KUZUHARA, SADAICHI
Sadaichi Kuzuhara was born near Tsuyama in Okayama-ken, Japan, on July 23, 1886, the first-born son and the third child in his family. Early in life he went to Tokyo to study English. One day as he was going through a painful experience, he was introduced to the Kanda Fukuinkan. Then at the age of eighteen, on December 3, 1904, Kuzuhara received Christ as his personal Savior at an evangelistic meeting at the Fukuinkan conducted by Yoshigoro Akiyama.

In August 1905, Kuzuhara entered the Kashiwagi Seisho Gakuin (present-day Tokyo Biblical Seminary). There he met Kiyoka Yamada, a dedicated Christian, who later became his wife. She was the minister of a Holiness church and had a brother, Mitsuya Watanuki, who was also a Holiness minister. At that time, Akiji Kurumada, who later became a post-World War II founder of the Holiness Church in Japan, was a classmate of Kuzuhara. They remained intimate friends as they guided the Holiness Churches on both sides of the Pacific.

After graduation, Kuzuhara was assigned to churches in Tottori and Hachioji for two-and-one-half years. Then in 1913, he was assigned to the OMS Headquarters to work mainly as an English translator with Teiji Yamazaki. Kuzuhara translated the book Power Through Prayer by E. M. Bounds, which became a best-seller among Japanese Christians. He also served as a translator for preachers such as Cowman and Kilbourne, the founders of the Japan Holiness Church. In 1917, Kuzuhara was assigned to the Hongo Holiness Church in downtown Tokyo.

In 1919, Kuzuhara arrived in the United States to seek out and study with A. B. Simpson about his “Four-Fold Gospel.” First Kuzuhara stopped in Tacoma to earn money for his trip to New York, but while there received the sad news that his son, Kenji, had died. Kuzuhara was greatly encouraged by his son’s faith in God: Kenji, in the face of death, avowed that he was “going to a nicer place.” Next, Kuzuhara’s plans to go to New York were canceled due to A. B. Simpson's death, so instead he headed for Asbury Seminary. His stay there was uneventful, for much of what he learned there had already been covered at the Kashiwagi Bible School.

While on an evangelistic tour in the U.S. with his son, Ugo, Bishop Juji Nakada of the Japan Holiness Church had visited Kuzuhara in Kentucky. Nakada had recommended a ministry in California, so on June 22, 1921, Kuzuhara went to the West Coast. (During Juji Nakada’s visit to Los Angeles, he had promised the young, dedicated people, who had begun the Oriental Missionary Church there, that he would send someone to lead them. Kuzuhara had already felt the need for the evangelization of the Japanese people on the West Coast.)

On November 12, 1938, Kuzuhara’s wife, Kiyoka, died of complications from a heart attack. She had been a dedicated co-worker, a woman of God, and the mother of eleven children.

As World War II began, the Kuzuhara family was sent to the Amache Relocation Center in 1942 along with thirty-eight Holiness families. The following year, Kuzuhara moved to Chicago, where several Holiness members were already involved in ministry. Together, their ministry resulted in the Lakeside Christian Church.

In 1957, Kuzuhara resigned from the Lakeside Christian Church and served at the Makiki Christian Church in Honolulu for two years. His son, Chiaki, assumed the pastorship of the Lakeside Christian Church. After returning to Chicago, Kuzuhara was often called upon to minister at important occasions like the fiftieth anniversary of the Los Angeles Holiness Church and summer conferences. Kuzuhara also was the keynote speaker at the Centennial Celebration of Japanese Christian work in the United States, held in San Francisco in 1977.

On March 11, l988, in Chicago, Sadaichi Kuzuhara finished his earthly sojourn at the age of 101. He left an indelible mark as the first pastor of the Holiness Church of North America. He is survived by eleven children: Chiaki, Mika, Ikue, Kenji, Yasushi, Kei, Ken, Yukiyo, Emi, Renko, and Noboru.

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