4. Around-Table Talk
A discussion by participators joined before 1990
Memorizing 40th anniversary, a round-table talk was arranged just for
fairy new members described in former pages. Then somebody said it was
also better to arrange for old members who joined before 1990. This is
a record of round-talk about impressive matters or future talked by the
people who were in the Hyakunincho for around 40 years.
Moderator: I joined Ookubo-meeting from beginning. However, I could not join
a Sunday service for almost 2 years since getting married. It was too busy
for coexistence of home care and job. I do like and respect people in the
Hyakunincho, since I was united with them. Therefore, I think I could clearly
stand on the position against risky problems of “Kimigayo (Japanese national
anthem) and Hinomaru (Japanese national flag)”.
Now, please talk
frankly about impressive matters or good things for 40 years.
G: When I left from Mitake Church, I felt strongly just going out
to the wilds as like “Exodus”. I think the Hyakunincho did not have barriers
or walls. And they had no restriction to do something by anybody.
C: I began to come Ookubo-Meeting with my children. At that time,
many of participants come in and out. We could not settle there down well,
and child would like to back former church. As Home Circle was started,
I could hear of people’s talk, and that made me my thought put in order.
Sunday school was started also, and my children became steady to come here.
F: That situation might realize after Pastor Aso became principal
pastor, wasn’t it? I remember both Home Circle and Sunday school were started
at the same time.
L: A few members including Mr. Haruyoshi Ikeda as a seminary student
supported to Sunday school. “Ms A” wrote to Roba 99 (refer to miscellaneous
scene). Many of children came over, but they did not show up after becoming
junior high school student. Mr. Wasaburo Tanaka, a seminary student also
at that time, became in charge of junior high school part. Even well arranged,
only my child attended every week, and he would be just like a friend of
my child one-to-one. I am sorry but he did not come to church abruptly
after graduation of school. He never came back to church since then.
K: As reflection, there was really very busy time since we had an
unconstitutionality judgment in the Nagoya high court for “the Tsu Shinto
ground-breaking ceremony which pacifies the local guardian sprits” in 1971,
and had an opposite judgment in 1977. During that period of time, we wrote
a appeal statement of supporting for former Nagoya high court decision,
and all Hyakunincho members cooperated distributing those writings to nation-wide
local governments. They might have much energy to act, since younger than
now. I feel our church was deeply concerned with those problems from initially.
S: The Hyakunincho was away different from the church I used to go
with my parent in child hood. I surprised very much at discussion made
in response, since I felt those as saying, “Adults could become as honest
as realizing such kind of serious conversation.” My heart was moving very
much since the Hyakunincho allowed everybody to talk freely. By the way,
exciting encounter of Mr. O was happened, and we drunk together many times.
K: You and Mr. O were baptized at the same time, don’t you?
Moderator: Even though growing up in the Christian home, it was fairy late
to be baptized, wasn’t it?
S: I resisted so much for Christianity. I had a question how would
baptizing change a man by just ceremony. Beside, God always said a man
can be in free.
F: So, you did not go to the church parent used to go.
Moderator: Well, Mr. S! It is amazing matter both of your sons go to church
as baptized. It is rare case in the Hyakunincho. (All laughter)
S: I had a gap between my work and my belief. In the Hyakunincho, members
discussed this gap seriously. I saw them, and energy to overcome was given
to me. Meanwhile, I could realize people surrounded me being in harder
life than myself.
F: I remembered well, it was great pleasure since place to be given
for a Sunday service as Ookubo-Meeting. It gave me a peace of mind since
I had a sense of crisis our church would be gone out if I did not come
here even once. That fear was continued for me through first 2, 3 years.
Therefore, I came here even bad weather such as typhoon or big snow. When
I caught a slight cold, I believed it would be cured if I came here.
J: It is a strong belief, isn’t it? (All laughter)
F: I could be absent for a Sunday service safely when Pastor Aso came
here. (All uncontrolled laughter)
For this 40 years, there were many matters happened
on me such as mother’s death, retirement, or others. I could stand for such
incidents, because I was in the Hyakunincho.
K: In this occasion, I think we need to verify the reason why the Hyakunincho
would separate from the Mitake Church. The first reason was that of criticizing
for preaching done by the successor of Pastor Asano. The second reason
was that of criticizing against a decision made asking for the riot police
to solve the campus dispute of Tokyo Union Theological Seminary. Those
two elements had correlation on the point that we had responsibility for
social problem and incident of the world in our generation. Those were
just history of our starting. At now, it is more important to deal with
present situation, but not past matters.
L: I could not come here for first five years since busy for child
rearing. But, I remember well about very delightful chance when I could
join the retreat held at Karuisawa with my three children after Pasto Aso
became in charge.
D: There were a lot of people who left the Hyakunincho on middle of
S: But I think the Hyakunincho could keep tight connection with what
each person did. Therefore, we could run up for 40 years.
F: Pastor Aso used to announce every extra “all members’s meeting”
that he would like to resign in charge of principle pastor during the time
he was very busy for coexistence with the work of Joshi-Gakuin school.
He stopped saying so, after starting sister relationship with the church
of Pastor Sung Ja Park. Don’t you think so?
J: It might be so, but I think main reason was that he gained spare
time after he decided to resign the work of Joshi-Gakuin school.
B: By the way, was it not so easy decision to join UCCJ?
F: No! When we were going to join, two obstacles came up. One was another
church called “O” of UCCJ nearby. Second was not all members agreed to
join. Because of those two reasons, we needed a very long time to settle.
B: I might be just as like reborn through communication with the Jamsil
church. When I attended the joint retreat between Japan and Korea, Mr.
Y of Korean told me, “We don’t want repeat the history of past invasion.
It is necessary to observe strictly the constitution of Japan. Please extend
the circle of movement keeping piece throughout the country.” Therefore,
after retirement, I intend to learn and act for piece.
F: I think, it is important for church keeping common time. For example,
we’d better to share each mind or support what others doing. I believe
Pastor Aso guided us so, since he had good ability to carry through of
his original goal, even though having some friction against him.
S: Today we have monthly demonstration march against nationalization
of Yasukuni Shrine. I have been concerning also about social problems,
or Japanese situation in Asia, in particular with Philippine and Korea.
Driving force doing so is just because that the Hyakunincho has been stimulating
D: I encountered Christianity world at late teens, and have attended
the Hyakunincho for 40 years. I have been thinking what the Hyakunincho
was meant for me somewhere in my mind always. Organization is changing
continuously. I have been living as correcting my work in accordance with
a sense of values what church has. I think I could work together for founding
the Hyakunincho for 40 years, since I could have good health and friends.
I have another serious matter in my mind, but it is too early to speak.
C: I could think about problem of Asia through sister relationship
with the Jamsil.
Future of the Hyakunincho
E: Would all please talk about future of the Hyakunincho now? As thinking
about time of era, there are three stages in the Hyakunincho, such as an
initial stage, Pasto Aso’s era and Pastor Ka’s era. I would like to think
about last era a little bit more. A feeling of familiarity with Korean
people becomes deeper because of sister relation with the Jamsil. On the
other hand, various types of Korean people who knew Pastor Ka are coming
here. It is important we can have another route to communicate with Korea.
Furthermore, as talked today’s testimony, Pastor Ka starts to have a class
in a university, and I believe his testimony spoken in the Hyakunincho
would be accepted by students. And we could know also the response from
students. It is important for us that even though succession of belief
would not get down directly in the Hyakunincho, would get in different
route by new generation. I could imagine those might make a new step to
the future.I: Why we could rent a room in the Kyofu-Kaikan for Ookubo-Meeting,
because I worked for building repairs of the Kaikan at that time. I am
a Christian of 4th generation. My father was a pastor. I
could not help to hate Christianity at young. 40 years ago, I just could work
as architecture. And the same time I had to start nursing care of old both parents
next by next. Therefore, I could not attend every week. I was living by the architecture
work given from the Zushi church and the Sakuramoto missionary Teacher S was
working. Although I disliked Christianity, I was engaged in ecclesiastical architecture,
since I started to gain money from those works. Long ago, I was asked from
interviewer of Christian news paper, “You built scores of church. When will you
build your own church?” I replied, “It will never happen!” Then, news paper
wrote me “An astonished architecture”. (All laughter)
I am considering that a Sunday service is central
position of church which built by my work of ecclesiastic architecture. A Sunday
service is just a kind of ceremony. If the Hyakunincho has just response only,
it couldn’t go beyond just movement circle. I think a church must be a place and
time to be purified by God. Therefore, it is very much pleasant I could come
the Hyakunincho. Because of this much of people, I can get into the testimony
as if pastor spoke to me alone. It is a splendid matter of the Hyakunincho. I
believe it is one of good means of missionary work to extend this method more
and more. Old day’s missionary works were based on the local place contacted
with local people, and developing by a Sunday school or kinder garden. But now
it is almost disappeared. So, it might be good idea we would go out the world
from our side. I have feeling the people with nothing have been more blessing
by God, even though contrary from common idea.
G: I came here since I would like to work for social world. I met
here Mr. K, Mr. I and Mr. M. And I could have support for objection against
“the Tsu Shinto ground-breaking ceremony which pacifies the local guardian
sprits”. I met Ms Tawara and Mr. S in the Bible Study
Circle, and I started to participate in monthly demonstration march. All of my
work started from the church. There are two centers of gravity in my mind,
which are the Hyakunincho and my job. The church supported my job strongly.
Therefore, I believe the church is not based on building but based on people.
Q: I hung on the Hyakunincho because of attractiveness of Pastor Aso or Pastor Ka as a pilot, on reflecting past of my life. I could get wide vision on various matters, since I have here Mr. Kubo and Ms Hozumi, who was working widely in Asia, and other Korean people nearby. I feel importantness to form a relationship with people. As Mr. E said, I think it is better to think about our future as coming in sight of this 40th anniversary, other than looking back.
K: Somebody said that organization will be changing continuously, and the Hyakunincho also looks like to be an organic body, since many people came in and out. The Hyakunincho had various social activities. Among them, it was good action Pastor Aso conducted educational work for young in his farm, and also supported Philippine. Mr. G worked in supporting circle of “separation of religion and politics” as a secretariat for more than 30 years soberly. This is the nature of the Hyakunincho. But from now, we have to think about why the young do not come to the church. Is this popular phenomenon which happened in whole Japan, Christianity, the Hyakunincho, or individual person? We need to consider from all aspects, and then, we have to verify which way we have to go. We have to think about our future based upon what we did this much for 40 years.
P: When I was in Aoyama Junior College, I used to join the Bible-Study
Circle organized by Teacher Kakei and Pastor Aso once a week. That time
of Korea was the last period of Chon Hi Park government, and it scared
me that my senior, who was in Korean Theological University, arrested as
political prisoner. I could not speak about my fear to anybody, but in
that Kakei’s Circle I could speak anything in safe. After ten-something
years, I became to come to the Hyakunincho. I think the Hyakunincho is
a special place where all people heard and considered honestly problems
what somebody to be proposed. Moreover, they have their own solid beliefs
in the bottom of root, therefore, I have a feeling of confidence with them
and I feel easy to speak anything.
M: When I came up to Tokyo from Osaka, I was baptized in the Anglican Church
since I would like to change myself. In relation with Mr. M, I came here.
All people, as well as Pastor Aso, are distinctive and attractive. I think
the Hyakunincho is one of most important place for my life and will be
forever. Prof. Kida used to say “The Bible calls for the human beings self-identity
and responsibility”, so, I thought I had to live with self-identity and
responsibility. As seeing people was working seriously for society even
where in shade, I learned this was belief. It is our task how this property
is passed down to the young. I wish students of Pastor Ka, who like to
come, to see this Hyakunincho as well.
H: It was my big decision I came here alone after leaving the church I used to go with my family in Christian home. I have impressive person, Mr. Kosaka, who worked seriously for problem in Philippine, among many active people in the Hyakunincho. Good point of the Hyakunincho is that people with a certain talent did
own work, without top-down decision of the church. Another big event was
a dramatic replacement of principal pastor from Pasto Aso to Pastor Ka.
I think it was ideal replacement since Pastor Aso had been making a good
support for Pastor Ka without annoying him. Members’ representative committee
is also wonderful organization without authoritarianism. Nowadays, I could
not attend a Sunday service because I am busy to start new business with
my friend. And then I am wondering all the time what has meaning I am involved
in the church. If I will damage my body, how I keep relation with the Church?
That’s why, I would like to propose to develop internet I could hear testimony
in my home.
A: Attractiveness of the Hyakunincho is that attendance can express
own opinion freely. As I can experience empathy with hearing those opinions,
I become feel so easy to speak such things also. I quitted job 5 years
ago, then I could attend home-reading circle once a month. Learning from
Bible and reading books makes me encouraging a lot. I became an accountant
of the church in this year, then, I can realize all of us are supporting
for the Hyakunincho by each offering. I feel, recently, it has a little
bit of difficulty to make offer a lot of money because of age of retirement.
Pastor Ka said, “I never see absolutely who offered how much.” If offering
becomes a gradual decline, I think we have to accept that. I have no intention
to enlarge this church or to bring the young, (of course, if the young
comes, it will be splendid), and I would like make sure making this time
L: I think Pastor Aso’s power of action had big impact for me. Mr.
S and Mr. G are continuing to participate with Yasukuni demonstration march
until now honestly even though that was tiny event and trial. Those activities
give me what I have to continue my act as well. I was not supported at
beginning Pastor Aso’s decision resigned principal pastor and started Cosmo
Farm. But he acted well with Cosmo Farm and his children. I think big gift
was returned to us from those. After replacing to Pastor Ka, he educated
us and, in home circle, made us in charge of testimony or Bible-study by
ourselves instead of pastor. Anyway, we forced to learn. (All laughter)
result of that, I feel joyful time of leaning Bible.
N: I could not support well before about the sister relationship between
the Hyakunincho and the Jamsil. As I heard the story how to make sister
relation, I could not understand well about reason. Although I attended
the Joint retreat, I felt a sense of discomfort, less incentive or dissatisfaction.
I thought the sister relation means a sense of actual like sister, which
both breathing and stepping should be focused closely and pleasantly on
the same way. On the other hand, if no response gave back from the Jamsil
and the relation was stopped, I would feel so much sorry as leaving the
Hyakunincho alone. Therefore, I think now it is important matter for us.
On reflecting my past feeling, it is better to make a sister relationship
positively from now on.
T: I believe we had been able to work as a foster parent till now, because of support and prayer from all of members. When we wished to have family home with three children in the Higashi-Matsuyama housing complex, it would be required for a little bit bigger space. Many members in the Bible-Study Class tried to fix those honestly and found housing at the place of Hachioji. All of members supported us financially, and then we could open our family home. There are some intensions in the Hyakunincho by supporting for what someone starts something. Our family home was one of that. Time by time, we had hard period, but we were supported and we had to overcome. As Pastor Ka wrote in the “Roba”, we could overcome hard time by the word how could we handle present world.
J: I learned firstly from the Hyakunincho, even though as a pastor,
he is one of member, and then after existing as a pastor. Therefore, a
pastor should support the church just as one of member. I wish to do so
from now. And in that sense, I intend to work also professional pastor
entrusted from the members. That’s why this is just like a carriage and
What I learned very much from the Hyakunincho
is a church formation. It is including ranging from a state of belief to all
contents of a Sunday service. Those are not built up by a pastor alone but also
by all of members. If talking about Bible reading, it is not get through with
just only by a pastor. It is mandatory to listen to others. We have time of
response in the service. A pastor has to study professional area. In addition
of that, a pastor should learn through listening to response also. It is most
important matter, I think. In ordinal church, a pastor could not have much
chance to listen from people, and this is the unhappiest matter for them, isn’t
As I mentioned just before about my personal
matters with tears, Pastor Aso and his wife, Michiko (who has remarkable
ability), supported me long time. Of course, all other people also supported me
behind the sense. So, I was envied from the district other churches since I was
too happy. I have a critical position in part of mind to the certain degree,
and my criticism is criticism with reconsideration, and necessary to deepen my
thought ahead. It might be said, there are rather many young as comparing other
churches, I think they have good interest for the Hyakunincho. Therefore, we
can have hope for future.
Let’s talk about criticizing the status of Hyakunincho
a little bit more
P: I think sometimes that there is a risk of not seeing the future if we only viewed past with nostalgia.
E: Relating with that, I think all discussion would be back to when
the Hyakunincho left from the Mitake always. It might be precious matter
to make the backbone, however, it is not so good if people, who joined
after or the young, were made listen to old story repeatedly as a recollection.
P: To know the history is good study for me, but the same time, it makes
me to have a feeling of alienation.
Moderator: I heard the same feeling from others.
B: It might be a same story of Mr. W. He would like to work for the
visually impaired, and talked me about his intention many times. There
was, however, no reaction in the Hyakunincho. Then he move off.
I: I believe people recognize everything by visual state at highest priority. Because of that, if church has big structure and pastor preaches self-importantly from the pulpit, everybody will remember his words well. But here is nothing except meeting place.
E: Opinion of whether we have to have church building or not are depending
on what point individual person consider important. At present, since we
have no church building, participant already knows such style and then
comes here. Therefore, we have to receive such people with full of heart.
On the other hand, I think we are not so anxious to follow up who left
here. They might be such person who have different thought or need support
from the Hyakunincho. Maybe, somebody tried to follow up, but as a whole
of the Hyakunincho, there is not much effort to do so. I felt before this
church does not focus on members thoroughly.
F: While I could not come for a long time, Pastor Aso care of me so
as to put on short words on “Roba” and weekly which he mailed.
K: I wonder what motivation the young has, when they come to the church. In my case, I came here for asking relief from my disease. When I came
to the church, I found various kinds of people such as studying in the
Mission School, or concerning about social problems. I believe at that
time the Christianity had energy, then many people came to the church.
This time of period is different. I wonder what intention could invite
the young here.
L: According to Pastor Ka’s talking just before, there are many young who had interest of the church. What kind of church they would go?
Moderator: There are a lot of students they would like to study the Christian
P: What happen if this space is too small to receive all of them?
F: There are many Pastor Aso’s former pupils.
Moderator: What about a Sunday service with internet suggested by Ms H.
P: We can do it immediately, if everybody wishes it. In that case, we have to decide to open whether just only who knows a password, or all without limitation.
L: If movie need, someone has to run camera, doesn’t it?
P: Is it possible to have only voice without a screen image?
L: What is different from CD?
P: Just matter of real time or not, isn’t it?
K: It is near at hand.
Moderator: At near future, not all members could come here physically since becoming
older and older.
L: Instead of becoming empty here, all members would participate a
Sunday service at home. (All laughter)
K: I will become a big problem and troublesome.
Dated June 20th and July 18th,