Monthly Archives: January 2010

Borrowed Gender Distinctions in Malay

There was an interesting discussion a couple of weeks ago on the An-lang (Austronesian languages) listserv about how those languages distinguish gender. Here’s my heavily copyedited rendition of the posting by Waruno Mahdi, whose breadth and depth of knowledge about Malay is hard to match.

The situation in Malay is similar to that described by Paz Naylor for Tagalog/Cebuano/Hiligaynon in the Philippines. The language did not originally have gender-specific terms, other than for ‘man’, ‘woman’, ‘mother’, ‘father’, ‘aunt’, ‘uncle’, ‘elder brother’, perhaps also ‘elder sister’. There are also gender-specific honorific titles in Malay folklore, where hang appears before a man’s name and dang before a woman’s name.

Terms for animals can be made gender-specific by adding the attribute jantan ‘male’ or betina ‘female’ behind the gender-neutral noun. That usage is already widespread in the earliest (16th-century) manuscripts, and does not appear to reflect late external influence.

The corresponding pattern for distinguishing male and female human terms is to add lelaki ‘man’ or perempuan ‘woman’ after the head noun. This usage is likewise attested in early manuscripts, but not as frequently as the usage for animals. The most frequent headword with those attributes was anak ‘child’, and the resulting construction distinguished ‘boy/son’ and ‘girl/daughter’.

Another such headword in earliest sources was raja ‘king’, a loanword from Sanskrit. In the Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals) one can find raja perempuan used to mean ‘female king, reigning queen’ (not simply ‘king’s wife’).

Malay borrowings from Sanskrit go back to the first millennium A.D., but the rise of word pairs marked specifically for gender in Malay did not occur until fairly recently. The term for ‘madam, milady’ in the earliest Malay manuscripts was tuan putri (‘master, sir, milord’ + Sanskrit loanword for ‘daughter’). The male equivalent of putri in Sanskrit is putra ‘son’, but the two words were used differently in Malay. Putra ‘son’ was fully incorporated into the language, giving rise to derived forms such as berputrakan ‘to have as son’, whereas the usage of putri was restricted almost exclusively to the expression tuan putri attached to the proper names of noble women. In a quick search of Ian Proudfoot’s MCP, I only came across a single deviant example in Hikayat Bayan Budiman, in which putri is used in both singular and plural to mean ‘princess’.

The rise of morphologically distinguished gender pairs dates to the 1930s in Indonesian Malay, where saudara ‘sibling’ had come to be used as term of address between indigenous Indonesians (somewhat like the word citoyen during the French Revolution). Political gender-correctness then demanded a term for female compatriots (equivalent to citoyenne), so the Sanskrit pattern of putra ‘son, prince’ vs. putri ‘daughter, princess’ (in their modern meanings) was extended to create saudari as the female counterpart to saudara. This pattern was later extended to create many more gender pairs, such as mahasiswa vs. mahasiswi for male vs. female students.

In response, David Gil notes Malay usage of mister (< English) to mean ‘white person’, whether male, female, singular, or plural. Whereupon Mahdi observes that similar antecedents, sinyor (< Portuguese senhor) and menir (from Dutch mijnheer), applied only to white males. A funny example he cites is a brand of Javanese herbal medicine (jamu) from the early 20th century known as jamu cap Nyonya-Meneer (lit. ‘missus-&-mister brand herbal-medicine’), with a picture of a Dutch couple on the package.

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Korea ’73 Billy Graham Crusade

From Born Again: Evangelicalism in Korea, by Timothy S. Lee (U. Hawai‘i Press, 2010), pp. 94-95:

As 1972 wore on, many Korean church leaders looked forward to the next year with anticipation. For some time, these leaders, led by Han Kyŏngjik had been planning for what they hoped would be a shot in the arm for Korean evangelicalism: a Billy Graham revival. In early 1971 some of these leaders and the staff of the Billy Graham Crusade (BGC) had held a preparatory meeting. At that time they had made important decisions regarding the upcoming crusade; tor example, expenses for the event would be shared by the BGC and the Korean sponsors, with the former assuming all the expenses related to inviting and boarding Graham and other visiting speakers and the latter assuming the remaining expenses, such as renting the necessary equipment and facilities.

The official title of this event was “Korea ’73 Billy Graham Crusade” but it was also called Fifty Million to Christ. Its theme was “Find a New Life in Jesus Christ.” In 1973 the crusade took place in Korea in two phases. In the first phase, between May 16 and 27, a team of BGC revivalists (except Graham) held preparatory revivals in Pusan, Taegu, Incheon, Taejŏn, Kwangju, Ch’ŏngju, Ch’unch’ŏn, and Cheju—Korea’s largest cities after Seoul. In the second phase from May 30 to June 3, Billy Graham himself led evangelistic gatherings at the huge Yŏŭido Plaza.

Given Graham’s prominence and the success of the Thirty Million to Christ campaign, the organizers of this crusade had reason to expect a high turnout. Yet probably few of them expected the kind of turnout the crusade actually generated. In the regional campaigns alone, the crusade drew 1.36 million people, 37,000 of whom made the decision to believe for the first time. But even this regional campaign was superseded by the second phase of the crusade.

The Yŏŭido Plaza at the time was a huge tract of open area (slightly larger than one and a half square miles) in Yŏŭido, a Han River islet near the heart of Seoul. Even in densely populated Seoul, this area was kept off-limits from developers so that it could be turned into an airfield in the event of war. Despite its size, however, from May 30 to June 3, 1973, the plaza became the most densely populated area in Seoul, serving as the site of the most successful Billy Graham Crusade to date.

To make this crusade a success, just about all the Protestant denominations in Korea cooperated. Even Park Chung Hee’s government helped out, giving permission to hold the event in the plaza, temporarily rescheduling the bus routes near it, and sending its army construction corps to build a choir section big enough to accommodate a 6,000-interdenominational chorus.

On the first night, the crusade drew an audience of 510,000. Impressed by the turnout and the preparatory work that had gone into the crusade, Graham predicted that the evening would be the first assembly of the largest evangelistic rally in the history of the church. The turnouts of following nights bore out Graham’s prediction. On each of the first four evenings of this five-evening crusade, the turnout averaged about 526,000, and the last night’s service was attended by 1.1 million people. In addition, during each night of the revival, about 4,000 people stayed up all night to pray. In all, 44,000 of the participants made the decision to believe for the first time.

In this crusade, Graham delivered typical revivalistic messages, emphasizing the sinners’ need to repent, to be born again, and to gain true freedom by accepting God as the sovereign of their lives. By and large, his message found a receptive audience. On the other hand, it did run into some criticism. Most liberals, for example, dismissed Graham’s sermons as being too simplistic and formulaic. They concurred with L. George Paik, not a liberal himself, who opined that Graham delivered what amounted to an “Apostles’-Creed” type of sermon. Some of them also criticized Graham for failing to take a more prophetic stance—that is, for not addressing issues like democracy and freedom in Korea.

In contrast to the liberals, evangelicals found no problem in Graham’s messages. But they did feel dissatisfied that the whole crusade had been conducted under the leadership of foreign revivalists. They felt that Korean evangelicals should have been able to conduct such an event on their own, with their own resources, addressing their own evangelistic needs in their own tongue. These two developments—liberals’ criticism of evangelistic campaigns for ignoring sociopolitical issues and the evangelicals’ desire to Koreanize them—and the tension created between them would surface again in subsequent evangelistic campaigns.

After the Billy Graham Crusade, the next massive evangelistic campaign to take place in Korea was Explo ’74, held at the Yŏŭido Plaza from August 13 to 18, 1974.

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A Preacher, a Pilot, and POWs

Here is another memoir, this time in the form of a sermon on forgiveness, from my 85-year-old father. He’s a former missionary to Japan and now an oft retired country preacher, so everything he writes ends up sounding like a sermon, just as anything I write ends up sounding like an academic essay.

On December 7, 1941, I was a senior at Franklin High School in Southampton County, Virginia. I remember that the principal assembled us in the school auditorium to hear President Roosevelt speak to the American people by radio. He announced the infamous attack by Japanese planes on Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands. He also declared war on Japan. I finished high school in June 1942 and entered Richmond College that fall.

My high school ended at grade 11, so I entered college when I was 17. My military draft board granted me a ministerial deferment, which required me to attend college all 12 months of the year, so finished when I was 20 years old. In all those years, I had never met a Japanese person and, to say the least, they were not depicted in a flattering manner in the news reels I saw during the war.

On August 15, 1945, I was pastor of the Lawrenceville Baptist Church in Brunswick County, Virginia. That day we heard that World War II had ended, and that night we had a prayer meeting at the church, during which I felt my first real tug to be a missionary to Japan. I remember one deacon prayed, “Lord, we have sent soldiers to Japan to defeat them in war; now let us send missionaries to lead them to Christ. That for me was a sort of call to go as a missionary, since I had not been called to go as a soldier.

I eventually arrived in Japan as a Southern Baptist missionary in August 1950. After two years of language study in Tokyo I was assigned to be chaplain of Seinan Jo Gakuin in Kokura (now part of the city of Kitakyushu), a Southern Baptist school for Japanese girls that ran from junior high school through junior college. Sunday attendance at church was required and we held frequent chapel services, at which different faculty members spoke. As pastor of Mt. Zion Church on campus, I was quite often asked to speak. Sometimes we had an outside speaker.

On one such occasion, I shared the platform with a speaker of the day who was famous in Japan as Captain Mitsuo Fuchida. It was he who led the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The reason he was speaking at a Christian school was that he had become a Christian and was by then well known in Japan as one who called the Japanese people to renew faith in themselves and in Christ. I remember well his message that day and on another occasion when I heard him give an expanded version of that same message. He was not a powerful speaker but his message was one of power. I shall attempt to give a brief version of the message he gave in Japanese, which lasted an hour and a half.

When the War in the Pacific, as the Japanese called it, ended in defeat for Japan, this came as a great shock to the Japanese people who had been told by their leaders, “We are winning the war on all fronts.” Mitsuo Fuchida was the only pilot still living who took part in that attack on Pearl Harbor. They had continued to fight an increasingly less victorious war, and one by one they had been killed in battle. Fuchida told of several very close calls he himself had experienced and said that he believed he had been spared to share the Gospel with Japan. He considered it to be their best, if not only, hope.

Mitsuo Fuchida had believed, as the Japanese people had been led to believe since childhood, that Japan had been especially chosen by the gods. Nihon or Nippon “Land of the Rising Sun”—as depicted on their national flag. They were taught to believe that one day Isanagi and Isanami (Mr. and Mrs. God) stood on the Bridge of Heaven and Isanagi dipped his sword into the ocean. When he withdrew it, the drops of water from it that fell back into the ocean coagulated and formed the Japanese Islands. Then, Mr. and Mrs. God went down to live on these islands and their children became the Japanese people. Amaterasu Omikami, the Sun Goddess, was the mother of the Japanese Imperial Family, the ancestor of Emperor Hirohito. All Japanese schools taught this as history until the end of the war. Since the meaning of kami in Japanese does not completely match that of the English word God, it is difficult to compare religious meanings, but even after the Emperor declared that he was not kami, there continued to be a sense that he remained the father of the Japanese family and the chief religious personage.

After the war ended, Fuchida returned to Japan a defeated and very depressed man. He loved Japan and wanted desperately to see her rise from the ashes of defeat and be a great nation again. One day he heard of some prisoners of war returning from America and he went to see and hear them. Of their many experiences, the one that impressed him most was the one they emphasized the most. It was their relating the story of a young American teenage girl who came to their prisoner-of-war camp every day to minister to them. She brought them small personal items they needed, and each time asked “Is there anything else I do?”

The prisoners did not trust her and believed that she was a plant sent to spy on them. But when she persisted, they did begin to ask her for toothpaste, soap, and so on, and she answered their requests faithfully. This went on for quite a while until the end of the war and they were released to come back to Japan. Out of curiosity, they asked her why she had been so kind to them, her enemies. She told them that her parents had been missionaries to Japan at the beginning of the war and had fled to the Philippines when their lives were endangered. When the Japanese conquered the Philippines, the missionaries hid in caves. When Japanese soldiers eventually found them, and discovered they spoke Japanese, they were accused of being spies and told that they would be killed. They answered, “We are prepared to die, but give us half an hour before we are killed.” They were granted this request and knelt to pray until the Japanese soldiers beheaded them with their swords.

When their daughter in the U.S. got news of this, she hated the Japanese. She said, “They went to Japan to share the love of God and were killed as spies.” Her hate began to consume her until finally she sought spiritual counsel and was led to remember the teachings and example of her parents. She read the Bible and came upon the verse in Luke 23:34 where Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” When she remembered the spirit of her parents, she was sure they repeated that prayer before they died at the hands of the Japanese soldiers.

So, she prayed and found the strength to forgive the ones who killed her parents and believed that if they had known the Christ her parents believed in, they would never had done such a thing so she began to prepare herself to go to Japan as a missionary to carry on the work her parents had done in Japan. However, she was in high school and knew that missionaries have to complete college, and usually further training, before being appointed as missionaries. She didn’t want to wait that long and asked how she could be a missionary until then. Well, there were Japanese prisoners of war very near her and she began to minister to them. The soldiers were so impressed by her story that they stressed it when they related their experiences to Fuchida and others. Fuchida thought they had made up this story, that it could not possibly be true, but he could not forget it.

Later, Fuchida was summoned to Tokyo to testify in the war crimes trials. He led the attack on Pearl Harbor so he would know the exact time of the attack. This was important to establish whether or not Japan’s representatives at the time lied in their assertions to the United States at the time that the attacks were planned and underway. As Fuchida came out of Shibuya train station in Tokyo, he passed a young American man who was handing out Christian tracts. He took one and read on the front this title, “I was a prisoner of the Japanese.” This made him remember the story of the Japanese prisoners in America.

The man described in the tract was named Jacob DeShazer, a gunner on one of the planes that took part in one of the first air raids on Tokyo under the command of General Doolittle. DeShazer’s plane was shot down and he and the rest of the crew were captured by the Japanese. They were brought to Tokyo and paraded through the streets, experiencing the hate and derision of its citizens. They were kept in a small dark prison cell, about 6 feet square, with one small window near the top. They were kept in total isolation, having interpersonal contact only with the Japanese guards, who were especially chosen for their hateful treatment of prisoners. Day after day Jacob lived in this darkness and isolation until he was about to lose his mind. In desperation he tried to think of anything from his past that could help him, and he remembered going to Sunday School as a child and hearing stories from the Bible. He asked the guards for a Bible and, after many requests, they finally brought him one, telling him he could keep it for three weeks.

Jacob awoke each morning as the light came in through the small window of his cell and he read the Bible as long as daylight allowed, and he committed to memory many verses. One impressed him especially. It was the verse telling of Jesus’ prayer asking that those who conducted his crucifixion be forgiven, Luke 23:34. So, Jacob DeShazer prayed for help and found peace and comfort there in this prison cell as he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior. He learned from the Bible that to become a Christian one has to change, especially to change in his relationship with other people. The only persons Jacob had contact with were the hated prison guards, so he realized that he had to change in his attitude toward them. He began to respond to their hate with kindness, and they began to respond by treating him less hatefully. Jacob decided that the reason these guards treated him so hatefully was that they did not know the Christ he had come to know and that had wrought such change in his life. So, he prayed, “Lord, if you will help me to survive this I will come back to Japan as a missionary to tell the Japanese about Christ.”

Jacob lived in these conditions until the end of the war. I remember news reel scenes of the starving POWs who were released to come home to the United States. Jacob came back to America and, after he recovered his health, he went back to finish high school, attending with much younger kids who must have wondered about him. He was there to prepare for college so he could go back to Japan as a missionary. When he finished college, he still did not speak Japanese, so he wrote out his testimony under the title “I was a prisoner of the Japanese,” then had it translated into Japanese so he could take it to Japan to share with people who had once hated him and held him a prisoner. By divine providence, Jacob DeShazer was standing outside Shibuya Station handing out copies of his tract when Mitsuo Fuchida came by and took one.

Fuchida read again of the Book and of the verse in it, Luke 23:34, that he had heard made such a difference in both the young girl in America who ministered to Japanese POWs and in the life of this young man who had been a POW of the Japanese. He still found it hard to believe, but he was desperate to find a message of hope for the land that he loved. If this message were true it was just what Japan needed. So he bought a small New Testament and began reading it. He sought spiritual guidance and found Christ as his personal Savior.

At that time Eleanor Roosevelt was visiting Japan, and Fuchida heard the chant, “Americans may forgive Pearl Harbor but we will never forgive Hiroshima.” So Fuchida began to tell of his journey from being a leader in one of the most hate-filled wars in history, to being a leader in Christian love, building up a cycle of love instead of hate. In his words, “We hate, and are hated in return, and then we hate more, and we have all seen where that can lead.” But, he says, “We love, and we are likely to be loved in return, which begins the cycle of love.” He said in a message I heard him deliver one night in Okayama, Japan, “I have participated in the cycle of hate for much of my life. For the rest of my life I want to begin the cycle of love as often as I can in as many places as I can.”

During the first part of his 90-minute message, he told of how he was trained as a pilot and chosen to lead in the attack on Japan. His demeanor showed the arrogance he had felt during that part of his life. Then, he paused, leaned forward and said, “Then one day I met Jesus Christ. I learned for the first time in my life that I, Mitsuo Fuchida, am a sinner and I must repent.” He said he learned that repentance of sin means turning 180 degrees and walking in the opposite direction. He told how he had done that and it was one of the best definitions of repentance and best examples of its application I have ever experienced.

Fuchida came to America and spoke at the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. He spoke in many places and always told of the testimony of a young American girl whose faith has been the first evidence he had heard of the power of the Christian faith. I don’t remember the name of the girl but her parents were American Baptist missionaries at the beginning of the War. She later appeared on the platform with Fuchida when he gave his testimony in the U.S. In Japan, Mitsuo Fuchida and Jacob DeShazer met and shared their testimony and their life together in Christian witnessing. I had the joy of meeting DeShazer at Lake Nojiri in Japan, where missionaries come to vacation in the summer. I heard Fuchida on three occasions and he visited my home for a meal in Kokura while he was at Seinan Jo Gakuin.

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Protestant Exodus from North Korea, 1946-53

From Born Again: Evangelicalism in Korea, by Timothy S. Lee (U. Hawai‘i Press, 2010), p. 65:

As the communists solidified their control of the North, it became increasingly difficult for evangelicals to live there. Consequently thousands of them fled to the South, constituting a significant portion of those who left the North between 1945 and 1953. Figures on the southward migrants are at best estimates, especially with respect to evangelicals. The number of all Koreans who migrated southward between 1945 and 1953 is estimated at between 1,014,000 and 1,386,000—about 10.7 to 14.7 percent of the average population (9,440,000) in northern Korea between 1946 and 1949. Kang Inch’ŏl estimates that in 1945 the number of northern Protestants was around 200,000, about 2.1 percent of the population. Of them, he estimates that 70,000 to 80,000 might have migrated to the South, constituting 35 to 40 percent of the Protestant population in the North and 6 to 7 percent of all northerners who migrated.

In the South, northern evangelical refugees became a force to reckon with. They zealously evangelized and built churches. In 1950 alone, they were responsible for 90 percent of the two thousand or so newly established churches in the South. Especially zealous were the Presbyterians. Their stronghold had always been in the North, in P’yŏngyang, but by the end of the Korean War a great many of them had migrated, constituting one of every four Presbyterians in the South. The northern Presbyterian refugees went on to build some of the largest and most influential churches in the country—including the Yŏngnak (Youngnak) Presbyterian Church (which in 1971 had a membership of twelve thousand, making it the largest Presbyterian church in the world) and the Ch’unghyŏn (Choonghyun) Presbyterian Church (one of whose elders. Kim Young Sam, became president of South Korea in 1992). From the 1950s to the 1970s, northerners led the church growth movement in the South, not only in the Presbyterian Church but in all the churches of evangelicalism.

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Cracking Down on Korean Christians, 1938-45

From Born Again: Evangelicalism in Korea, by Timothy S. Lee (U. Hawai‘i Press, 2010), p. 58:

On June 25, 1945, the governor-general abolished all Korean Protestant denominations and reduced the Korean Protestant churches to the Korea division of the Japanese Christian Church (Ilbon kidokkyo Chosŏn kyodan).

The period from September 1938 (the month of the twenty-seventh general assembly of the Presbyterian Church), to August 15, 1945 (Korea’s liberation from Japan), was the harshest that evangelicalism endured under the Japanese rule. During this time the government-general set about systematically perverting the religion. It abolished all holidays, including Sunday, allowing only an hour or two for worship. Hymnals were bowdlerized to remove any reference to spiritual freedom or mention of Jesus as the “king of kings,” since that would amount to lèse majesté against the emperor. It disallowed portions of the Bible, especially the prophetic books such as Daniel and Revelation. It outlawed key Christian beliefs like the final judgment and the second coming of Christ. Every church worship had to open with a Shintoistic ritual, which included singing the Japanese national anthem, giving a pledge of allegiance (kokumin seisi 国民誓詞), bowing to the emperor’s palace (kyujo yohai [宮城遥拝 J. kyūjō yōhai]), and praying to the Sun Goddess (mokto [黙祷 J. mokutō]). In this latter phase of the Japanese captivity of the church, every Christian church was compelled to install within it a small Shinto shrine (kamidana [神棚]).

With the institutional church now reduced to an instrument of Japanese colonial policy, if Korean church leaders retained their positions, they could not escape from doing at least some amount of collaborative work with the Japanese. Many church leaders did retain their positions and were adroitly used by the government-general. They were forced, for example, to renounce their ties with the missionaries, by making statements like, “We are resolved to set ourselves free from the past principle of reliance on Europe and America and establish a purely Japanese Christianity.” They were also exploited for a variety of war efforts, such as helping to collect church bells to be melted down for scrap metal, raising funds to purchase fighter planes for the Japanese navy, and urging young Korean men and women to fight and die for the Japanese emperor.

On the other hand, even as there were collaborators, there were others—though fewer—who resisted the Japanese imposition till the end. When the Shinto shrine issue arose in the 1930s, Christians all over the country resisted the Japanese demand. These resisters came from both the leadership and the rank-and-file of the church. Though found in just about every denomination in Korea, they were especially numerous in the Presbyterian Church.

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Two Milestones in Japanese Sumo

Banners for the top rikishi, Nagoya Sumo BashoIn an era when foreign wrestlers dominate the top ranks of sumo, two veteran ozeki have given Japanese fans local heroes to root for. This week one of them broke a record for most career wins and the other announced his retirement.

Fukuoka-born fan favorite Kaio clinched his 808th career win in the top makuuchi division, breaking Chiyonofuji‘s record of 807 makuuchi wins. (Chiyonofuji still holds the all-time, all-division record, at 1,045.) At 37, Kaio is the oldest rikishi in the makuuchi, making his debut there in 1988, alongside future yokozuna Akebono and Takanohana, both of whom have long retired.

The loser in that record-setting bout was Hokkaido-born, 33-year-old Chiyotaikai, who had earlier lost his ozeki status and this week announced his retirement after getting off to a poor start in the current tournament.

Both Kaio and Chiyotaikai hung onto to their ozeki rank for years by eking out winning records barely sufficient to avoid demotion, often 8-7, or even dropping to probationary (kadoban) ozeki status after a losing record. There is talk of revising the kadoban ranking system to force ozeki to maintain better win-loss records to avoid demotion. Ozeki (‘champion’) was once the highest rank. When someone at the current top rank of yokozuna (‘grand champion’) is no longer at the peak of his game, he is expected to retire rather than bounce down through the ranks.

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Manchurian Roots of Korean Protestantism

From Born Again: Evangelicalism in Korea, by Timothy S. Lee (U. Hawai‘i Press, 2010), pp. 10-11:

From the beginning, the history of Korean Protestantism is characterized by many people who were attracted to the faith primarily for its message of salvation. Already in the spring of 1886, one year after his arrival [Horace G.] Underwood was sought out by a man known as No Tosa (probably a pseudonym for No Chun-gyŏng), who had become interested in the missionary religion after reading a Chinese translation of the Gospels of Luke and Mark He now came to Underwood for further instruction in the religion. On July 18, 1886, he was baptized by Underwood, with assistance from [Henry G.] Appenzeller—a baptism the missionaries performed only after careful consideration, since the injunction against proselytizing [in Korea] was still in force. As it turned out. No was not the only Korean who came to Underwood around that time seeking baptism, unsolicited. By the end of 1887, Underwood had baptized twenty-four more unsolicited Koreans.

How did this come about? Did these Koreans come to the missionary even though no one had reached out to them, even though they had not heard the Gospel? The fact of the matter is that they had heard the Gospel message several years earlier—delivered by converts of Scottish missionaries working in China, specifically Manchuria. Three missionaries figure importantly here: Alexander Williamson, John McIntyre, and especially John Ross—all affiliated with the Scottish Presbyterian Church. It was Williamson who persuaded [Robert Jermain] Thomas to board the General Sherman for the fateful voyage of 1866 and persuaded Mclntyre and Ross to come to Manchuria as missionaries. In 1865 and again in 1867 Williamson visited a Manchurian border town called Korea Gate (Koryŏmun), the official gateway between China and Korea, evangelizing among Korean residents and sojourners there. Influenced by Williamson, Ross also visited Korea Gate in 1874 and 1876. During the latter visit he met Yi Ŭngch’an, who agreed to collaborate with him on a variety of translation works. Ross, with the help of Yi, published the Corean Primer (1877), The Corean Language (1878), Yesu sŏnggyo mundap (Bible Catechism; 1881), and Yesu sŏnggyo yoryŏng (Outline of the New Testament; 1881). In 1877 Ross and Yi began translating the New Testament, later aided by Mclntyre and several other Koreans, including Sŏ Sangyun and Paek Hongjun. In 1882 Ross published the Gospels of Luke and John, the first Gospels to be translated into han’gŭl. This was two years before Mark was independently translated by Yi Sujŏng, a Korean sojourning in Japan, and published in Japan; copies of the translation were later brought to Korea by Underwood and Appenzeller. Then in 1887 under the initiative of Ross, the first complete translation of the New Testament was finally published in Korean.

In 1879 Ross was on furlough in Scotland, where he published History of Corea: Ancient and Modern with Description of Manners and Customs, Language and Geography, Maps and Illustrations, the first history of Korea in English. That same year, McIntyre, while supervising Ross’ work in Manchuria baptized four Koreans, who thereby became the first Koreans to receive Protestant baptism. Only two of these men’s identities are known with certainty: Yi Ŭngch’an (Ross’s collaborator) and Paek Hongjun (who, upon being baptized returned immediately to his hometown in Ŭiju to evangelize). In May 1881 Ross returned to Manchuria, initially to Newchwang (the next month he would move to Mukden). There he met Sŏ Sangyun, an erstwhile ginseng peddler who had fallen deathly ill a couple of years earlier and was brought back to health owing to McIntyre’s help. McIntyre sought to introduce Sŏ to the Christian faith giving him a copy of the Chinese Bible, only to meet a polite rebuff—So had been steeped in Confucian learning. But becoming curious about the Bible, Sŏ read and reflected upon it for a year or so, before seeking out Ross for further instruction. Under Ross’ guidance, Sŏ underwent conversion and was baptized in May 1881.

After his conversion. Sŏ became an indefatigable evangelist, working closely with Ross as a colporteur. Between 1882 and 1885, Sŏ smuggled copies of the Bible into Korea, given to him by Ross, and distributed them in Sorae, his hometown in Hwanghae Province, and in Seoul. He was never just a seller of religious literature; he sought ardently to impart to his interlocutors the conviction of salvation he experienced in the Christian faith. Consequently, by the end of 1883 he was already able to report to Ross that he had thirteen persons ready to receive baptism. A year later, the number of prospective baptizees So reported to Ross had climbed to seventy. By that time, his younger brother Sŏ Kyŏngjo (also known as Sangu) had converted and, with the help of Sangyun had established a Protestant community in Sorae—that is, before the arrival of Allen. In March 1885, Sŏ was back in Manchuria, in Mukden asking Ross to come down to Korea and baptize the men he had led to the faith—a request Ross turned down reluctantly, owing to the inauspicious political circumstances. A month later Underwood and Appenzeller arrived in Korea. Near the end of 1886 Sŏ visited Underwood and asked him to go with him to Sorae to baptize the new believers. This request was also declined, since Underwood was prohibited from traveling inland. Consequently, in January 1887, Sŏ brought several of the believers from Sorae to Seoul, to be examined by Underwood for baptism.

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