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318 Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, 222 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455

An Inventory of Records

Historical Sketch | Contents Summary/Organization | Administrative/Access Info | Contents Details | Related Materials | Indexed Terms/Access Points


Creator: YMCA of the USA. International Division.
Title: Records of YMCA international work in Japan
Date: 1885-1991 (bulk 1885-1930)
Collection Number: Y.USA.9-2-3
Abstract: Records of YMCA work in Japan consisting primarily of correspondence among YMCA secretaries working in Japan, as well as correspondence and reports to YMCA leaders in the United States on matters relating to programs, war time activities, finances, membership recruitment, and religious instruction.
Quantity: 26.4 cubic feet (52 boxes)
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


YMCAs, primarily for foreigners, existed in Japan before the direct involvement from the North American associations began in 1889. The North American YMCA efforts in Japan began with the work of John.T. Swift. Swift went to Japan in 1888 to teach English at the government schools. He formed Bible study groups which evolved into nascent college YMCAs in the Imperial University, the Higher Middle College and the High Commercial College. With the assistance of the Minneapolis YMCA in 1889, the International Committee was able to secure funding for Swift's position and a permanent YMCA presence was officially created in Japan.

The early work of the Japanese YMCA consisted of holding evangelistic meetings, publishing a magazine, forming a lending library and holding meetings on philosophical and religious subjects. In 1890 Seijiro Niwa became the first General Secretary of the Tokyo City Association. Under the leadership of Swift and Niwa the association work in Japan quickly spread. The Japanese YMCA embraced the traditions of its North American counterparts by providing service to the armed forces and assisting in local disasters. During the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905, and in Siberia at the close of World War I the Japanese YMCA provided service. In 1923 an earthquake damaged the association buildings in Tokyo and Yokohama, but the Japanese YMCAs were still able to provide assistance to the general public.

The economic depression that hit America in the 1930s put severe constraints on the number of American secretaries the International Committee was willing to send to Japan. The number in Japan was reduced down to seven and the necessity of having American secretaries was called into question. The Japanese continued involvement in Chinese Manchuria put further strains on the relationship of the Japanese and American YMCAs. World War II ended the activity of the North American YMCAs in Japan but the Japanese YMCAs were able to continue their work, though on a limited basis. Due to the drafting of youth, the Student Associations were suspended. Also as a result of governmental pressure, the Japanese Associations were pressed to formally end their relations with the World Alliance of YMCAs. Following the cessation of hostilities in Japan, Russell Luther Durgin (the last American Secretary to leave Japan in 1942) was asked by the State Department to assist as an advisor to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP). There was a great deal of work to do as six of the twelve major city YMCA buildings were completely destroyed and several more were badly damaged by the Allied forces. The return of peace to Japan allowed the YMCA to flourish again and many former associations were again reopened. Support to rebuild came from around the world. By 1949 there were YMCAs in 31 different cities. The Japanese YMCA movement continues to this day to be a vibrant organization.

The following is a list of individuals who served as YMCA secretaries in Japan, along with their dates of service, if known:

Alexander, Ronni (1977-1981) Jorgenson, Arthur Peter (1911-1924, 1926-1943)
Andrews, John Bartlett (1912-1914) Kessler, Clifford F. (1975-1977)
Bower, Peter Maxwell (1961-) Kolak, Stephen (1977-1981)
Bradley, Adrian C. (1921-1924) Kunkel, John C. (1978-1980)
Brown, Franklin Hartwell (1913-1930) Leeper, Harry Dean (1948-1954)
Buckley, Earle Reid (1952-1964) Long, Winthrop Austin (1950-1959)
Call, Dwight William (1968-1969) Luce, Ronald B. (1966-1967)
Converse, Guy Chester (1915-1931) McGlaufin, Deborah A. (1975-1977)
Craford, Mary (1984-1986) McLennan, Donald M (1917-1920)
Daughrety, Gregory Dean (1969-1970) Miller, Ransford S.,Jr. (1891-1895)
Dawson Sumiyasu, Jill (1983-1985) Mills, Stewart Jon (1973-1975)
Dean, Michelle (1977-1979) Moran, Sherwood Ford (1911-1912)
Davis, John Merle (1905-1925) Patterson, George Sutton (1921-1932)
DiPasquale, Philip (1979-1981) Peterson, Louse Miller (1976-1978)
Doak, Leslie A. (1968) Phelps, George Sidney (1902-1935)
Downing, Thomas M. (1978-1980) Reiff, Lyle (1980-1982)
Drury, Clifton M. (1964-1967) Ryan, Winfield Scott (1917-1930)
Durgin, Russell Luther (1919-1951) Sneyd, Herbert Stanley (1913-1932)
Fisher, Galen (1898-1924) Stanley, Rupert Harrison (1920-1923)
Gleason, George (1901-1922) Stier, Wilhelm Rudolf F. (1917-1925)
Grafton, Homer Harold (1916-1922) Swan, George Dempster (1913-1929)
Haag, Howard, Lee (1950-1954) Swift, John Trumbull (1889-1898)
Hague, Donald (1972-1973) Thatcher, Bruce F. (1971-1973)
Harlan, Betsy Ann (1977-1979) Trueman, George Ernest (1909-1931)
Harris, S. A. (1910-1911) Valde, Gregory Alan (1978)
Hayes, Cameron Douglas (1914-1918) Wedel, Alfred Delmar (1955-1968)
Helm, N. Wilbur (1903-1904) Wetzel, Susan (1980-1981)
Helm, Verling Winchel (1899-1907) Wilbur, Hollis Adelbert (1909-1913)
Hermann, Valentine (1903-1909) Wilhelmson, Carl (1924-1925)
Hibbard, Carlisie V. (1902-1917) Wilson, Lucian C. (1917-1919)
Hoyle, Lynn (1979-1981) Yorman, Kathy (1986-1988)
Hynes, Margaret (1983-1985) Young, Etienne (1986-1988)
Jackson, Frederic Ivor (1924-1930)

Historical information taken from A World of Crisis and Progress, by Jon Thares Davidann, World Service: A History of Foreign work and World Service of the Young Men's Christian Associations of the United States and Canada, by Kenneth LaTourette, and from the collection.


The records of the YMCA work in Japan consist of extensive correspondence and reports of the foreign secretaries. Reports, correspondence, and publications of the National Council are also included. Correspondence describing Japanese influences in Korea and China are included as well as local YMCA association records, including reports, correspondence, building records and plans, and pamphlets. Other records documenting the YMCA work include financial records, student records, records of specific programs, histories, pamphlets, periodicals and photos.


These documents are organized into the following sections:
Correspondence and Reports
Financial and Property Records
Print Material
Student Work


Use of Materials:
This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright, ownership, and to obtain all the necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.
Preferred Citation:
[Indicate the cited item and/or series here]. Records of YMCA International Work in Japan. Kautz Family YMCA Archives. University of Minnesota.
See the Chicago Manual of Style for additional examples.
Processing Information:
Processed by: Ryan Bean, November, 2007.
Catalog Record ID number: 5930213


The following section contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection. To request materials, please note the corresponding box number.

Correspondence and Reports:

Box 1 Correspondence and reports, oversized material, 1891-1974. 2 folders.
Box 2 R.S. Miller correspondence "Letterpress Book", 1894-1902. 13 folders.
Box 3 Annual and quarterly reports, 1906-1912. 9 folders.
Box 4 Annual and quarterly reports, 1913-1915. 8 folders.
Box 5 Annual and quarterly reports, 1916-1918. 8 folders.
Box 6 Annual and quarterly reports, 1919-1922, 1924-1925, 1927, 1934. 11 folders.
Box 7 Correspondence and reports, undated, 1885- June, 1888. 10 folders.
Box 8 Correspondence and reports, July 1888-December 1889. 10 folders.
Box 9 Correspondence and reports, January 1890- June 16, 1891. 10 folders.
Box 10 Correspondence and reports, June 17, 1891-December 1894. 10 folders.
Box 11 Correspondence and reports, January 1895-October 12, 1895. 10 folders.
Box 12 Correspondence and reports, October 16, 1898-December 1902.
Box 13 Correspondence and reports, undated, March 1903-December 1905. 12 folders.
Box 14 Correspondence and reports, 1906-1911. 12 folders.
Box 15 Correspondence and reports, 1912-1918. 10 folders.
Box 16 Correspondence and reports, 1919-1922. 12 folders.
Box 17 Correspondence and reports, 1923-1924. 11 folders.
Box 18 Correspondence and reports, 1925-1930. 11 folders.
Box 19 Correspondence and reports, 1931-1937. 10 folders.
Box 20 Correspondence and reports, 1938-1948. 12 folders.
Box 21 Correspondence and reports, 1948-1950. 10 folders.
Box 22 Correspondence and reports, 1951- September 1953. 9 folders.
Box 23 Correspondence and reports, October 1953-1956. 10 folders.
Box 24 Correspondence and reports, 1957-1960. 9 folders.
Box 25 Correspondence and reports, 1961-1966. 9 folders.
Box 26 Correspondence and reports, 1967-1970. 9 folders.
Box 27 Correspondence and reports, 1972-1978. 11 folders.
Box 28 Correspondence and reports, 1979. 2 folders.
Administrative reports, 1952-1965.
Box 51 Correspondence and reports, 1979-1987. 10 folders.


The building records contain primarily property and financial information. However for the records of individual cities there is general correspondence. The bulk of the information is presented in the form of letters, telegrams or reports.
Box 29 General, undated, 1903, 1907-1911, 1913, 1920-1939, 1954. 11 folders.
Box 52 Requests for World Youth Fund grants, 1946-1947. 2 folders.
Describes conditions of YMCA movements and their needs (primarily for buildings or building repairs and equipment) in various Japanese cities following World War II.
General, 1951-1952.
Himeij, 1960.
Hiroshima, 1947-1952, 1960.
Kanazawa, 1947, 1957.
Kobe, 1903-1935, 1950-1958. 3 folders.
Kumamoto, 1927-1932, 1951, 1957.
Box 30 Kyushu University, Otake Memorial Room, 1955-1961.
Kyushu University, 1955-1962. 2 folders
Kyoto, 1901-1934, 1947-1962. 3 folders.
Contains correspondence and reports from 1947-1962.
Tokyo, The Leeper Memorial International Student Center, 1957.
Nagasaki, 1902-1930, 1949-1959. 2 folders.
Box 31 Nagoya, 1916-1927, 1949-1964. 6 folders.
Nagoya, blueprints, photos, map, 1929.
Osaka, undated, 1909-1922. 2 folders.
Box 32 Osaka, 1923-1938, 1947, 1956-1960. 7 folders.
Tozanzo, Saito Memorial International Youth Center, 1962-1965. 3 folders.
Includes print materials and architectural plans.
Box 33 Sapporo, 1916, 1926, 1929, 1951, 1954-1957. 2 folders.
Sendai, undated, 1916-1941, 1949-1954. 2 folders.
Student Hostel, 1951-1953. 2 folders.
Tozanzo, 1964-1970.
Yamanshi, 1957.
Yokohama, 1907-1928, 1948-1957. 3 folders.
Yokohama, Seamen's Mission, 1923-1955.
Box 34 Tokyo, undated, 1892-1931, 1943-1969. 11 folders.
Box 35 Tokyo, residences, 1909-1960, 1965-1968. 10 folders.
Tokyo, Korean Association, 1926-1928.
Contains building plans.
Box 36 Tokyo, Korean Association, 1912-1935, 1948-1966. 3 folders.
Box 35 Tokyo, Kawasaki Industrial Branch, 1957-1963.
Box 36 Tokyo, Student Hostel, 1947-1951.
Tokyo, Chinese Association, undated, 1895-1941. 4 folders.
Tokyo, Chinese Student Association miscellaneous, undated.
Tokyo, Waseda University, 1950-1963. 2 folders.

Financial and Property Records:

Box 37 Financial records, personal budgets, 1931-1945.
Financial records, 1968-1974. 8 folders.
Box 38 Property, 1962-1975.

Print Material:

Box 39 Russo-Japanese War, miscellaneous print, undated.
Russo-Japanese War, American Bible Society, undated.
Notes on Japan prepared for J.R. Mott's tour to Japan. 1922.
Association Army work, 1904-1905.
Railroad work, miscellaneous print, 1908, 1914-1917.
Railroad work, August, 1919.
Work by M. Masutomi printed in Japanese.
Physical Education Department, correspondence and recollections, 1930, 1952, 1953,
Physical Fitness Development Project, progress report, undated.
YMCA Physical Education Consultation, October 1972.
World Service, illegitimate children, 1952.
This material contains an article, "Kyocho Jiho" from the National Christian Council Bulletin, November 15, 1952, and a series of correspondence responding to the article.
World Service, post war reports on city YMCA's, February 1950.
Y's Men pamphlets, 1951-1960.
Non-YMCA reports. undated, 1941, 1950, 1960.
Box 40 National Committee, National Union Constitution, 1920.
National Committee, "The Red Triangle in Japan", undated, 1921.
National Committee, report, 1924, 1926-1928.
Reports are written in Japanese.
National Committee, The YMCA in Japan, June 1954-August 1954.
A series of reports written by Eugene E. Barnett detailing YMCA work in Japan.
National Committee, miscellaneous reports, 1931-1952, 1972.
National Committee, World Alliance Conference, 1965.
National Committee, miscellaneous print, undated and 1918-1968, 1978. 3 folders.
Some of the material is written in Japanese.
Box 41 Kobe, miscellaneous print, undated, 1911, 1912, 1916, 1925, 1958, 1959, 1964.
Kobe, "YMCA", January, 1913.
Newsletter printed in Japanese.
Kyoto, Annual Report, short history, 1954, 1961, 1988, 1989.
Kyoto, miscellaneous print, undated, 1911, 1953.
Some material is written in Japanese.
Nagoya, miscellaneous print, undated, 1921, 1962.
Nagoya, YMCA photo album, 1941.
Nagoya, YMCA High School Student Exchange Program, 1972.
Student exchange program was between Nagoya and Los Angeles, California.
Nagoya, Typhoon Vera rescue and relief, 1959-1960.
Osaka, miscellaneous print, 1957.
Tokyo, YMCA camps, 1923-1962.
Tokyo, Annual Reports, 1975-1977.
Yokosuka, Yokosuka Army and Navy Club Mission, 1902.
National Committee, miscellaneous reports and correspondence, 1927-1960.
National Committee, 50th Anniversary, 1953.
National Committee, 50th Anniversary, Korea, 1964.
Tokyo, Constitutions and By-Laws, undated, 1888, 1904,
National Committee, reports, 1922, 1924-1926, 1950-1951.
Box 43 General / miscellaneous print, 1888-1909, 1911-1947, 1950-1978. 7 folders.
Yokohama, Annual Reports, 1957, 1959.
Yokohama, miscellaneous print, 1875-1952.
Box 44 "Publications of the Young Men's Christian Association of Japan", 1906.
Tokyo and Yokohama Disaster, 1924
Maps, 1925.
Japanese Men, 1917.
Development, miscellaneous print, 1921-1954.
Tokyo-New York partnership, 1989.
Education, miscellaneous print, 1889-1924.
Report of the Hi-Y Movement in Japan, undated.
Written by Tetsuo Sakai.
Kobe, "Work-Book for Kinki Area Hi-Y Convention", 1952.
Workbook printed in Japanese.
National Convention Hi-Y workbook, August, 1953.
Workbook printed in Japanese.
First and Fifth Pacific Area YMCA Older Boys Camp-Conferences, 1929, 1937.
Brochures and workbooks for camps in Unzen (1929) and Lake Yamanaka (1937)
Hiroshima Today, 1953.
"The Report of 2nd Hokkaido Youth Overseas Training Project Members", 1970.
Hiroshima, miscellaneous print, 1953-1980.
Box 45 Tokyo, "First Annual Report of the Tokio Christian Association", February, 1879.
Tokyo, Quarterly Report, September, 1891.
Printed in Japanese.
National Christian Council of Japan, handbook, 1926-1927.
Tokyo, Annual Reports, 1914-1976.
Box 50 Tokyo, Annual Reports, 1993, 2005.
Printed in Japanese.
Box 45 Tokyo, History, Anniversary Sketch, Members Directory, 1914, 1916, 1918.
Some of the material is printed in Japanese.
Tokyo print material, 1904-1906, 1930.
Contains Association Hymnal, 1904, 1906 printed in both English and Japanese; The Life and Works of Jesus According to St. Mark, 1905 printed in Japanese; The Prince of Peace, 1905; Shukyo Ron, printed in Japanese, Prospectus of the Kingdom of God Campaign, 1930-1932.
Tokyo, Christmas Book Talk series, 1933-1936.
Tokyo, YMCA English Bible Series II, The Parables of Jesus, 1953.
English with Japanese translation.
Telling Tales on Tokyo, undated.
Tokyo, miscellaneous print, 1891-1928, 1971.
New Buildings, Some Glimpses of the Work of the Tokyo YMCA, 1928, 1931.
New Buildings, is printed in Japanese.
Waseda University, general information and course listing, 1957-1958.
The Nation's Friend, undated.
Printed in Japanese.
Tokyo, news clippings, 1889-1924.
Some printed in Japanese.
Chinese - Korean YMCA, 1911.
Promotional flier printed in English and Chinese.
Box 46 Osaka, Annual Reports, 1892, 1910.
Osaka, Lessons in Conversational English, 1910-1911. 2 folders.
Osaka miscellaneous Japanese language print, undated, 1904-1913, 1920-1921, 1925-1972. 7 folders.
Box 47 What a Young Man Ought to Know, undated.
Printed in Japanese.
Health, Strength and Power, undated.
Printed in Japanese.
Miscellaneous Japanese language print, 1918-1989. 2 folders.
Box 48 Half a Century with Young Men, 1953.
Commemoration print written in English and Japanese.
Box 49 Licenced Agencies for Relief in Asia, 50th Anniversary, 1996. 5 folders.
Box 50 "Crossroads", 1993.
Himeji YMCA history, 1989.
Printed in Japanese.
"The Japan Y Focus", 1991.
"YMCA Scuba Program Leadership Manual", 1989.
Printed in Japanese.
"The YMCAs of Japan: Brief History and Development", 1984

Student Work:

Box 42 Constitutions, 1886, 1887, 1888.
Student Summer School, 1889.
Report of Students Summer School, Kyoto, Japan printed in Japanese.
"Report of the Conference of World Student Christian Federation", 1907.
Printed in Japanese.
The Directory of Japanese Students in North America, 1925-1927.
Chinese students, 1906.
Student Summer School, 1889-1890.
Reports concerning the Second Student Summer School, written in both English and Japanese.
Student Summer School, 1890.
Copies of Lectures from the Second Student Summer School printed in Japanese.
[Originals, too fragile for regular use, in box 52.]
Miscellaneous records, 1989-1974.
The Japanese Students Christian Association in North America, pamphlets, 1926-1927. 2 folders.
Contains the following pamphlets by Akagi, Roy Hidemichi Ph.D.: "The Educational System in Japan", "Educational Guide for Japanese Students in the United States", "The Second Generation Problem: Some Suggestions Toward Its Solution", "Japanese Civilization: A Syllabus".

YUSA / YMCA Japan relations:

Box 51 Asian Rural Institute, 1985.
Asian subcommittee, 1986.
US - Japan bilateral consultation, 1985-1986. 3 folders.
US - Japan bilaterial steering committee minutes, 1986-1987. 4 folders.


Biographical information on most of the secretaries involved in Japanese work (see list of individuals in the historical note) is available in the YMCA Biographical Files, separately cataloged in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives.


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Religion and culture.
Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905.
World War, 1914-1918 -- War work -- Young Men’s Christian associations.
Earthquakes -- Japan -- Yokohama-shi.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Administration.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Buildings.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Japan.
Manchuria (China).
Barnett, Eugene E.
Davis, John Merle.
Durgin, Russell Luther.
Fisher, Galen.
Gleason, George.
Helm, Verling Winchel.
Hibbard, Carlisle V.
Miller, Ransford S.
Mott, John Raleigh, 1865-1955.
Phelps, George Sidney.
Swift, John Trumbull.
YMCA of the USA. International Division.
National Board of the Young Men’s Christian Associations. International Division.
Young Men’s Christian Associations of North America. International Committee.