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Frequent Questions

質問と答 = Frequently Asked Questions

1.0 - Questions about the Japan Kobe Mission

2.0 - Questions about Church Membership in Japan

3.0 - Questions about Temples in Japan

4.0 - Questions about the Scriptures

5.0 - Questions about Gaijin Members in Japan

1.0 - Questions about the Japan Kobe Mission

1.1 - What are all the missions that have been active in Kobe?

(A special thanks to Andrew Hall for the information in this answer.)

Mission Name Dates Geographical Area
Japanese Mission October 1947-July 1955. (From October 1947 to March 1948 it was headquartered in Hawaii.) Most of East Asia
Northern Far East Mission July 1955-September 1968 Japan; Okinawa; Korea until 1962
Japan-Okinawa Mission September 1968-March 1970 Roughly the western half of Japan: included part of current Nagoya Mission westward to Okinawa
Japan Central Mission March 1970-June 1974 Roughly the eastern half of former Japan-Okinawa Mission. (The western half became the Japan West Mission, headquartered in Fukuoka.) (The Japan Nagoya Mission was formed in July 1973, decreasing the size of the Japan Central Mission.)
Japan Kobe Mission June 1974-June 30, 2001 "Osaka" + "Kobe" + part of "Okayama" until July 1976.
The Japan Okayama Mission was formed in July 1976.
The Japan Osaka Mission was formed in July 1980.
In July 1983, Okinawa was taken from Japan Fukuoka and became part of Japan Kobe. (Thanks to Steve Jett [] for correcting this date, and to Steve Hackley [ frown.gif (97 bytes)] for correcting it further.)
A separate Japan Okinawa Mission was formed in Spring 1990.
From Spring 1990 until 1995, the Japan Kobe Mission was at its smallest point.
The Japan Osaka Mission was closed and merged with the Japan Kobe Mission in 1995.
The Japan Okinawa was closed in July 1996 and merged with the Japan Fukuoka Mission.
The Japan Okayama Mission home was moved to Hiroshima in April 1999, and the mission was renamed the Japan Hiroshima Mission.

1.2 - When was the Japan-Okinawa Mission organized?

The Japan-Okinawa Mission (parent of the present-day Japan Kobe Mission) was organized September 1, 1968. Headquartered in Kobe, it was one of two Japanese missions created when the Northern Far East Mission (headquartered in Tokyo) was dissolved. The other Japanese mission created at the same time was called the Japan Mission, headquartered in Tokyo. The Japan-Okinawa Mission included all of Kyushu, Okinawa, and Shikoku, and the western part of Honshu, including Osaka, Nagoya, and cities to the south and west.

1.3 - How long did the Japan-Okinawa Mission continue?

Until March 18, 1970. That was the day that the two Japanese missions became four: the Japan Central (Kobe) and Japan West (Fukuoka) Missions were created from the Japan-Okinawa Mission. The Japan (Tokyo) and Japan East (Sapporo) Missions were created from the original Japan Mission. Also that month, the Tokyo Stake--the first in Japan--was organized, on March 15, 1970. Two days earlier, on Friday the Thirteenth, the Mormon Pavilion was dedicated at EXPO '70 in Osaka.

1.4 - Is the hyphen necessary in Japan-Okinawa Mission?

With the hyphen, the Japan-Okinawa Mission refers to the original mission headquartered in Kobe. The mission included the western half of Japan and the island of Okinawa (still owned by the United States).

Without the hyphen, the Japan Okinawa Mission refers to a more recent (1990-1996) Japan mission that included the island of Okinawa (now a prefecture of Japan). Okinawa is currently a part of the Japan Fukuoka Mission.

1.5 - How long did the Japan Kobe Mission continue?

Until June 30, 2001, when consolidated with the neighboring Nagoya and Hiroshima missions. (See the Church News, March 10, 2001, pp. 8-9. Note: The consolidation of the Germany Dusseldorf and France Bordeaux missions also appears on the same pages.)

2.0 - Questions about Church Membership in Japan

2.1 - When did missionary work begin in Japan?

On August 12, 1901, when Elder Heber J. Grant, of the Quorum of the Twelve, and missionaries Horace S. Ensigh, Louis A. Kelsch, and Alma O. Taylor arrived in Tokyo.

2.2 - How many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are there in Japan?

As of September 30, 1999, there are 112,673 members, with 12,228 of them "address unkown". (Source: Andrew Hall, 13 Oct 1999 post to the Kobe Alumni mailing list, citing "Membership Office of the Area Headquarters.")

2.3 - How many stakes are there in Japan?

30, as of September 30, 1999. There are also, 20 districts, 170 wards, and 146 branches.  (Source: Andrew Hall, 13 Oct 1999 post to the Kobe Alumni mailing list, citing "Membership Office of the Area Headquarters.")

3.0 - Questions about Temples in Japan

3.1 - When was the Tokyo Temple built?

It was announced in August 1975, and dedicated October 27, 1980.

3.2 - What was the Fukuoka Temple built?

It was announced on May 7, 1998; ground was broken on March 20, 1999; it was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley on June 11, 2000.

4.0 - Questions about the Scriptures

4.1 - Is it true that the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price were retranslated recently?

The Church published a new Japanese translation of the Book of Mormon in 1995. The entire "triple combination" (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) was released in December 1995. Andrew Hall reports that

They are a joy to read, especially the D&C, which is very much more comprehensible now. No more of the archaic Japanese forms. And the triple combination has pictures, scripture maps like the ones at the end of the English Bible and D&C, and a great Topical Guide.

In Japanese, the Book of Mormon is now entitled Morumon Sho, rather than Morumon Kei. (The "Sho" is the same kanji used for "kaku" [to write].)

The Pearl of Great Price is now entitled Kooka na shinju, instead of Kooka naru shinju.

The baptism and sacrament prayers are different.

The triple combination has a 358 page "scripture guide", analogous to the Bible Dictionary.

Names of Church organizational units have changed:

  • "Stake" has changed from "suteeki bu" to "suteeku". (Perhaps stake's new pronunciation is an effort to differentiate the church from a steak restaurant?)
  • "Ward" has changed from "waado bu" to "waado". (Branch is still "shibu".)

Tom Farnsworth reports that:

  • The new triple combination is even easier for kids to understand than the English is for Americans.
  • The triple costs 1200 yen in Japan.
  • The triple has some nice pictures: things like the Kirtland Temple, the Garden Tomb, the Nauvoo House, Mt. Sinai, etc. It also has very nice photos, not maps.
  • The Morumon Sho also contains an index/dictionary, which covers everything from Amen to Zenifu, with word roots, meaning, usages, and references.

5.0 - Questions about Gaijin Members in Japan

5.1 - Where are the gaijin branches/wards in Japan?

There are four gaijin/English speaking in Japan, three in Tokyo (the Tokyo first and second wards, which meet at Hiroo, and the Tokyo third, which meets in the Tokyo South stake center at Senzokuike in Ota-ku.) and one in Kobe (which people from all over Kansai attend). A good source of information on Tokyo's English-speaking wards is at Franz Kelsch's Tokyo South Stake website. There are also the military branches, but they tend to be too far away from the big cities to be applicable. Three military branches in Okinawa, one at Iwakuni (near Hiroshima), one at Sasebo (quite a ways away from Nagasaki). There are three English-speaking military branches in the Tokyo vicinity: Yokosuka,  Yokota and Zama (Atsugi) branches. [Information on the Yokota and Zama branches was submitted by Jarom Matsuda (, 29 Feb 2000.]

For middle-large cities, there is usually a small group of ex-pats in the (Japanese-speaking) Ward who help make living in a foreign ward more pleasant. Andrew R. Hall reports that he and his wife lived in Fukuoka in 1995-1997, and had quite a large group, at least 10 adults every week, sometimes as many as 15--English teachers, American consulate people, students, business people, etc. They held their own English Sunday School, and for the rest of the meetings those who knew Japanese translated for the rest.   And since it was the city with the mission home, the missionaries had a wireless translation set for use during sacrament meeting.  One of Andrew's group became 1st Counselor in the ward. In general, it is a wonderful ward, a very friendly group of people. His wife, who didn't know any Japanese, ended up getting together with our Japanese neighbor/visiting teacher for a long lunch every Tuesday afternoon (Japanese housewives are pretty bored, and look for things like that to do), which was instrumental in her learning Japanese as good as any missionary by the time we came home.

Hiroshima and Takamatsu are big cities, so while there might not be as many as Fukuoka, Andrew reports that there would be 5-10 other native English speaking adults in those wards, with whom you can have at least an English speaking Sunday School. And, being part of a ward family is one of the best ways of getting to know the Japanese people.

The best way to find out is to call the mission home that your city is in. The missionaries are usually up on what the gaijin count in the various wards are. The phone numbers are on most alumni pages, or look in the back of your Japanese Book of Mormon.

(From information provided by Andrew Hall, Brock Stout and Tom Whipple)

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