Christianity and gender relationships in Japan

Helen Ballhatchet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


It is accepted that Victorian attitudes to love, chastity, marriage, and the family, all rooted in Christianity, played an important part in changing norms of behavior related to gender relationships in Meiji Japan. But writers on Christianity in Meiji Japan have paid little attention to women and the influence of Christian ideals on the actual behavior of Meiji Christians. This paper examines gender interaction in early Meiji Protestant circles and the evidence available for the marriage relationships of five Protestant leaders: Ibuka Kajinosuke, Uemura Masahisa, Ebina Danjō, Kozaki Hiromichi, whose marriages seem to have been successful, and Uchimura Kanzō, whose first marriage was not. Particular attention is paid to four issues: the extent to which the individuals studied had participated in gender interaction in Christian circles before becoming deeply involved, how partners were chosen, how the partnerships developed and, finally, the tensions that arose and what was done about them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-201
Number of pages25
JournalJapanese Journal of Religious Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec 1


  • Converts
  • Gender relationships
  • Marriage
  • Meiji Japan
  • Protestant
  • Uchimura Kanzō

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies


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