Nicolai

ivan kasatkin) (c.1835-1912. Russian Orthodox missionary bishop to Japan. He offered as chaplain to the Russian Consulate at Hakodate, Hokkaido, became a monk, and took the name Nicolai. Arriving in Japan in 1861, he acquired a deep knowledge of the Chinese and Japanese languages. Christianity being a prohibited religion, he proceeded cautiously. Not until 1868 did he baptize his first three converts-a Samurai named Sawabe, a physician Sakai, and one Urano. Returning to Russia in 1869, he was responsible for the constitution of the Orthodox Mission. The penal laws against Christianity were abrogated (1873), so he moved to Tokyo where he built a cathedral. He was consecrated bishop (1880) and archbishop (1906). He encouraged the indigenous aspect of the church, selecting promising young men as catechists to evangelize their own people. The Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) severely tried the work, but at his death there were over 30,000 converts.