By Margaret Prang
A very striking individual, Caroline Macdonald (1874-1931) used to be a Canadian lady who spent virtually her complete operating lifestyles in Japan and who performed an important position there in either the institution of the YWCA and in legal reform. a local of Wingham, Ontario, she was once one of many first girls to wait the collage of Toronto, the place in 1901 she graduated with honours in arithmetic and physics. yet instead of persist with an educational occupation, she opted in 1904, via her connections with the Presbyterian Church and the YWCA in Canada and the U.S., to maneuver to Tokyo to paintings as a lay missionary and social employee. throughout the Twenties, she was once the best-known international lady in Tokyo. In ’A middle at relaxation from Itself’ Margaret Prang follows Caroline Macdonald’s existence and profession, targeting her paintings in Japan on behalf of incarcerated criminals. operating more often than not with male prisoners and their households, Macdonald turned a global interpreter of the stream for felony reform paintings for which she continues to be warmly remembered in Japan. She appeared herself as a missionary yet was once additionally hugely serious of a lot missionary endeavour, her personal paintings being extra within the sensible than non secular realm. Her demise in 1931 elicited tributes from world wide, relatively from Japan. probably the main becoming got here from Arima Shirosuke, the felony governor with whom Macdonald labored so much heavily. Reflecting on her lifestyles, Arima saw that he concept it used to be her absolute conviction that each man or woman was once a toddler of God and her ’effortless’ perform of that religion that put Macdonald ’beyond each prejudice’ of faith, race, or type. She used to be, he stated, ’a center at rest from itself.’ This publication throws gentle on Japanese-Canadian family members within the first few a long time of this century. Macdonald’s occupation finds the cross-cultural effect of the YWCA in Japan, the position of the Protestant church buildings there, and the evolution of legal reform in Japan and the folk curious about it.
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Additional info for A heart at leisure from itself: Caroline Macdonald of Japan
Many women left domestic jobs to work in factories where they had regular hours and more independence. In 1901 the Ottawa 'Y's employment bureau received 668 applications for domestic help but registered only 394 women seeking employment. Caroline had some clues about the origins of'this most vexed question,' some of them acquired through leading the meetings of the 'Mutual Improvement Club,' attended weekly at the YWCA by about fifteen girls who were working as domestic servants. ' In her view only the employers could improve the situation.
How far the modernizers had come was demonstrated by Japan's victory in her war against China (1894-5), which in turn gave renewed impetus to industrialization. While some interpreters saw the growth of Japanese economic and military 30 A Heart at Leisure from Itself power as 'the yellow peril,' a coming threat to European leadership of the world, many more viewed the new Japan as a beneficial influence throughout Asia. ' One of the most balanced pictures of changing Japan was drawn by the Englishman Basil Hall Chamberlain, whose mastery of the Japanese language and its literature was unique among foreigners.
37 Bacon, the daughter of an eminent Congregationalist minister in New England, was associated with Japanese women from the age of twelve when her father became the guardian of one of the five young girls sent abroad with the Iwakura mission by the Japanese government, the first to be educated outside Japan. Yamakawa Sutematsu and Alice Bacon lived together like sisters for ten years. Through this association and her friendship with another of the Japanese girls, Tsuda Ume, Bacon went to Japan in 1888 to teach English at the recently established Peeress's School in Tokyo.
A heart at leisure from itself: Caroline Macdonald of Japan by Margaret Prang