, should be revived, and their stances should be corrected every week. In a whole, everybody unite together as an organic body gathering their every ability. To put it concrete words, followings are my opinion; First of all, our Meeting should have a driving force of person who can have strong personality enabling to move ahead, as overcoming a certain resistances arisen among the members. If such driving force of person exist, he or she might be possible to manage this group. It is, however, very difficult to find out among the members. Retracing our steps, it is better to consider about inviting a new pastor here. Second, our church to be formed should be a church joining to the United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ). It is because that a true church should carry on a heavy burden what other Christ churches have been carrying on. So, our church also carries those on our shoulder together with them. Otherwise, our steps might become nothing. Third, I have not much opinion about place of church. We have to make steady efforts for mission at given place.
@All above matter must be considered thoroughly, and we should take an action forwarded now.
@Or, we will give up for all sooner or later. If it is the case, it will be better to break up our group, then, all members will scatter everywhere around to help the church nearby. We could show our talent there well, and we could contribute to Missionary work in Japan more than now.
      (From an extra gRobah , Testimony spoken July 21st, 1974) (Note 14)
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