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Port of London
1903 – 1920
Lascars
Sailors’ Homes

Japanese Seamen’s Home

In 1903, a new Japanese Seamen's Home was opened by the Bishop of Osaka at 31 Elizabeth Street, North Woolwich, near the Royal Albert Docks.

In 1896, a missionary Miss McLean/Maclean, who had worked in Japan, began to dedicate attention to Japanese seamen in London. She lived near the Albert Docks and also spent time in seamen’s lodging houses in Chiswick where approximately 70 Japanese sailors were living at one time. Miss McLean died in 1904. By 1898 the Japanese Seamen's Club was opened by the Mission to Seamen at Tilbury Docks, London. It was opened by Mrs Marion Bickersteth, the widow of Bishop Edward Bickersteth who had worked in Japan from 1886 until his death in 1897.

In 1903, a new Japanese Seamen's Home was opened by the Bishop of Osaka at 31 Elizabeth Street, North Woolwich, near the Royal Albert Docks. The Club was superintended by the Mission to Seamen chaplain of the Port of London, and the vicar of North Woolwich was on the executive committee. There were Japanese Christian Workers there too, but from 1909 it was mainly retired British missionaries who were in charge. While the primary purposes were religious, the club had a social side too and Japanese seamen were taken on guided tours of London as well able to socialise indoors. In 1916, the club had 4000 visitors.

Dr Motoda, the first Japanese person to be consecrated Bishop, visited London and the Club in 1925.

 

Resources

Itoh, Keiko. 2001.The Japanese Community in Pre-War Britain: From Integration to Disintegration (Richmond: Curzon Press).

Citation for this article

Sumita Mukherjee, 'Japanese Seamen’s Home' Mariners: Race, Religion and Empire in British Ports 1801-1914, https://mar.ine.rs/stories/japanese-seamens-home/
Retrieved 22 February 2024