Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Mormon Studies Review


Emily Anderson


Mormonism in Asia, Japanese mormonism, global spread of religion


Shinji Takagi’s The Trek East: Mormonism Meets Japan, 1901–1968 is a sweeping and detailed account of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ struggle to establish and sustain a mission in Japan. Organized both chronologically and thematically, it recounts the hardships and frustrations endured by the first group of missionaries who ventured to Japan between 1901 and 1924—the first attempt at establishing the Japan Mission—and the more successful second attempt initiated during the Allied occupation of Japan and further reinforced during a particularly dynamic period of leadership and activity in the 1960s. While earlier studies of Mormonism in Japan have tended to focus study is welcome and groundbreaking in its extensive use of Japanese-language primary and secondary sources, meticulous contextualization, attention to the complexities of linguistic and cultural translation, and perceptive accounts of native Japanese church members.