[ca. 1920-1931]: [Kyushu, Japan]. Oblong 4to. String-tied commecial album; black boards. Contains 57 gelatin-silver prints (of various sizes, including 8" by 10", 7.5" by 5", and smaller), most of which are adhesive-mounted (with several loose), plus 11 postcards depicting Kyushu Lutheran churches, and one bookmark. One photograph apparently perished; several others loosening from pages. Else apparently complete.Album edges moderately worn; one photo missing a chunk at edge. Most are lightly toned, but overall clean. Very good or better. Very good +. Item #19695
Well-assembled photo album compiled by an American Lutheran missionary to Japan, whose face appears consistently in the majority of the photographs. The island of Kyushu is home to several Lutheran schools and churches, including the Kyushu Gakuin (Kyushu Lutheran College), and the Janice James School, both of which are pictured here (having recently been built in the early 1900's). The Kyushu Lutheran mission was founded in 1893 by American missionaries; within several years they began building churches under the supervision of one Charles Lafayette Brown (1874-1921), and presumably the subjects pictured here with members of that particualr mission. The album features posed group photographs of large congregations — as large as roughly 150 — captioned with date and location in cities including Kurume, Kamamoto, and Saga; additionally included are many images of church services in progress, plus several family portraits of church members. While Christianity began to spread when Japan phased out its isolationist policies in the 1850s, Protestant evangilization in particular slowed under the military government of the Showa period, the early years of which are covered by this album.These anti-Western trends were closely tied to the patriotic fervor that culminated in WWII. An absorbing visual archive of a prospering Protestant community and of American missionary activity in Imperial Japan.