Quest For Japan Logo-Ver7

Omihachiman and the man named William Merrell Vories – Part 3

Who is William Merrell Vories?

William Merrell Vories was an american from Leavenworth, Kansas who at a young age of 24 left his country and
moved to Japan to teach English at Hachiman Commercial High School and since his arrival at Omihachiman on February 2, 1905, he has called this place his new home.

vories

I believe God sent me here, so I will never move until He make me move. – William Merrell Vories (1880 ~ 1964) (Image from Ryosuke Yagi)

He quickly became popular among his students and together with a Japanese Christian they started having Bible classes – this Bible study classes led to him being fired from his work as an English teacher. At that time there was a strong discrimination against Christians in Japan. But even if he lost his job, Vories never lost his sense of mission.

I was shocked as if my head was knocked by an iron bar – he wrote after he lost his job.

20141011_133610

Vories has become one of the most famous historical figures in Shiga

After loosing his teaching job, he went to establish Vories & Co. – an architectural office which would later on design around 1600 western style buildings including churches, schools, hotels and private houses over a career that spanned 35 years. Many of these buildings he designed are still standing today located not just in Japan but also in Korea and China. Besides putting up an architectural office, he also established Omi Sales Company – the company was later renamed to Omi Brothers Co., Ltd and began importing Mentholatum – an ointment. The sales of Mentalatum was used to support his missionary work. In 1919, He married Makiko, daughter of the Viscount Suenori Hitotsuyanagi and in 1941, he became a naturalized Japanese citizen taking his wife’s family name of Hitotsuyanagi Mereru.

Mentholatum – ointment

Apart from being an entrepreneur and architect, Vories was also a preacher – he even had his own mission boat called Galilee-Maru that often sailed in Lake Biwa (largest lake in Japan). The name Galilee was derived from the Lake Galilee where Jesus Christ preached his gospel.

IMG_0292

Vories Memorial – 2014/10/4 ~ 2014/11/3

This year, the city of Omihachiman in Shiga prefecture is commemorating the 50th anniversary of his passing by remembering and celebrating his lifes achievements and contributions to the community (You can download a brochure about the commemoration here).  You can get a special ticket for 1500 yen to see all of the buildings he has designed in Omihachiman known as ikeda cho.

CIMG2208

Hakuunkan Hall – though not designed by Vories this served as starting point of our tour. This is where we got our passes

20141011_111955

Omi Brotherhood School (Omi Kyodaisha Gakuen) – the largest Vories building we visited

20141011_115554

Hyde Memorial Building (designed by Vories) built in 1931 which served as a Kindergarten school which was managed by his wife – Makiko

This is the residence where Vories and his wife lived

20141011_115915

Vories Residence – thou Vories was a famous architect and has designed many structures, he has never owned a house. He did not believe in having private assets.

20141011_121457

Matsuoka Residence (built in 1933)

20141011_123416

Andrews Memorial Hall (formerly the Hachiman YMCA) – the first building William Merrell Vories designed built in 1907.

20141011_141448

Former Omi Mission Double house built in 1920.

20141011_134804

Local Municipal Museum built in 1886 it used to be the Hachiman Police Department. It was renovated by Vories on 1953.

20141011_141646

Yoshida Residence and Waterhouse Memorial House Located in Ikeda-cho.

20141011_141810

Far left is Yoshida Residence and on the right side Waterhouse Memorial House. Both houses were built in 1913

20141011_141709

Built for Waterhouse, who was an instructor at Waseda University and was also a part of Omi Mission

20141011_133715

Omi Brothers Company

20141011_203538

Give away at the Vories Memorial

References:

1. William Merrell Vories Library

2. Karuizawa Union Church

3. W.M. Vories & Company Architects Ichiryusha

4. 50 Vories

 

The following two tabs change content below.

Sponsored Links

  • Pocket
  • 1 follow us in feedly

Related Article/s:

judo

The “Gentle Way” of Judo – Competitive Judo

As noted in the history of judo, it was primarily made or developed by Jigoro Kano as a self-defense. As years passed by, it was expected for judokas to test their skills against each other. Thus, competitive judo began. History of Competitive Judo Competitive judo is a vital aspect of judo. It is where judokas […]

Read Article

Shiba

Japanese dog as a spiritual being

Dog in Japan One of the very popular animals in Japanese old tales. As long as I remember, usually drawn as a white medium-size Japanese dog in a book, with a curled tail and erect, triangular ears like a Kishu dog. The dogs are always loyal, take the good men’s side. I can’t remember any […]

Read Article

Osafune Sword 3

Osafune in Okayama: Sword learning centre – Part 1 –

Bizen Osafune Nihon-tou Denshuu-jyo (Bizen Osafune Japanese sword learning centre) 1 Here, you can see swordsmithing on Saturdays, Sundays and National holidays for free. Note that they don’t demonstrate in summer because it is too hot for swordsmiths to forge. General information Open from 9:00 to 16:00, closed during lunchtime (12:00 – 13:00). On Sundays […]

Read Article

Kushida shrine, Hakata 7

Go west : Kushida shrine and others in Hakata, Fukuoka

I didn’t do “sight-seeing” in Hakata, because there aren’t many things to see as I wrote in my first post of this series. However, according to one of the official websites of Fukuoka city government (Japanese page), there seems to be many historical locations. They offer a free tablet application called “Fukuoka rekishi nabi” (navigation […]

Read Article

Family crest of the Tokugawa

Mystery tour : Muramasa , a cursed blade – Part 2 –

Muramasa (2) Blessed swords for hostile forces against Tokugawa If “Muramasa” blades really harm the Tokugawa, they are very fortunate weapons for enemies. Nobushige Sanada (1567 – 1615), much more commonly known as Yukimura Sanada, who was against the Tokugawa, is said that he carried “Muramasa” sword(s) with him. There is also a legend that […]

Read Article

shogi

Shogi, The General’s Board Game – Board and Gameplay

In our previous posts about shogi, we learned its history and the pieces that make the game. In this post, we will learn more about the moves of each piece. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – June 3, 2015 […]

Read Article

question

Kotoba Asobi: Nazonazo – Learning the Japanese Style of Wordplay 4

Another fun form of Japanese wordplay is nazonazo. And just like the shiritori, it is fun to play with other people. Word Puzzles/Nazonazo Nazonazo is just the Japanese word for riddles. Riddles are design to make your minds work but a riddle in a non-native language will make your mind work harder. It is very […]

Read Article

10 yen coin

The Japanese Era Calendar Scheme

If you’ve been staying in Japan for some time now, then you’ve probably come across some government forms or some sort of application form that need filling up. You’ll notice that in some forms wherein you need to fill up a date, the format is quite different. That’s because some require you to use the […]

Read Article

washiki2

Washiki : Japanese Squat-type Toilet

It was the summer of 2006 when I and my classmates at AOTS Training Center went on a study tour as a part of our Japanese training.  We went to Miyajima Island and stayed at one of their traditional Japanese hotels. We were having some fun that night, eating Japanese foods and drinking sake (Japanese wine). […]

Read Article

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Koraku-en Garden by day, Fantasy Garden by night

The Koraku-en Garden is known to be one of the three great gardens of Japan. I must admit I have visited this place several times in the past in different seasons and spring by far for me is the best season to visit and enjoy strolls in this beautifully landscaped garden with the sakura in […]

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+
    InstagramInstagram
PAGE TOP ↑