" The possibilities are staggering and may never come again." This is the opinion reported
back to Maryknoll, New York, from Japan, by Fr. Leo Steinhash, a missionary priest who has just arrived' in Kyoto. to take up duties.
The condition of the Japanese
mission contrasts sadly with recent reports float North China, where years of fruitful activity are being wiped out by the excesses of the Communist armies. The Cathedral at Sienhsien, in Hopeh, has been sacked by these marauders.
Fr. Steinbach, who knows Japan thoroughly, and spent many years there before the war, states that persons who knew the country under the defeated regime would be astonished at the change that has taken place.
" Before the war the people were afraid to speak to Americans. Now we can draw them about us at will. They are happy to be free: they tell us so without asking. The police arc
Because Kyoto was one of the Japanese cities spared from American bombs, it is swollen by refugees. Millions of people arc starving. Many Japanese are pouring in from China, Korea and Manchuria. The priest continues that the example of American Catholic troops is helping the missioner. " They attend church in large numbers and edify the Chinese. It is interesting to see Americans and Japanese rubbing shoulders at the altar rails, receiving Holy Communion."
REPORT FROM TOKYO
A report from Tokyo says that Catholic educators see drastic changes involved in sonic recommendations of the United States education mission in Japan. These include co-education from the primary level up, including co-educational games, complete abandonment of Japanese characters and substitution of Romanised phonetic spelling, and leaving the selection of text-hooks to committees of local teachers rather than to a central authority.
Observers with long-time knowledge of Oriental psychology and Japanese customs gravely doubt 'the social wisdom of co-education here. Opinion is divided as to whether " Romaji," meaning the spelling of Japanese words in ordinary letters, is practicable or advisable.
Among Catholics fears are expressed lest local committees adopt text-books containing misstatements concerning Christianity, and the local Christians would be too small a minority to obtain redress.
Catholics note the recognition of parental and religious rights in a recommindation that private schools meeting standards set for public schools be approved. The chapter on higher education emphasises: ",Rellgion is an important part of study and of life," and insists on equal rights for all worthy colleges, public and private.
The report, submitted to Supreme Commander Douglas MacArthur, urges that tax-maintained, tuition-free education be compulsory up to the lower secondary course or the age of 16. Hitherto tuition was paid for in all schools.