Nicholas (Ono) of Japan

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{{orthodoxyinjapan}}
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His Grace the Right Reverend [[Bishop]] '''Nicholas (Ono) of Japan''' was consecrated as the ruling bishop of the [[Church of Japan]] in 1941 when the militaristic Japanese government required the heads of all religious groups in Japan to be Japanese nationals. He was the first Japanese national to be consecrated an Orthodox bishop.
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==Life==
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The future Bp. Nicholas was born Kiichi Yamazaki on [[September 8]], 1872, in the village of Kannami in Shizuoka Prefecture.  When he was still in elementary school, his older brother, Yamazaki Kenzaburō, was baptized into the Orthodox faith under the name of Sabbas and became a catechist.  As young Kiichi finished his education at school, he hoped to continue learning and went to Tokyo where he was introduced to [[Archbishop]] [[Nicholas of Japan|Nicholas (Kasatkin)]] and entered the [[Tokyo Orthodox Seminary (Tokyo, Japan)|Orthodox Seminary]] in Tokyo, being baptized under the name of John in 1885. 
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John completed his education in 1892 and became a catechist, following in the footsteps of his older brother.  In 1894 he married Faith Ono accepting her family name.  On [[March 19]], 1905, with Abp. Nicholas officiating, he was consecrated to priesthood and was assigned to be the [[priest]] of the church in Takasaki where he spent over thirty years, acquiring a rich pastoral experience.  Suddenly, as the wartime pressures on the Orthodox Church in Japan were mountain, he was reassigned in 1939 to the Yokohama Orthodox Church.
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When in 1939 the increasingly nationalistic Japanese government passed laws requiring that all Japanese religious bodies must be headed by Japanese nationals and [[Sergius (Tikhomirov) of Japan|Metr. Sergius]], who was the [[Archbishop]] of Tokyo and [[Metropolitan]] of All Japan, the Japanese Orthodox Church faced a grave predicament.  In order to conform to the new regulations and preserve the opportunitity to remain a functioning religious body in the harsh circumstances a Council of the Japanese Church was held in 1941 and Fr. John Ono was elected as a Japanese candidate to episcopacy.
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As he was married, he had to first separate from his wife who was sent to a [[monastery]] in Harbin in Manchuria, which was at the time ruled by Japan. Fr. John was also traveled to Harbin where he was [[tonsure]]d under the name of Nicholas and [[consecration|consecrated]] on [[April 6]], 1941 as the bishop of Tokyo and all Japan by the hierarchs of the [[ROCOR]]: Metr. [[Meletius of Harbin and all Manchuria]], Abp. [[Nestor (Anisimov) of Kamchatka and Petropavlovsk]], Bp. [[Juvenal of Qiqihar]], Bp. [[Demetrius of Hailar]] and Bp. [[John Maximovitch|John (Maksimovich) of Shanghai]]. (Some sources name Abp. [[Victor of Beijing]] instead of Bp. John.)  Thus, Bp. Nicholas became the first Japanese national to be consecrated an Orthodox bishop. 
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After the end of WWII, the jurisdiction over most of the communities of the Japanese Orthodox Church was assumed by the American Metropolia, the predecessor of the [[OCA]], while a minority, under the leadership of Bp. Nicholas aligned itself with the [[Moscow Patriarchate]].  Subsequently, Bp. Nicholas was reconciled with the Japanese Orthodox Church led by Bp. [[Ireney (Bekish) of New York|Irenaeus (Bekish)]] in April of 1954 and died at the age of 83 on [[November 19]], 1956.  He is buried in the famous Yanaka Cemetery in Tokyo alongside his predecessors: [[Nicholas of Japan|St. Nicholas, the Enlightener of Japan]], and [[Sergius (Tikhomirov) of Japan|Metr. Sergius]].
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==Sources==
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*Ushimaru, Proclus (Yasuo), Priest, ''Kami no Mimune ni Ikita Gekidō no Shimobetachi'', Tokyo, Office of the Metropolitan, the Japanese Orthodox Church, 1985.
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{{start box}}
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{{succession|
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before=[[Sergius (Tikhomirov) of Japan|Sergius (Tikhomirov)]]|
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title=Bishop of Tokyo|
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years=1941-1945|
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after=[[Benjamin (Basalyga) of Pittsburgh|Benjamin (Basalyga)]]}}
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{{end box}}
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[[Category:Bishops]]
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Revision as of 03:10, June 10, 2008

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