His Social Action Programs


Health Care
Vories had a plan to build a sanatorium for some time but there was an episode which hastened him to build it. There was a young man named Kanryu Endo, who was an employee of the Vories Architect's Office. Endo was originally a Buddhist and converted to Christianity later when he began to start at Vories' office. Although he began to succeed as an architect, he died of tuberculosis, which caused Vories a great deal of sorrow.
 
The treatment policy of the sanatorium which Vories instituted was as follows. This policy has remained in place until the present.
  1. Supply fresh air all day.
  2. Have good sleep.
  3. Take adequate amounts of nourishing foods
  4. Keep clean and have a simple daily life.
  5. Live the religious life and have complete faith in Jesus Christ.
  6. Take a minimal dose of medicine.

The sanatorium, Omi Ryoyoin, has been renamed Vories Memorial Hospital and now operates as a general hospital. Also, Vories Roken Center was established in 1998. His activities and policies in healthcare are still expanding, involving more people.

Education
The activities of Omi Mission's Women's Society was not only preaching but also teaching cooking, teaching English and so on. These activities were supported by Madam Ryuko Yoshida, Julia, who was Vories' mother (came to Japan in 1914 when she was 58), Madam Waterhouse and Madam Vogel.
 
At that time, Etsuzo Yoshida (age 26) married Kiyono Watanabe (age 28) in 1916 and Vories (age 38) married Makiko Hitotsuyanagi (age 35) in 1919. In addition to these women, the wife of Koichiro Murata joined the Society. Thus, by 1921 a substantial women's organization was established. Besides the cooking and English classes, they offered a wider variety of activities such as piano, handicrafts, gymnastics, and teaching deaf and dumb people.
 
Their self-made educational environment formed the basis of the education of the current Omi Kyodaisha Gakuen (the Omi Brotherhood School). It was his wife, Makiko, who started full-fledged educational activities. In 1920, she brought infants to her house in Ikeda which she called the 'Playground' as her specialty was preschool education. The following year, she bought an empty house in Ikeda 5-Chome and started a kindergarten named 'Seiyu-en'. She obtained the license to open the kindergarten from the Shiga Prefectural Government in the following year.
 
Mrs. Helen Keller came to her school in May of 1937. This demonstrated Omi Kyodaisha's enthusiasm toward education and Vories's worldwide network.
 
The Omi Kyodaisha Gakuen, which consisted of classes from kindergarten to high school, was established between 1947 and 1951. Vories became chairman of the board and Makiko became the president.

Library
Vories set up a library, the 'Omi Kyodaisha Toshokan' in December, 1940 at Shinmachi 3-chome in Omi Hachiman as a part of his social action program. The house of a famous Omi merchant, Bansoemon Ogiya was used as the library building.
 
Vories bought this house but Omi merchants did not like the fact that a foreigner, even though it was Vories, had bought the house which was a symbol for Omi merchants. So, Omi merchants each contributed money and bought the house back from Vories and rented it to him. Thus this building is still owned by Hachiman Kyoiku Kaikan. This episode shows that the delicate relationship between Vories and Omi merchants who gave "substance" but kept the "name".
 
The library operated until 1975 absorbing the Hachiman municipal library which was originally the Hachiman Bunko. Later, due to the business downturn of Omi Kyodaisha, all the books and facilities were donated to the city, which operated the library as Omi Hachiman Municipal Library. In 1997, Omi Hachiman Municipal Library was completed at the foot of Mt. Hachiman, and the city is currently developing renewal plans for the old library. The building is currently used as meeting and lecture halls.



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