Our History

Shortly after World War II, the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (Japanese Anglican Church) requested assistance from the Episcopal Church of the United States to look after the pastoral needs of the people of Okinawa, which became an American possession after the war. Of particular concern were the many Anglican communicants on the island who were formerly afflicted with Hansen’s disease. Two American missionary Priests, who were World War II veterans, answered this call and arrived in Okinawa in 1951. All Souls’ Parish was founded in the 1950s by Americans stationed or working on Okinawa. The original congregation began under the supervision of the Bishop of Hawaii and the Episcopal Church of the United States. All Souls’ is so named in memory of those of every nation who died during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945 were over 236,000 lives were lost.

In 1968, the “missionary” Diocese of Okinawa was formed and Edmond Lee Browning Stone Crosswas chosen as our first Bishop. In 1972, in conjunction with the transfer of Okinawa from a U.S. possession back to Japan, the Diocese was transferred from the Episcopal Church to the Nippon Sei Ko Kai and Paul Saneaki Nakamura was elected Bishop. The Diocese of Okinawa has grown from that time and includes 12 Churches, 5 day care centers, 2 kindergartens, 2 sanatoria for the victims of Hansen’s disease, 1 student dormitory, and a Convent.

All Souls is the only English-speaking congregation in the Diocese of Okinawa. With the blessing of our Bishop, we use the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church of the United States for our worship services and provide a translated text of the liturgy in Japanese for our Japanese-speaking parishioners.