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91203-0003 - Christian Activist Nobu Jo

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Kobe Showa 1930s Unknown
Christian activist Nobu Jo (城ノブ, 1872-1959, center) along a railway in Kobe, Japan, with women who she saved from committing suicide. The sign in the back says “Wait! God is love.” (一寸待って神は愛なり, Chotto matte. Kami wa ai nari.)

While married to socialist Tomojiro Ito (伊藤智二郎), Jo launched the Kobe Women’s Welfare Association (神戸婦人同情会, Kobe Fujin Dojokai) in 1916 (Taisho 5). Jo’s organization assisted troubled women, especially those employed in prostitution. She also launched the Aotani Aijien Kindergarten (青谷愛児園), orphanages and other organizations. Jo is one of the 20th century’s most important Christian activists of Japan. Her organization was so famous that even the New York Times reported about it in 1929 (Showa 4).
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