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Helen Fayville Topping papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description


Sermons and Addresses - Kagawa

Typescripts of Kagawa's Books and Mrs. Kagawa's Work

Kagawa's Life

Kagawa's Organizations and Kagawa-Related Organizations

Research Material - Kagawa & Topping

Helen Topping's Sermons, Addresses, and Papers

Educational Materials

Research Material - Asia, Europe, United States

Miscellaneous Printed Material

Miscellaneous Japanese Materials


Helen Fayville Topping papers, 1872-1968 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Helen Fayville Topping papers, 1872-1968Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: 1/2/MSS 034

Primary Creator: Topping, Helen, (1889-1981.)

Extent: 76.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Arranged in twelve series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Sermons and Addresses-Kagawa, (3) Typescripts, (4) Biographical, (5) Organizations, (6) Research Material-Kagawa & Topping, (7) Sermons, Addresses, and Papers-Topping, (8) Educational Material, (9) Research Material-Asia, Europe, United States, (10) Printed Material, (11) Japanese Material, (12) Miscellaneous

Subjects: Christianity. - Japan, Japan, Japan - Religion, Kagawa, Toyohiko, 1888-1960, Topping, Helen, 1889-1981.

Forms of Material: Correspondence., Kagawa, Toyohiko, 1888-1960 - Correspondence, Manuscripts for publication., Records (documents), Speeches, addresses, etc., Topping, Helen, 1889-1981. - Correspondence

Languages: English, Japanese

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection consists of  correspondence and other papers of Christian missionaries Helen Topping and Toyohiko Kagawa. The materials include his addresses, mostly issues of his various English-language publications, and publicity materials regarding Kagawa and his work. There is an unpublished translation of a Japanese biography by Haruichi Yokoyama in the collection.  There are also numerous first-hand accounts of Japanese and even Chinese social conditions and missionary activities, and a good bit of material on cooperatives in the Philippines.

Among the typescripts in the collection (Kagawa was the author of over 150 books in Japanese) is the third of his autobiographical novels, Listening to the Walls, which is translated but unpublished in English.

Biographical Note

Helen Topping was born April 12, 1889, in Rochester, New York, the daughter of two American missionaries, Genevieve and Henry Topping. In 1895 she was taken to Japan for six years, which began her interest in other cultures.  She attended the Francis W. Parker School in Chicago and began spreading Parker's theories of education.  In 1905 at a religious conference at Silver Bay, Wisconsin, she dedicated herself to missionary work.  She later obtained degrees in education from a Baptist school, Denison University, and later Columbia University.

In 1925 she found her mission when a Japanese evangelist, Toyohiko Kagawa called her to work for him as his English secretary and organizer in America.

Toyohiko Kagawa was born in 1888. By the time Helen Topping went to work for him he was already well-known for his work in founding churches, settlement houses, cooperatives, labor unions, schools, relief work after the earthquake of 1923, and for the publication of his highly successful first novel, Crossing the Death Line.

Topping joined Kagawa in Japan in 1927  when he was in the midst of a monumental crusade, the "Kingdom of God Movement," which aimed at converting a significant portion of Japanese to Christianity.

Topping's parents, officially retired, joined her in working for Kagawa and together they edited and distributed Kagawa's English-language magazine, "Friends of Jesus," and the Kagawa calendar.

In 1932 Topping lost her American funding, but she continued to function unofficially on Kagawa's behalf until nearly the beginning of World War II.  Following the war -which Topping spent in the U.S.- she resumed her efforts for him, but the indeterminate nature of her responsibilities and the lack of an assured income often proved unsettling. She also went to the Philippines to teach four times, always stressing the propagation of Kagawa's doctrine of cooperation and Parker's theories on education.

Subject/Index Terms

Christianity. - Japan
Japan - Religion
Kagawa, Toyohiko, 1888-1960
Topping, Helen, 1889-1981.

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contian the complete citation to the original.

Related Materials: Helen Fayville Topping photograph collection PH 34

Preferred Citation: [Item], Helen Fayville Topping papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Sermons and Addresses - Kagawa],
[Series 3: Typescripts of Kagawa's Books and Mrs. Kagawa's Work],
[Series 4: Kagawa's Life],
[Series 5: Kagawa's Organizations and Kagawa-Related Organizations],
[Series 6: Research Material - Kagawa & Topping],
[Series 7: Helen Topping's Sermons, Addresses, and Papers],
[Series 8: Educational Materials],
[Series 9: Research Material - Asia, Europe, United States],
[Series 10: Miscellaneous Printed Material],
[Series 11: Miscellaneous Japanese Materials],
[Series 12: Miscellaneous],

Series 11: Miscellaneous Japanese MaterialsAdd to your cart.
Box 55Add to your cart.
Folder 1Add to your cart.
Draft letters
Folder 2Add to your cart.
Notes, I
Folder 3Add to your cart.
Notes, II
Folder 4Add to your cart.
Notes, III
Folder 5Add to your cart.
Fragments and miscellaneous materials
Box 56Add to your cart.
Folder 1Add to your cart.
Financial Records; I-II
Folder 2Add to your cart.
Financial Records; I-II
Folder 3Add to your cart.
Receipts -- English; I-III
Box 57Add to your cart.
Folder 1Add to your cart.
Receipts -- English
Sub-Series 1: Holograph letters and writings by Kagawa in JapaneseAdd to your cart.
In Japanese
Box 57Add to your cart.
Folder 2Add to your cart.

Letter from Kagawa to Ogawa, December 1, 1932, asking that mail be forwarded to Helen Topping

Card and photograph of the card by Kagawa thanking Honida for a book Cooperative Movement in Japan

Letter on the meaning of Christmas

“On the nature and person of God,” pen by Kagawa and pencil dictated by Kagawa

“Church Sociology,” by Toyohiko Kagawa, MS 56pp. with 3 reduced photostat copies

“Theology – Jitsugen no Shingaku,” by Toyohiko Kagawa, Ms 62pp.

“A Grain of Wheat,” by Toyohiko Kagawa, Ms

Sub-Series 2: Articles in print by Kagawa in JapaneseAdd to your cart.
Box 57Add to your cart.
Folder 3Add to your cart.

“How Shall We Progress,” 1928

Two articles by Kagawa “Love Movement” and “To the Heart of God,” and  two articles about him  in The Southern California Gospel Herald, September 15, 1931

Funeral oration by Kagawa of Yosuko Yoshimoto’s funeral, July 10, 1938

Article by Kagawa “Conversation with a Pebble in the Sidewalk,” in a Christian newspaper, February 22, 1947

Article by Kagawa, “Influence of Mr. Toju Nakac” (a well-known scholar of Japanese literature), The Christian Weekly, May 23, 1959

Program of the Second Asian Conference of World Federation at Nagasaki.  Address by Kagawa, “World Peace and World Federation”

Pamphlet by Kagawa, “How to Become a Saint”

Article by Kagawa, “World Creation without Exploitation”

A card announcing his return home and thanking people for their help and prayers, October 14, 1936

Quotation from Bible, Luke 19:40

Sub-Series 3: Printed material about KagawaAdd to your cart.
Box 57Add to your cart.
Folder 4Add to your cart.

Memorandum of a conversation between Kagawa and Glenn Clark

Criticism of Kagawa by Dara Kan Haideki Henshum Domei

Hymn in support of Kagawa’s Christian Movement, Southern California Christian Churches

“Thinking of Toyohiko Kagawa,” by Tomiko Yamumuro

Bibliography of Kagawa’s books

An interview of Kagawa and Norman Cousius regarding the Japanese Constitution, Sekai Renjo Shinbun, October 1, 1953

Activities of Mrs. Kagawa

An article about Kagawa’s office showing a Korean friend painting a poster for

Kagawa in Korean.  Yomiuri, January 27, 1930

Biography of Kagawa

Budget for publishing a book about Kagawa, Idea of Redemption is Writing of  Toyohiko Kagawa, April 28, 1967

Obituary for Kagawa, The Christ Weekly

Article on recommendation of Kagawa for Nobel Peace Prize, Tokyo Shinbun

Four articles on Kagawa, “Followers of Kagawa,” “From Kagawa Criticism in Osaka this Fall,” “Everybody Preached,” and “Implications of Kagawa’s Play.”

The People’s Christian Evangel, November 20, 1961

Biography of Kagawa

Announcement of a book by Kagawa

Announcement of a summer school program listing a course by Kagawa – Principle of Subjective Economics

Invitation to a dinner to celebrate the publication of “Toyohiko Kagawa’s Life and his      Contribution,” February 11, 1961

Ad for a book by Kagawa

Announcement of lectures by Kagawa on “Love of God and Eternity,” and “Reality ofthe Holy Spirit of God,” in Tokyo

Brochure advertising a scroll and wall hanging by Kagawa to raise funds fo the Matsuzawa Church

An ad for A Grain of Wheat by Kagawa, March 28, 1931

An account of visiting Kagawa, April 10, 1959

Article on Mrs. Kagawa visiting the U.S.

Invitation letter from Mary Lincoln to visit the U.S.

Sub-Series 4: Letters to Kagawa in JapaneseAdd to your cart.
Box 57Add to your cart.
Folder 5Add to your cart.

From Mitsuo Kitazawa requesting a speech at Pinehill College.  Many people are eager to hear Kagawa speak, July 27, 1931

From Takahara, looking forward to seeing Kagawa at Oberlin, August 7, 1931

From Sakaguchi, sending $127.98 collected from a meeting in Stockton, California, September 14, 1931

From S.K. Hala, invitation to a meeting at a Japanese Church Federation in California, 1931

From Nobando Oda, expressing appreciation for Kagawa’s visit to Southern

California and sends $64.30 for speech at Fresno.  Japanese Church Federation of Northern California, 1931

From Nishihora, expressing appreciation for being with him and sends pictures. Oberlin College [ca. 1931]

From Yoriyuki Murashima, principle of Heiwa Gakuin, ghost writer for Kagawa, leader in shipyard strikes.  About philosophy and history of a previous Peace School, references to terms of Helen Topping’s contract with the school, [1960]

Writer unknown stating advice re. Communism, May 29, 1932

From Sunday School Students sending money as a Christmas present

From Shin talking of the high esteem that Chinese have for Kagawa and their need for him to identify with the people.  The process or conversion in Asia is very complex

From Tehitaro Takata requesting speeches to the Society of Friends in New York,

Osaka Marnichi Publishing Co., July 21, 1931

From Sojiro Shimizu giving Kagawa’s schedule in New York.  The Japanese Christian Institute, Inc., October 2, 1931

From Nishida, inviting Kagawa to his church, Japanese Congregational Church

From Nobando Oda, sending $177.15 minus expenses from San Francisco, $60 from Stockton

From Teisei, expressing appreciation for meeting Kagawa

From Masoa Morika, requesting Kagawa’s speaking schedule and a speaking engagement.  The Chicago Theological Seminary, July 24, [ca. 1931]

From Yoneko Imai, expressing regret not hearing Kagawa at Yale

From Iwanoga, requesting that he speak at Wittonberg College in Springfield

From Jukichi Mizuno, requesting $200 or $300 for his church mission.  Stevenson Japanese Mission, Canada

From Iwasaburo Okino about Kagawa’s schedule

Sub-Series 5: Letters to Helen Topping in JapaneseAdd to your cart.
Box 57Add to your cart.
Folder 6Add to your cart.

From Tome Kuwano, expressing appreciation for meeting with her and of her Christian characteristics and strong faith, January 4, 1934

From Koko Yamashita, directions to Karizawa, January 7, 1934

From Kitagawa, sending a special post  card, April 13, 1934

From Kame, Greetings, [1938]

From Matsu Goto, Greetings, [ca. 1947]

From Marashima Yoriyuko inviting Helen Topping to visit Heiwa Gakuen, n.d.

From Mrs. Oda’s, expressing her feelings for Mrs. Topping calling her one of the Japanese lights, February 25, 1954

From Seiichi Fujisaki, giving his speech schedule and thank you note, September 27, 1954

From Yokoyama Haraichi, requesting paper, February 1, 1959

From a student, desiring to be a good Christian

From Seiichi Fujisaki, requesting meeting, May 18, 1959

From Tomiko Kyozawa, concerning a $600 loan for Mrs. Clarke; on account of leaving Japan, August 6, 1959

From Endo, unable to overcome an illness, June 27, 1965

From Chicko Yoshio, greetings, February 5, 1963

From Mr. Manakata, an apology, can’t come, August 24, 1965

From Kiku Kato in regard to her aunt and Helen Topping

From Matsu Goto, thanking Helen Topping for her sermon

From H. Toda, asking for an appointment

From Kazuno Yagama, thank you note for help during illness, November 10, n.y.

From Hita Same, an invitation, February 23, n.y.

From Idorikawa Masue, a thank you note

From Uehida, thanking her for efforts to get money from U.S.

From M. Nagai, a card apologizing for not writing

From Takashi Sato, writing about Mother’s Day and requesting a sermon, May 15, n.y.

From Kika Obara, referring to sending money and some difficulty about it

From a mother’s committee, sending an invitation to Mother’s Day

From Arita, a thank you note

From Yoshi Kawakawi, a brief note

From Eiko Inagak, sending a package of nuts

From Noba Ogawa, a thank you note

From Yoshida, thanking Helen Topping for packages and discussing his work

From Ko Hata, asking to use Topping Hall at Karuizawa

From Mrs. Kawakami, in regard to the shipment of his books

From Junko Kato, thanking Helen Topping for the wool yarn, February 22, 1960

From Toku Sato, in regard to a peasant gospel school, [ca. 1964]

From Kyozuko, an apology and returning a coat

From T    asking Helen Topping to watch Kagawa’s health

From Inada praising Helen Topping, sending an invitation and requesting a picture

From a printing company sending books

From Okada, sending pictures, January 13, 1949

From Samuel Nichoson, writing about a change of address, September 29, 1964

From Kubo Tsura, writing about Kagawa’s lectures, 1926

Sub-Series 6: Other letters in JapaneseAdd to your cart.
Box 57Add to your cart.
Folder 7Add to your cart.

From Shimiza, to Ogawa.  Invitation to a luncheon for Kagawa [ca. 1931]

From Tokaji Hirato, to Ogawa.  Requesting a speech

From Okamara, to Ogawa.  Sending pineapple to Kagawa and Ogawa

From Kimara Kioshi, to Ogawa.  Regarding delivery of 80 books to Okubo [May 1, 1935]

From Kaneko and Ebsisawa, to Furuga.  Sending an invitation, September, 1963

From ______ to Betty Kilburn.  Part of a letter about sending something

From ______ to Ashisawa.  Products of the Gtenba Company are not suitable for use in foreign countries

From Helen Topping.  Greetings

Box 58Add to your cart.
Folder 1Add to your cart.
Telegrams to Kagawa on his return to Yokohama in Japanese
Folder 2Add to your cart.
Other cards and telegrams in Japanese
Folder 3Add to your cart.

Religious Materials in Japanese

    Hymns including one by Kagawa

    Ashian program by Stanley Jones

    A paper, “The Gospel of Friendship” by Maegaki

Folder 4Add to your cart.
Organization materials in Japanese
Folder 5Add to your cart.
Kagawa’s travel schedules in Japanese
Folder 6Add to your cart.
Railroad and other schedules; travel brochures in Japanese

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Sermons and Addresses - Kagawa],
[Series 3: Typescripts of Kagawa's Books and Mrs. Kagawa's Work],
[Series 4: Kagawa's Life],
[Series 5: Kagawa's Organizations and Kagawa-Related Organizations],
[Series 6: Research Material - Kagawa & Topping],
[Series 7: Helen Topping's Sermons, Addresses, and Papers],
[Series 8: Educational Materials],
[Series 9: Research Material - Asia, Europe, United States],
[Series 10: Miscellaneous Printed Material],
[Series 11: Miscellaneous Japanese Materials],
[Series 12: Miscellaneous],

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