Skip to main content

Kagawa Toyohiko

Kagawa Toyohiko (1888–1960). Japanese Christian evangelist and pioneer social worker. Kagawa was perhaps the greatest leader in the development of Japanese Christian social-welfare work and reform in the 20th cent. At the same time he preferred to describe himself primarily as an evangelist.

Kagawa first encountered Christian faith in the middle school at Tokushima in Shikoku. He was befriended by a Japanese Christian teacher and by two missionaries of the Presbyterian Church, USA. He read and reread the New Testament until all the pent-up agony of his past burst forth in the prayer ‘O God, make me like Christ’. From this developed a growing inner conviction that he had been given a divine commission to serve the poor.

On Christmas Day 1909, he carted his few belongings to his one room in the slums of Kōbe. There Kagawa committed himself to service and love of the lowliest of persons, in whom he came to be convinced that God dwells, in the whole person and circumstance. For this reason he became a Christian Socialist, a social seer and reformer as well as a Christian evangelist.

He helped to form the Japan Federation of Labor and to organize the labourers of Kōbe into a branch of this national body. He was perhaps the leading figure in the great strike of the shipyard workers in Kōbe in 1921. For the next forty years he was prominent in almost every movement for constructive social reform in Japan.

In his methodology Kagawa was a thorough social evolutionist, a strict follower of the principle of non-violence. Kagawa has been called one of the three greatest Christians of this century. His ideals were expounded in many books, e.g. Love, the Law of Life (tr. 1930) and Christ and Japan (Eng. tr., 1934).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Kagawa Toyohiko." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Kagawa Toyohiko." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 13, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/kagawa-toyohiko

"Kagawa Toyohiko." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved December 13, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/kagawa-toyohiko

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.