Miyo Matsukata (1891–1984) was one of the first Japanese Christian Scientists. Dedicated to shepherding a newfound religion in an adopted country, she drew on her faith and unique cross-cultural background, challenging opposition to Western religion and the difficulties of World War II.
In 1917, when the practice of Christian Science was mostly limited to westerners, Matsukata accompanied a friend to a Christian Science lecture, given by Clarence Chadwick in Yokohama.3 4 5 “What hope and joy awakened in me,” she wrote, “when I realized that Christian Science had a divine Principle.”6 As a result she began her own study of Christian Science. At that same time two other Japanese women—Sute Mitsui and Tatsuo Takaki—also learned about Christian Science individually. All three became committed to the faith, despite the fact that it “challenged many rigid customs” and that its practice in this period “required courage as well as tact, patience, wisdom, and love.”7 They turned to Florence E. Boynton, a Christian Scientist schoolteacher from America, to help them and their children in their study.8 According to Matsukata, Boynton “did much to prepare the soil, to sow good seed, and then to care for the growth of that seed.”9
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