1938 - Bobby Wright

Japan, Prisoner of War, Second World War
1933 to 1960

Trained initially as a chemist and employed in Japan, Bobby Wright gave up his business to serve as a missionary there. He was joined in the work at Tokyo in 1938 by fellow Irishman, John Hewitt.

As war approached, the church and missionaries were affected. In 1941, Hewitt and Wright were detained for ten hours, then released, but afterwards faced a further five days of questioning. Detectives started making enquiries in the local area and some people started to stay away from Wright as a result. They eventually became isolated and an ‘encumbrance’ to the believers.

…there were overall 100 Christians in jail in 1943.

Wright was interned for eight months following the death of his colleague, Hewitt, who died in a Tokyo concentration camp in 1942. Police imprisoned 20 Japanese believers and there were overall 100 Christians in jail in 1943. Wright was interned at Yokohama and was repatriated during the war. In 1948, Wright reports that the work still continued. They now ran two open-air meetings, three Sunday schools and two shop meetings, and they expected this to increase. One brother, Kitomoto, saw the need in Osaka city, which was heavily bombed during the war. He started a house church. Over the years, after the war, they saw an increase in people interested in the gospel. At their annual Easter conference in 1948, around 40 people attended, in 1949, about 60 and in 1950 over 100 people came to listen to the six Japanese preachers.