Document 14B: Excerpt from Kajinosuke Ibuka, "Tokyo fujin kyofukai dai-enzetsu kai kiroku, Ibuka Kajinosuke-kun enzetsu: Kirisutokyo to fujin no chii [Tokyo WCTU Great Public Speech Records, Speech by Kajinosuke Ibuka: Christianity and Woman's Status]," Part II, Jogaku zasshi 59 (9 April 1887): 165-67. Translated by Rumi Yasutake.


   This speech excerpt is the second of three parts of a lecture given by Kajinosuke Ibuka at the Tokyo WCTU's first great public meeting held on 5 March 1887. For the other two parts, see Documents 14A and 14C.

Japanese-language original

[p. 165]

   There is another thing I should mention. Monogamy in Christianity does not mean that a man can do anything secretly as long as he keeps one wife publicly. Whether you are out in the sun or under the shade, inside or outside, you should observe monogamy before God. Here is a big difference in the practices of monogamy. Also, it seems that Confucianism enthusiastically preaches a woman to be faithful to her husband, but it does not preach a husband to be faithful to his wife. Christianity, however, teaches a husband that he has an obligation to be faithful to his wife. There is no difference by gender in this obligation. Both of them are obliged to be faithful to each other. In the belief that has been pervasive up until now, a wife always has to be faithful but a husband does not necessarily so. If a wife becomes unfaithful, she will be immediately divorced. Nonetheless, if a husband leads a dissolute life or keeps concubines, a wife has no say, and her uttering opinions was even considered to be immoral. What an unreasonable teaching it is.

[p. 166]

   How inconvenient it is. As long as such a custom is pervasive, a woman will never realize her rightful status and her true happiness. Furthermore, how much evil and unhappiness will be caused by it, I do not know. Christianity is to remove this unreasonable oppression.

   Secondly, the holy marriage. In other words, marriage is a God-given law in Christianity. The teaching of monogamy is important as I have explained. Even if a husband does not have multiple wives or keep concubines, if he can freely divorce his wife and marry any other woman, the teaching of monogamy is no help. Imagine if a man divorces his wife because he doesn't like her, she is childless, or because his parents don't like her (although he likes her). Then, how can you observe the teaching of monogamy. It is shameful to say that there is no other country in the world that has more divorce cases than Japan. In any case, everybody knows that one can so easily get a divorce in Japan, and sensible people are always concerned about it and ashamed of it. Thus, it is an urgent task to correct this evil custom, and we need to rely on the power of Christianity.

   Once a person came over to Christ and asked if he could put away his wife for any reason, and Christ responded to him as follows--Since God created a man and a woman, once they get married, they are united. They are united by God, and the union should not be broken by a man. "Whoever puts away his wife, except on account of fornication, and marries another woman, commits adultery. And whoever marries the divorced one commits adultery."--This is the way of marriage in Christianity. Once a man and a woman get married, it does not allow them to be separated for any reason except on account of fornication. From the beginning, a Christian carefully chooses his wife and does not get married so easily.

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