Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Religion General

Japan's Modern Prophet

Uchimura Kanzô, 1861-1930

by (author) John F. Howes

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2006
General, Shintoism, Japan
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2006
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2005
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2010
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Uchimura Kanzô was one of Japan’s foremost thinkers. His ideas influenced contemporary novelists, statesmen, reformers, and religious leaders. The originator and proponent of a particularly "Japanese" form of Christianity known as mukyôkai, Uchimura struggled with the tensions between his love for the homeland and his love for God. Articulate, prolific, passionate, and profound, he earned a reputation as the most consistent critic of his society and knowledgeable Japanese interpreter of Christianity and its Bible. Through this exceptional man’s life, John Howes charts what it meant to live during the introduction of Christianity to Japan.

About the author


  • Winner, Outstanding Academic Title, Choice Magazine
  • Winner, Canada-Japan Literary Award, Canada Council for the Arts

Contributor Notes

John F. Howes, Professor Emeritus of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Government of Japan in 2004.

Editorial Reviews

In researching this masterful work, Howes delved deeply into Uchimura’s writings, diaries and letters in order to portray his subject as a passionate yet conflicted man influenced as much by internal pressures as he was by external forces ... With this book, Howes has made an important and detailed contribution to our understanding of Japanese Christians in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Pacific Affairs, vol. 78, no. 4, winter 2005/2006

This huge, ambitious study is the final product of 50 years of research and reflection, and should become an indispensable first reference for anyone seeking detailed information in English about Uchimura. A welcome addition to the fast-growing body of valuable new writing on Japan.


This long-awaited critical biography of Uchimura, by John Howes, professor emeritus of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, represents over fifty years of dedicated study ... The book is skillfully structure, enabling Howes to link his sensitive analysis of Uchimura’s intellectual development to the major events in his life and the world around him.

International Bulletin of Missionary Research, vol. 30, no. 3, July 2006

Other titles by John F. Howes