1928-1931 MILDRED ANNE PAINE. Archive of Oxford Group - Toyohiko Kagawa Connected Missionary to Japan.
1928-1931 MILDRED ANNE PAINE. Archive of Oxford Group - Toyohiko Kagawa Connected Missionary to Japan.
1928-1931 MILDRED ANNE PAINE. Archive of Oxford Group - Toyohiko Kagawa Connected Missionary to Japan.
1928-1931 MILDRED ANNE PAINE. Archive of Oxford Group - Toyohiko Kagawa Connected Missionary to Japan.
1928-1931 MILDRED ANNE PAINE. Archive of Oxford Group - Toyohiko Kagawa Connected Missionary to Japan.

1928-1931 MILDRED ANNE PAINE. Archive of Oxford Group - Toyohiko Kagawa Connected Missionary to Japan.

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Wonderful small archive of material related to Japanese missionary, Mildred Anne Paine [1893-1988]. From a long line of Methodist ministers, her grandfather, Colonel Elisha Wright, was the founder of the community of Barre and the Barre Methodist Church in 1833. 

She graduated from Genesee Wesleyan Seminary and went on to earn a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Oberlin College in 1919, followed by a Master’s Degree from Boston University in 1927, and a Psychology degree from New York University in 1935. 

She entered the Women’s Foreign Missionary Service with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1920. She sailed to Japan that year, and spent her first five years abroad learning Japanese and working in Kagoshima. 

In 1923, a devastating earthquake demolished the Methodist Social Evangelistic Center in East Tokyo, and left a community of people displaced and impoverished. Members of the Methodist Mission observed pressing needs in the community for social aid, schooling for children, and religious education. In 1928, Paine was given supervisory responsibilities over all aspects of a new community center named Ai Kei Gakuen, which opened its doors in 1930. During this time, she experienced a spiritual awakening through her connection with Toyohiko Kagawa and The Oxford Group.  

After the Japanese entered WWII in 1941, Paine and her fellow American missionaries were cut off from all contact with the United States, but Paine continued her work at Ai Kei Gakuen undeterred until she was interned by the Japanese government in 1942. After one year of internment, Paine was released and allowed to return to the United States. After the war, Paine continued her missionary work at Ai Kei Gakuen until her retirement in 1962. She died in September 1988 in Asheville, North Carolina.

The materials include: 

*Envelope to Miss Elma Seldon of Le Roy, New York from Tokyo with an extensive 3pp TLS [Lithographed], entitled, "Letter Received by Dr. Kagawa Re: The Oxford Group in Canada. 

Fascinating content on Kagawa's interaction with the Oxford Group in Toronto, including accounts of Lloyd Smith, W. H. Goddwin, Canon Grensted, Frank Buchman, etc., Includes methods of the group, their personal influence on Kagawa, how the groups practiced public confession to each other [here the roots of Alcoholics Anonymous], etc. I cannot trace another example of this important early Oxford Group / Alcoholics Anonymous primary resource document anywhere. 

*5pp ALS to Miss Seldon from Mildred Anne Paine [1914-1979], dated January 30, 1927. She discusses building the Tokyo Social Evangelistic Center, missionaries gone home because they cannot bear life in Japan, a poignant section on the "address of the heart," i.e. its proper geographic location, meeting with Bishop Baker, the Methodist Episcopal Missionary Conference, etc. 

*2pp ALS to Miss Emma Seldon from Mildred Anne Paine, dated March 10, 1933. Beautiful description of snow flakes falling through plum blossoms in the mountains, etc., It seems Miss Paine's "address of the heart" is Japan. She discusses the hot springs, community bathing in them with the Japanese women, etc.,

This letter was originally in the same envelope with the Oxford Group document above. She ends the letter, "I have joined the Kagawa Fellowship. Dr. Kagawa was with us for our biggest Christmas. There was a spectacular conversion. That with my new acquaintance with the Oxford Groups made for me the great spiritual experience I've ever known. Believe I'll send you a copy of Mr. Price's report of the Oxford Group in Toronto. Mr. Price is the great Canadian Missionary I worked with until we built Ae Kei Gakuen" 

*1p circular lithographed TLS, hand-signed by Mildred Anne Paine. Dated to January 21, 1929. Includes content re: Bishop Baker, the Social Evangelistic Center in Tokyo, etc. 

*2pp lithographed with hand-corrections by Mildren Anne Paine, entitled, "Ai Kei Gakuen. Pages from Our Diary." Includes mention of Dr. Kagawa, etc.

*Simple 1928 handwritten Japanese Christmas greeting from Mildred Anne Paine to Miss Emma Seldon.