Etsuko Mita

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Comparative Religion

First Advisor

Dr. H. Byron Earhart

Second Advisor

Dr. Nancy Falk

Third Advisor

Dr. Brian Wilson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


In a 1990 census, of all Japanese who professed a religious belief, only 0.7 percent were Christians. This unpopularity could be mainly attributable to stagnant assimilation of Christianity into Japanese cultural and religious values.

Makuya, founded by Ikuro Teshima in 1948 and developed from the Non-Church movement led by Kanzo Uchimura, attracted nearly 60,000 members in some twenty years. The factors contributing to its popularity are assumed to be assimilation and some special characteristics of the founder, generally common to founders of Japanese new religions-charisma or supernatural power and paternal authority.

Field study was conducted, which included site observations and questionnaire-interviews with nine Makuya members. Makuya's assimilation was observed at the site and documented in the questionnaire-interviews. Founder Teshima's charisma and paternal authority were also described by the participants.

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