Skip to main content

Uchimura Kanzō

Uchimura Kanzō (1861–1930). Pioneer Japanese Protestant leader and founder of the Non-Church (Mukyōkai) movement.

Uchimura spent four years studying in the USA at Amherst College and Hartford Seminary, returning in 1888. Two years later, he became a teacher in the new government academy to prepare students for the Imperial University. On 9 Jan. 1891, the teachers were compelled to participate in a ceremony that became standard procedure for all schools in the Japanese empire until the end of the Second World War. This was to make a low bow of obeisance before a personally signed copy of the Imperial Rescript on Education, which had been promulgated the previous autumn. Some Christian teachers absented themselves from school to avoid the issue of possible idolatry. Uchimura refused to do this, and in the presence of sixty professors and over 1,000 students he went forward but did not bow.

Uchimura was assured by Christian friends that bowing in this case was not an act of worship, and after reflection he decided to conform. The incident, however, became a cause célèbre, and Uchimura was forced to resign his post. He continued to support himself by teaching, but from 1892 he turned seriously to writing.

Uchimura was primarily concerned for Christian freedom, and in the context of his own time and place this meant the spiritual independence of Japanese Christians vis-à-vis the almost overwhelming cultural influence of W. forms of Christianity. For this reason Uchimura was able to speak with telling power to members of Japanese churches as well as to those of Mukyōkai, to non-Christians as to Christians. He affirmed both Japan and Jesus, and was often attacked from each side.

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

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Uchimura Kanzō." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . 15 Aug. 2018 <>.

"Uchimura Kanzō." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . (August 15, 2018).

"Uchimura Kanzō." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 15, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles 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, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use 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

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most 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.