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Kanzo Uchimura

1861-1930. Founder of the Japanese non-church movement. The first son of a samurai (warrior- knight) family, he entered Sapporo Agricultural College, but within three months was won to Christianity by the zealous evangelism of students of Dr. W.S. Clark.* Under Uchimura's leadership the “Sapporo Band” became the first independent Japanese church in 1881. The years 1884-88 he spent mostly in New England, and on his return to Japan he became a prominent interpreter of Western culture and literature, and a fearless prophet of social righteousness, denouncing evils in society, government, churches, and missions. He is best known as founder and exponent of nondenominational Japanese Christianity, called mukyokai (non-church movement), and for his greatest legacy: a twenty-two-volumed Bible commentary-the fruit of his first love, the study of the Bible.