Download e-book for iPad: A heart at leisure from itself: Caroline Macdonald of Japan by Margaret Prang

By Margaret Prang

ISBN-10: 0774805226

ISBN-13: 9780774805223

A really amazing individual, Caroline Macdonald (1874-1931) was once a Canadian girl who spent virtually her whole operating existence in Japan and who performed an important function there in either the institution of the YWCA and in felony reform. a local of Wingham, Ontario, she was once one of many first girls to wait the collage of Toronto, the place in 1901 she graduated with honours in arithmetic and physics. yet instead of keep on with a tutorial profession, she opted in 1904, via her connections with the Presbyterian Church and the YWCA in Canada and the us, to maneuver to Tokyo to paintings as a lay missionary and social employee. in the course of the Nineteen Twenties, she was once the best-known international girl in Tokyo. In ’A middle at rest from Itself’ Margaret Prang follows Caroline Macdonald’s existence and occupation, targeting her paintings in Japan on behalf of incarcerated criminals. operating often with male prisoners and their households, Macdonald grew to become a world interpreter of the circulation for legal reform paintings for which she remains to be warmly remembered in Japan. She looked herself as a missionary yet used to be additionally hugely serious of a lot missionary endeavour, her personal paintings being extra within the sensible than non secular realm. Her dying in 1931 elicited tributes from world wide, rather from Japan. probably the main becoming got here from Arima Shirosuke, the legal governor with whom Macdonald labored such a lot heavily. Reflecting on her lifestyles, Arima saw that he inspiration it was once her absolute conviction that each man or woman was once a baby of God and her ’effortless’ perform of that religion that positioned Macdonald ’beyond each prejudice’ of faith, race, or type. She was once, he acknowledged, ’a center at relaxation from itself.’ This publication throws mild on Japanese-Canadian family within the first few many years of this century. Macdonald’s occupation unearths the cross-cultural impact of the YWCA in Japan, the function of the Protestant church buildings there, and the evolution of criminal reform in Japan and the folk fascinated with it.

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Extra resources for A heart at leisure from itself: Caroline Macdonald of Japan

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There followed another period of hostility to Christianity, and for a time there was a marked decline in baptisms and attendance at Christian schools. 26 Just after the turn of the century, when the total population of Japan was about 44 million, there were some 45,000 baptized Protestant adults and 50,000 children in Sunday schools. Foreign missionaries numbered more than 800, most of them Americans. They had organized more than 500 churches in eighty-five cities and towns throughout Japan. If wives of missionaries, many of whom were unpaid workers, were added to the large contingent of single women, then women constituted a majority of the missionaries in Japan.

With the destruction of traditional institutions they had lost status and the objects of obedience. It became increasingly difficult to see the relevance ofbushido (the Way of the Warrior), the code of conduct that traditionally governed samurai behaviour. 10 The missionaries and their message filled the deeply felt needs of many samurai and their sons who attended mission schools. In their eyes, their missionary teachers combined the virtues of the Confucian scholar and the samurai warrior. Further, the missionaries' social concerns and their interest in Japan's future as a nation were attractive to the patriotic samurai, as was their devotion to the ideal of a self-supporting, independent national church.

The house in Kojimachi, about a ten-minute walk from the Imperial Palace, had been built for an American YMCA secretary currently in Manchuria working among Japanese soldiers, and whose wife had gone home to the United States for the duration of the war against Russia. Caroline found the sparsely furnished 'semi-Japanese' house attractive and comfortable and the service provided by a cook and his wife more than adequate. For the first ten days she took life easily, learning the things any 36 A Heart at Leisure from Itself newcomer to Japan needed to know: a few common phrases in Japanese, how to mail letters home, how to hail a jinrikisha (also known as a kuruma), how to find her way through narrow streets that appeared disconcertingly the same and where sidewalks were still largely unknown, to take off her shoes before entering the house, to sit on the floor for three hours at a dinner party without complaint, to eat raw fish and to handle chopsticks, and to listen appreciatively to an after-dinner performance on the koto, where the artist was more likely to be a grandmother than the aspiring teenage piano student familiar at home.

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A heart at leisure from itself: Caroline Macdonald of Japan by Margaret Prang


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