Foundation of The Salvation Army
William Booth

Founder, First General

William Booth

(1829 Apr 10 - 1912 Aug 20)

It began
with the salvation
of the people

The Salvation Army began in England in 1865.

The 36 years old Methodist pastor, William Booth, felt God’s calling to work for the salvation of the people of eastern London. In the vicinity, drunkenness, crime, immorality, poverty, unemployment, crowding and many other social ills were widespread.

While working with volunteers from various denominations, he soon realized that he was responsible for a rapidly evolving movement that would eventually be called The Christian Mission. This organization and discipline became heavily influenced by military practice.

We are
not Volunteer Army,
but Salvation Army

This immediately caught the hearts of his fellow workers. And this movement became publicly called “The Salvation Army” (In Japanese, it is called “Kyuseigun”). William Booth, known as the "founder," became a general. Since then, classes, uniforms, and insignia have been adopted. In addition, guidelines, disciplines, and terms for the organization have also been adopted. All was, as the founder explained at the 1904 convention, "not to imitate the military, but to the military style."

Within two years of the name change, the movement began to develop beyond its country of origin and is currently active in 131 countries and territories worldwide (as of August 2018).

* The Salvation Army has nothing to do with the armed organization "Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army".

Beginning of the Salvation Army in Japan

Photo of Gunpei Yamamuro
Photo of Gunpei Yamamuro

First Japanese Territorial Commander

Gunpei Yamamuro

(1872 Sept 1 - 1940 Mar 13)

Activities in Japan began in 1895 (Meiji 28), as Twelve British officers landed in Yokohama and began their activities.

The first Japanese Salvation Army officer was Gunpei Yamamuro, a well-known preacher and author of the “Common People’s Gospel” (Heimin no fukuin), which preached the gospel in a straightforward manner. He also focused on the abolitionist movement to free women from the Yukaku (red-light districts) and the establishment of a tuberculosis sanatorium.

Since then, the Salvation Army in Japan has been engaged in mission work through 43 corps (church), 2 hospitals (with hospice), nursery, children's homes, women's shelters, special nursing homes for the elderly, health facilities for the elderly, and rehabilitation facility for alcohol abusers.

At the corps, which is the base for our mission work, we hold weekly worship service on Sunday. In addition, we hold Bible study sessions, introductory religious courses, Sunday schools and gatherings for local children, women, and elderly. Please feel free to visit the local Salvation Army nearest to you.

The Yamamuro Gunpei Memorial Salvation Army Archives is located in Suginami-ku, Tokyo, and holds historical materials of the Salvation Army in Japan and documents and materials related to Yamamuro Gunpei.

The Salvation Army Gunpei Yamamuro Memorial Archies

Wada 2-21-39, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 166-0012

Look at Google Maps

Open Hours: Saturday 10am to 4pm except National Holiday
(Please contact for a visit on other than Saturday)
TEL 03-6256-8194 FAX 03-6256-8195

Salvation Army History (Video)


There are people
that you can save
with your support

With your little compassion, you can help people suffering from poverty and illness, help children to receive education, support disaster victims and more. You can deliver your thoughts to those who need help. Would you like to participate in this donation in the form of support?

Donate Now