This is the official website of the Original Gospel Movement, or Makuya of Christ, featuring "Light of Life", lectures by Ikuro Teshima, and testimonies of spiritual conversion.

A New Start

It is seventy years since monthly Light of Life (Japanese version) was first published in October, 1948. The following article tells how it came into existence. This is a translation of a page from the first issue, in which Ikuro Teshima expresses his intention of publishing Light of Life. Prior to the publication, he began his independent ministry in May of the same year.

Ikuro Teshima


Many times had I hesitated and numerous times had I refused however, I finally made up my mind to widely publish this magazine. It is because I hear cries of troubled souls who are searching for God but have not found a way of knowing Him spiritually. I wished for this magazine to find even one of those people and to lead him to the light of God.


However, thinking of my destiny, I feel frightened and endlessly lonely. It is because I read the following biblical passage as if it had been spoken to me. My soul, however, is leaping with joy.


And though the Lord gives you
The bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,
But your eyes shall see your teachers.
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
"This is the way, walk in it,"
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.
(Isaiah 30:20-21)


"I am in derision daily; Everyone mocks me" (Jeremiah 20:7). Although I silently endure laughter of the world, I am only afraid whether or not I am rightly stating the truth of God. I solely wish to listen to the valuable remarks of faithful forerunners and continue to print the truth of the gospel.


It has been sixty years since Professor Kanzo Uchimura proclaimed the Non-Church type of Christianity. It has been widely talked about and believed by many mainly in Tokyo, the capital of Japan, which is like Jerusalem in the Early Church days however they have already past. I wonder if now is the time when the Diaspora in the rural land of Kyushu (the southern island of Japan), not of Asia Minor, believe in the faith so that it takes root in the countryside. If the Non-Church movement lingers on in the capital for a long time, people like Cephas, Barnabas, and James may emerge and the Epistle to the Galatians will have to be written [by Paul] again.


I changed the title of the magazine from Life to Light of Life and began to publish it this month. I intended to edit for those who are unfamiliar with the Bible. Therefore, I will not print scholastic articles or imitate theological and priest-oriented theories neither am I capable of doing so.


I will only convey Christ's cross and the truth of the heavenly Kingdom, limiting myself to the role of leading people to faith. I have neither sponsors nor funds; I publish this magazine at no one's request and do not gain a cent by doing so. On the contrary, I am casting all my money. Even though I may die of starvation, "independence" is my life.

(October, 1948)


*Professor Kanzo Uchimura: Educator, a man of religion, a graduate of Amherst College (1860-1930). After returning to Japan he published the magazine Non-Church and proclaimed the Non-Church movement.


**Diaspora normally refers to Jews who live outside of Israel, but here the word denotes those who left their hometowns and came to Kumamoto to learn the original gospel faith.

As Ikuro Teshima predicted in this article, he had many hardships and persecutions in his ministry activities, including the publication of the magazine; however, many people did come to the light of God through even one copy of Light of Life. This has been continuously published until today by his disciples even after Teshima's passing in 1973.

The English version of Light of Life began to be published much later, in 1968; it was five years after Teshima had an encounter with Prof. Martin Buber in Jerusalem. The prominent religious philosopher had heard about the Makuya (tabernacle) movement in Japan. As he had not been satisfied with Western Christianity, he had taken a deep interest in Makuya and extended Teshima his invitation to have an interview. When Teshima visited him at his residence in Jerusalem in 1963, he suggested that Light of Life should be translated into English and published widely.


* Click here to read the English version of Light of Life.

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