モルモン

とは?

What of the

Mormons?

帰還宣教師から

From Returned Missionaries

 

戻る

THE IWAKURA MISSION IN UTAH:

DOCUMENTARY FILM BY LEE GROBERG UNDERWAY: 

See related article about Lee Groberg

 In 1872, 107 visitors from Japan stepped off a train in Salt Lake City.  Among the group were 50 of Japan’s top government leaders—the very men who had overthrown the Tokugawa shoguns and were now attempting to create a new, modern, Meiji, Japan.  

Unable to leave Utah because of heavy snow, (they spent longer in Utah than anywhere else in America except Washington DC), the group spent their time mingling with the Latter-day Saints, including Brigham Young, Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, and many others.  They attended Sacrament meeting in the Tabernacle and other places, watched the Utah legislature in progress, and observed municipal and constitutional convention elections.  They also took back with them piles of Utah law books and copious notes on Utah tax policy, Utah farm policy, and Utah electoral policy.  They observed Utah schools and colleges, toured the Church museum on Temple Square, learned about freedom of the press at the newspaper office, and watched women and minorities vote in elections.  It is likely that this visit to Utah at the dawn of modern Japan’s new government contributed to the Japan we see today.  

The man who appeared to be most impressed with the Church and its members was Hirobumi ITO.  He got to know Salt Lake Stake President, Angus Cannon (brother of First Presidency member George Q. Cannon) well.  After returning to Japan, he succeeded in having anti-Christian policies removed from the new Government, thus paving the way for freedom of religion in Japan.  He also was assigned by the Emperor to write Japan’s first constitution, and he became Japan’s first prime minister under the new constitution.  

It was with the Iwakura Mission in mind that Pres. Lorenzo Snow made the decision to open Japan for missionary work in 1901.  

The story of this impactful Utah visit has never been fully told.  Now, filmmaker Lee Groberg is telling this story to TV audiences in America and in Japan.  Discussions are underway to have the documentary aired on PBS and NHK.   

Fund-raising for the $1 million project has started.  If you want to participate, make your donations to “Asia Pacific Council” or “APAC” and mail c/o 1310 Madera Hills Drive, Bountiful, Utah 84010.  Donations are tax-deductible because APAC is a 501 (c) 3 organization.  For more information, contact Vaun (son of Paul) Andrus at [email protected].