For learning. For inspiration. Or just for fun.
Russian Empire (1721-1917)
The Bearded Foreigner (1) : A Japanese swordsman confronts a Russian monk for... actually, he’s not really quite sure.
The Bearded Foreigner
Part one

Acknowledgements to St Herman of Alaska Brotherhood (via Pravoslavie) and Fr Andreas Blom (Opuscula Theologica).

In 1859, Hakodate in Japan became one of the first Japanese cities to establish trade relations with foreign nations, with the opening of a Russian Consulate. Fear of Westernisation was high, and Russian missionary Fr Nicholas Kasatkin went there determined to ensure that Christianity would be as authentically Japanase as possible, but for one proud warrior that was not sufficient.

IN 1860, the Russian consul in Japan wrote home to St Petersburg asking for a missionary to come to Hakodate. The man they sent was a newly ordained priest-monk, Nicholas Kasatkin.

Nicholas spent fourteen hours a day mastering Japanese language and culture by listening to storytellers and Buddhist preachers on the streets of Hakodate, and even sat at the back of a school classroom until the exasperated teacher hung up a notice that read: ‘The bearded foreigner is not allowed.’

Living in Hakodate at the same time was Yamamoto Kazuma, a student of Kendo and a skilled swordsman. A case of mistaken identity had forced him to go on the run under the name of Takuma Sawabe, and he had joined a desperate band of radicals dedicated to cleansing Japanese society of foreign people and ideas.

One night in 1865, Takuma worked himself up to a fever of outraged nationalism, and then presented himself, sword in hand, at the home of Nicholas Kasatkin, the bearded foreigner.

Acknowledgements to St Herman of Alaska Brotherhood (via Pravoslavie) and Fr Andreas Blom (Opuscula Theologica).

More like this

Lives of the Saints (96) History (406) Russian History (17) Japanese History (1) Bible and Saints (111)

Picture: Via Wikimedia Commons. Licence: Public domain. View original
St Nicholas (Nikolai) Kasatkin, the Russian monk who brought Christianity to Japan in the late nineteenth century. Although the Russian Orthodox Church was the first to evangelise the islands, the Protestants and Roman Catholics quickly overtook it, as the Church was outspent by the West and Russia itself was undermined by the atheistic Communist revolution of 1917.

Amazon Books

Featured Music

Letters Game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: Letters Game Games with Words

Numbers Game

Make the total shown using two or more of the numbers underneath it. You can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Use any number once only.

More like this: Target Number (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic

Selected Stories
Elfric of Eynsham
Elfric, Abbot of Eynsham in the reign of Æthelred the Unready, reflects on two appearances of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
The King of Syria goes on a mole-hunt, but Elisha does not seem to mind being his prime suspect.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
Cuthbert trusted that keeping his promised fast would not do him any harm.
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge
In Coleridge’s epic poem, the Ancient Mariner, amid the horrors of a ship of dead men, sees a sight both beautiful and surreal.
A celebration of St Michael, captain of heaven’s angel host, courteous warrior, and healer.
Socrates was placed on death row while Athens celebrated a religious festival.