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CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY ARCHIVE
Section I: East Asia Missions

Part 21: Periodicals for South, Central and West China, 1899-1970,
and Japan, 1905-1941, including Papers of Fukien Conferences, 1906-1937

 

Section I Part 21 is devoted to periodicals for China and Japan together with Papers of CMS Fukien conferences, 1906-1937.

The periodicals we include for China come from the Home Papers of the CMS archive now held in Special Collections, University of Birmingham Library. Most of the periodicals cover a major part of the twentieth century and are therefore invaluable for researchers studying the development of CMS work in China in the early part of the century, the effects of two World Wars and their aftermath. The periodicals included are:

  • Fukien Diocesan Magazine retitled Fukien News, 1917-1949
  • Light and Life Magazine of the Dublin University Missions, 1935-1970
  • From Month to Month (newsletter of the Hong Kong Church Missionary Association), 1899-1906
  • Fukien Christian University News, 1930 and 1932
  • Fukien Star, 1924 and 1925
  • Prayer Cycle and Newsletter for the CMS Chekiang Mission retitled The Chekiang Newsletter, 1928-1950
  • The Kwangsi Hunan Newsletter and successors, 1904-1952
  • Chengtu News Letter, 1936-1946
  • The Bulletin of the Diocese of Western China and successors, 1904-1958

The periodicals included for Japan also come from the CMS Home papers, held at Birmingham University Library. The periodicals listed below are included:

  • The Church’s Call to Action, 1919-1922
  • Tokyo News Letter, 1910-1928
  • CMS Japan Quarterly, 1905-1941

These periodicals for China and Japan contain interesting articles related to the work of the missions. They include accounts of itinerations by missionaries, reports on hospitals, schools and colleges, work among women, details on local festivals and religions, descriptions of fighting and damage incurred during periods of war and details on post war reconstruction. Information is provided on the arrival, departure, retirement and death of missionaries and bishops. Also included are photographs, maps, statistics related to hospitals, schools and evangelisation and lists of contributions to the mission funds.

The following notes and extracts provide more details:

Fukien Diocesan Magazine retitled Fukien News, 1917-1949

Contents for January 1923 include:

• An editorial

• The Bishop’s Letter by John Hind

• News of Trinity College by L C Conlin

• An article on the arrival of the Southern Army in Foochow City by H T McCurry

• News re converts in the mission station, Lienkong by M A Onyon

• Notes on itineration in Iongtau, Hiongliang and Saloh by K M Griggs

• An account of the arrival of the Southern Army in Kutien City by
Miss A A Bridges, CEZMS

• A description of the flood at Fuan on September 29th  1922

• News from Ningteh by J C Clarke

• A description of a visit to a leper settlement by Florence E Oatway

• A report on the medical work in Kienning and on Kienning Kindergarten School

• Notes on the “City of Peace”, Chungan by A S Weekes

• Notes regarding Hinghwa and Sienyu

• Items of general news on missionaries in Fukien

Contents for May 1940 include:

• Editor’s Notes

• A note by the Bishop

• Notes on the arrival of new missionaries

• Articles on bishops of China

• Episcopal visits to Lienkong by C Bryant

• Reminiscences from Loyuan by K S Loader

• Notes on the Red Cross

• A report on Kienow

Light and Life - Magazine of the Dublin University Missions, 1935-1970 was published twice a year. It gives general news and reports on the work carried out by the Dublin University Far Eastern Mission working in Hong Kong, Malaya and India and the Dublin University Mission to Chota Nagpur in India.

Contents for Michaelmas 1954 include:

• News on the missionaries – movements, resignations, retirement, sickness

• Extracts from “Prayers for China 1954” and “The Church in China Today” by Margaret Kiesow- updates on Christianity in China

• News on China from the World Council of Churches

• News of the Chota Nagpur Mission by R S Peters

• A description of the hospital in the Chota Nagpur Mission

• News on the Hassardganj Christian Compound by Elizabeth Ferrar

• “Here and There and Roundabout” – news on the missionaries of
the Chota Nagpur Mission

The following extract is from “Extracts from ‘Prayers for China’, 1954

“Life in China continues to be lived in an atmosphere which is a strange combination of enthusiasm and fear. The churches maintain their witness under considerable difficulties, but with less of what might be regarded as active persecution than was felt a year or so ago.

 

Freedom of religion is guaranteed in the Constitution, but this should not be understood as meaning more than permission to attend regular religious services and meetings, provided no other duty imposed by the regime conflicts  with such attendance. Freedom of religion definitely does not mean that one’s whole attitude to life may be governed by Christian principles, if these in any way conflict with the teaching of Marx-Leninism as interpreted by the present leaders….”

 

The Kwangsi Hunan Newsletter and successors, 1904-1952

for example:

The Newsletter CMS Central China Mission and Tokyo Student Mission, May 1908 (its title at that time)

 

Contents for May 1908 include:

• Editorial Notes, including news on the Anti-Opium Campaign and missionary news

• Notes on the number of Chinese students in Tokyo

• A note on the picture reproduced on the front cover of the magazine

• A description of the way of life of women in Kweilin

• A supplement containing news on the Tokyo Students

The following extract describes the women of Kweilin:

“…. Our station here has now been opened nearly ten years, and in all that time we have only had two female baptisms; one that of a little girl (since dead), and the other that of an old woman who is now acting as Bible woman…. We need helpers also – single ladies with, if possible, private means who would come out to work amongst the women and children…. I always thought Chinese women were very busy, and had to work hard, and had very little time for learning to read, but such is not the case. Let me give you a glimpse into the life of an ordinary respectable Kweilin woman, the daily life of a small tradesman’s wife or daughter.

 

On rising in the morning she has not even to dress herself, for she goes to bed with all her clothes on, and gets up ready dressed for the day…. Her hair is done up once a week, therefore that calls for but little attention. There is no bed making, not even a pillow to shake up, for her bed consists of a plank with a wooden box for a pillow, and just one thick wadded quilt for covering. Once a week she may sweep the middle of her floor of beaten earth, which of course can never be washed, but the corners are absolutely neglected – so this occupies a very short time…”

 

The Kwangsi Hunan Diocesan Newsletter, 1933

Included are:

• News on mission stations and staff

• Letter from the Bishop

• Report on the Synod of 1932

• A description of work in Yutinghsu by M C Cannell

• Details on Kweilin Medical work in 1932

• A description of evangelical work in Hengcho by R N Bland

• An account of a tour in Taochow by Elsie M Holden

• A list of prayers for the week

• Special contributions paid to the fund

• A list of the Secretaries

The Bulletin of the Diocese of Western China, 1904-1958

 

The issue for January 1924 includes:

• Letter from the Bishop

• Diocesan Snapshots – including the description of the looting of Suiting, work in a girls’ school, local superstitions

• Plea for more missionaries

• Evangelical news from the missions stations

• A description of a Chinese wedding

• News on missionaries

• Editorial notes

• Financial Statement for the quarter

The following is an extract from A Chinese Letter, a letter written by the Catechist, Mr Yang stationed at the city of Lin Shui:

“From the 29th of the first month to the present time (August) there have been eight fights here; on the second occasion soldiers entered the city and slew over 1,000 people and stripped the place….

 

Outside the city every place and market was full of brigands, who robbed and dragged off people…. In the fifth month the 37th Division of soldiers passed along and were quartered  (on the people)…. Every man whose face was seen, whether old or young, was impressed (to carry). In the sixth month Yen Teh Chi’s troops entered the city and pillaged….”

CMS Japan Quarterly, 1905-1941

This periodical, published four times a year by the missionaries of the CMS Japan mission, contains fascinating information on the mission stations in Japan.

Early issues contain reports from the mission station, schools and hospitals, together with extra articles on related subjects and statistics of the Nippon Sei Ko Kwai (the Anglican Church of Japan):

Issue July 1915 contains:

  • Notes on Hokkaido by D M Lang
  • A report from Nagasaki including a report on the ordination of a new deacon by A B Hutchinson
  • “Notes from our Boys School” describing the celebration of Christmas Day at the school by C H B Woodd
  • A report on Momoyama Boys School with details on the latest conversions by Sheldom Painter
  • A report on the work in Osaka, describing a visit to a Grammar School in the country by O Julius
  • A description of the National Evangelistic Campaign in Osaka by Loretta L Shaw
  • A report on a accident at the Hojo coal mine in Naogata in the Kokura District by
    A C J Horne
  • “ Seed sowing in Nagasaki” -news on evangelistic work in Nagasaki by Ethel A Perronet Sells
  • An account of a trip to Minamata by F M Freeth
  • A report from Ikebukuro College by Hilda Heaslett
  • News from the Tokushima  district
  • A report on a new conversion by Jessie C Gillespy

The following extract is from an account of F M Freeth’s trip to Minamata:

“…. We decided to spend a night at Misumi, instead of rousing the household at an unearthly hour on Wednesday. We caught the 4.55 pm train from Kumamoto on the 11th, and reached Misumi about 6.45pm , where we put up for the night at an inn convenient both to station and ferry.

 

There were very few people at the inn, and after a good night we were quite ready to continue our journey to Minamata. The boat left at 11am. There was a fairly stiff head-breeze, but we did not think the sea at all rough. We shared the small deck-cabin with three Japanese…. On account of the wind we were an hour late in reaching our destination. It was 3.50pm when we stopped, and all had to get into a sampan to be rowed ashore. The sampan was pretty crowded as there was a good deal of luggage and cargo, as well as about 30 passengers. On landing at the pier, Miss Freeth was welcomed to Minamata by Ogata San, Yokuta San and Akaboshi San.

 

They seemed very pleased to see her again. There were several school-children at the pier to welcome her, and after we had seen our luggage off by “kuruma”, we formed quite a triumphal procession to Miss Freeth’s home. On the way we were met by more children who attached themselves to the escort….

 

When we got to the house about 5 o’clock, we were welcomed by several more ladies, and given Japanese tea and biscuits. The “aisatsu” took some time and the neighbouring children were much entertained by all that went on.

 

…The children seem much better behaved than the Kumamoto ones, and when we went out for a walk the day after our arrival, we were not stared at nor followed about.

 

We hear that vegetables are not sold in the shops. Everyone grows his own, so Miss Freeth will have to depend on what her Japanese friends send her as presents. The fish, is of course, is fresh and there is plenty of it, but there is no meat to be had….”

Later issues, such as the one for September 1926 commence with an Editorial detailing news in the mission and in Japan in general, followed by articles on events and politics in Japan; News from the Stations describing the latest news from the CMS stations; News In Brief giving Japanese news regarding school children, women workers, the Temperance League of Japan, factory Acts, vice regulations; Letters to the Editor, news on missionaries such as resignations; Obituaries; a list of the missionaries with their addresses in the dioceses of Japan.

The following extract is taken from the September 1926 issue and is written by Miss
L L Shaw who describes the changes taking place in Japan:

“BROADCASTING A year ago last autumn, the restriction forbidding civilians to use radio was removed. The invention was quickly taken up by the people, thousands of licenses were issued and three broadcasting companies formed….

 

WOMEN’S ASSOCIATIONS One of the most striking signs of the times is the rapid growth of women’s organizations and their gradual tendency to unite in one association, as in America. The women’s clubs of Tokyo and Osaka are thus becoming powerful levers to influence public opinion, and the more advanced newspapers whole-heartedly support this movement. The women call attention to the fact that though the Manhood Suffrage Bill is a step in the right direction, yet it has given no voice or scope to the thirty million women of Japan, and therefore cannot be called universal suffrage….

 

DRESS REFORM The women’s organisations are also bringing about a much needed reform in regard to their homes and their manner of dress. For the past thirty years men have adopted western dress  and office buildings and equipment as being much more suitable for modern business, and now the women, led mainly by graduates of mission schools who have gone abroad, are beginning to adopt the same western style for themselves and their children.....”

The Papers of CMS Fukien Mission include Minutes of Conferences, 1906-1912; reports of the CMS and CEZMS  Fukien Church Day Schools with statements of accounts, 1912-1934; minutes of the Fukien Anglican Mission conference and of the committees of the Diocesan Board of Foreign Missions, 1923-1937; Minutes of the Fukien Women’s Conference, 1913 and 1917; Annual Reports of the Dublin University Fukien Mission, 1948 and 1950 with General Report, Women’s Auxiliary Report and China’s Children’s Helping Band, 1938, 1946 and 1947. There are also various interesting papers related to Fukien Christian University, 1916-1935.



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