Modest Niijima Jo

Modest Niijima Jo

Samurai to Pastor to Chancellor

Carmen Sterba


  • Description
  • Author
  • Info
  • Reviews


Carmen Sterba made many wonderful friends during her decades in Japan, but the most impressive person she came across was someone she learned about only in books: Niijima Jo. Born Niijima Shimeta, he was given the name “Jo” by Captain William Savory on the ship Berlin. Then Captain Horace Taylor arrived on Wild Rover. He befriended the young adventurer who was determined to escape his home to learn English and find God. This will be the second full biography of Niijima Jo in English since 1891. The author chronicles Jo’s magnificent life from his fearless trip to the United States in 1864-5 to his return to Japan as a pastor to the fulfillment of his dream of establishing Doshisha University in Kyoto in 1888. Against all odds, Jo became one of Japan’s most fascinating heroes, and the way he lived his life to the fullest holds lessons for us today. Discover how an underappreciated historical figure played a critical role in the development of Japan with this fascinating biography.