Paul Rusch in Postwar JapanEvangelism, Rural Development, and the Battle against Communism

Paul Rusch in Postwar JapanEvangelism, Rural Development, and the Battle against Communism

Andrew T. McDonald and Verlaine Stoner McDonald

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9780813176079

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

Abstract

This book describes the remarkable life of Paul Rusch, a Kentuckian who went to Japan after the Great Kanto Earthquake. Rusch embarked on an unlikely journey from a YMCA worker to college instructor, missionary, prisoner of war, and military intelligence officer, ultimately founding Seisen-Ryo lodge and the Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project (KEEP) in Kiyosato, Japan. Through KEEP, Rusch introduced new agricultural methods and technology to highland Japan, endeavoring to help feed an impoverished region in the postwar era. Credited with introducing American-style football to Japan, Rusch was also instrumental in recruiting Japanese Americans (Nisei) for military service during World War II. As an army intelligence officer during the Allied Occupation of Japan, Rusch gathered evidence employed to absolve Emperor Hirohito of responsibility for the Pacific War. Rusch used his vast social network in Japan to acquire evidence of a Communist espionage ring in Japan led by the spymaster Richard Sorge, a development that affected the anti-Communist policies of Occupied Japan and McCarthy-era politics in the United States. Rusch’s dreams of evangelizing Japan did not come to fruition, but, despite some failures, Paul Rusch’s memory has endured into the twenty-first century, inspiring Japanese and Americans to foster cultural exchange, environmental sustainability, and international peace.