Arita Masaru (1930-)

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Arita Masaru (b. 8 January 1930), the first baptized member of the Nihon Menonaito Burezaren Kyodan (Japan Mennonite Brethren Conference), was born in Hyogo Prefecture. After graduating from Osaka Municipal University in 1956, he taught high school English at the Episcopal Momoyama Mission School until 1961. He was baptized in July 1951; entered Osaka Biblical Seminary, which was sponsored by the Mennonite Brethren Mission, in 1961; became pastor of the Ishibashi Church in 1964; and was ordained in September 1971. In 1958 he married Teiko Wakizaka. They had three children.

While pastoring the Ishibashi church, he also served as moderator of the Japan Field Council for six years. After the Japan Mennonite Brethren Conference reorganized the seminary training program in 1971, he served as the first principal; later he was dean of education. In 1987 he continued to teach New Testament studies, church history, and other courses.

In the early years of the Japan Mennonite Brethren Conference, he worked diligently to establish an indigenous church with strong national leadership, to formulate a constitution and doctrinal statement for organization, and to produce a handbook for members. These guiding principles are based on evangelical, fundamentalist, and Anabaptist teachings.

In Mennonite Brethren circles, he was widely known and loved as an evangelist, pastor, Bible teacher, and leader.

Author(s) Ruth Wiens
Date Published 1987

Cite This Article

MLA style

Wiens, Ruth. "Arita Masaru (1930-)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 10 Dec 2019.

APA style

Wiens, Ruth. (1987). Arita Masaru (1930-). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 10 December 2019, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 37. All rights reserved.

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