2013/6/19 St. George’s Church on Chichi Island, Ogasawara Archipelago, Tokyo
1. St. Andrew’s Cathedral Church of Tokyo and St. Alban’s Church
Twin churches of Tokyo.
2. Cathedral to Port of Tokyo
It is a straight path towards the port of Tokyo passing Tokyo Tower, Zojoji Temple, and Hamamatsu-cho Station. On taxi, it takes about 7 minutes. On bicycle, probably around 20 minutes.
3. Ferry: Ogasawara-maru
A ferry connects Ogasawara Archipelago and Port of Tokyo once or twice a week depending on seasonality. It takes a full day (25 hours) journey through Tokyo Bay, Sagami Gulf, Izu Archipelago, and Ogasawara Archipelago. Round trip ticket is about 50,000JPY, children up to elementary school age is about 25,000JPY, and children below 6 is free.
For more information about Ogasawara-maru:
4. Port Futami to St. George’s Church
There is only one main street on Chichi Island which is part of Route 243. From the dock, it takes about 7 minutes walk to St. George. Lodging is concentrated in the same area. Lodging with breakfast and dinner is somewhere around 5,000 JPY per day. Youth hostel without any meal is about 3,500JPY per day.
5. St. George’s Church, Ogasawara, Tokyo
St. George’s is a church with small chapel of capacity about 50 and front yard with bright green grass. It was originally consecrated in 1909 by the Anglican Churches of England and Japan and at that time it was designed by Josiah Conder, an famous English architect hired from London to build variety of modern western buildings in Japan. The first rector was Father Joseph Gonzales whose grand father migrated from Hawaii on British whaling vessel and whose descendant Reverend Isaac Gonzales-Ogasawara now leads this church for open door to all christian denominations.
St. George’s was burnt down during the WWII and consecrated again in 1968 by the Bishop of Hawaii. Today, it is managed as part of Diocese of Tokyo under the deanship of St. Andrew’s Cathedral Church.
As I have attended the communion, it was probably the busiest Anglican church I have seen anywhere in the world (so far) for having people working on Sundays when Ogasawara-maru departs. People rush in and out for prayer and going back to their business which probably gives you an idea of how worshiping was done in chapels near ports in the Age of Exploration.
6. Summary of History
1543 Spanish galleon San Juan passing by Haha Island
1639 Dutch expedition Engel and Fraft passing by the archipelago
1670 Japanese tangeline merchant vessel drifts to Haha Island
1675 Team of Japanese expedition arrives on Fukkokuju-maru
1727 News of the Japanese expedition reported by Kaempfer in London
1824 British whaler Transit led by American captain arrives
1830 American/British/Kanakas settlers led by Savory migrates from Hawaii
1853 Commodore Perry’s squadron visit Chichi Island
1862 Declaration of territory by Japanese officials on Kanrin-maru
1876 Japanese government officially annexes the islands
1882 Original inhabitants are given Japanese nationality
1909 Consecration of St. Geroge’s by Anglican churches of Japan and England
1927 Emperor Hirohito visits the islands on battleship Yamashiro
1944 Compulsory evacuation of civilians as the Pacific War hardens
1945 Imperial Japanese Force surrenders to Allies on USS Dunlap
1946 Inhabitants of the Western origin returns
1965 Inhabitants of Japanese origin returns
1968 Return of Ogasawara Archipelago to Japan by the US
1994 Emperor Akihito visits the islands as part of Remembrance of Iwojima
2002 Former US President George H Bush visits Chichi Island
2013 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits the islands
Summary by Daniel Long: