Son of Louisville
Chapter 1 traces Paul Rusch’s early life in Louisville as the son of a grocer and as a soldier in World War I. After the war, Rusch led an effort to establish a bohemian art colony in Louisville, though his venture eventually went bankrupt and landed Rusch in court. Rusch left Kentucky and then on a lark volunteered to help rebuild the Tokyo and Yokohama YMCA branches after the Great Kanto Earthquake. His connections at Holy Trinity Church in Tokyo led to positions on the Rikkyo University faculty and as a fund-raiser for St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo. As Rusch worked to convert young Japanese men to Christianity by relaunching the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Japan was swept up in political and social turmoil and militarism. Along the way, he staged the first organized game of American football in Japan and laid the foundation for Japan’s collegiate football league. Dr. Rudolf Teusler mentored Rusch during tours in America, honing Rusch’s skills in fund-raising, expanding his network to include wealthy patrons, and shaping Rusch’s staunch anti-Communist views.
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