Beginnings of a Prison Ministry in Japan – 1875

Satsuma Rebellion: Saigō Takamori (seated, in French uniform), surrounded by his officers, in traditional attire. News article in Le Monde Illustré, 1877.

In 1875 Dr. J. C. Berry had obtained through the American Minister permission to visit prisons in different parts of Japan. The results of his inspection were embodied in a report that he made in 1876 to the Japanese Government, adding many suggestions about needed improvements. The Government had the report printed and distributed among the prison officials, a fact the more noticeable since it included the testimony of many European and American penologists upon the value of Christian teaching as a reformatory agent. The Governor of Kobe appointed a member of the church in that city as a teacher in the prison to give instruction in reading, arithmetic, and morals. Though not appointed as a chaplain, he found many opportunities to exert a Christian influence. Early in 1877 this man received a document from eight of the prisoners. The cover was of ordinary paper; but in the centre was a wreath of flowers painted in colours, in the centre of this wreath was a cross, and on the cross were four Chinese ideographs that signified “The Company of the New Covenant.” Within the covers was written an agreement saying that the persons whose names were signed at its close entered into a solemn covenant with each other and with God to cease from all violations of the law of God and of the land, and to follow Jesus as their Saviour. At the end each man wrote his name, and then as they had no seals, they did what is recognised as lawful under such circumstances, dipped the ends of their thumbs in ink and impressed them on the paper. The man that taught these prisoners was afterwards made the superintendent of the prison.

Early in 1877 Mr. Neesima sent some Christian books to the prison at Otsu, about eight miles from Kyoto. Among them was Dr. Martin’s “Evidences of Christianity” in Chinese, the book to whose influence reference has several times before been made. This so interested one of the prisoners that he he^sn to translate it into Japanese for the benefit of his illiterate associates, whom he began to instruct. Mr. Neesima wrote an account of what followed :

“Most of the prisoners are uneducated and petty thieves. A lamp was allowed for evening study. This was a great concession from the authorities, for the use of lamps had hitherto been forbidden. But one lamp proved insufficient for the large number of prison students. I believe they were eighty in number. Subsequently one more was granted, then another, then another, till finally the room was fully lighted. He who taught his associates also began to preach to them every day. One day fire broke out in the prison, but there was no least confusion. He kept them in complete order. Under his direction each on work nobly and soon the fire was extinguished. Afterwards the prisoners were inspected, and none of them had escaped. It was a wonderful thing. The authorities of the city were informed of the behaviour of the prisoners and the reason for it, and their leader was released on account of his good conduct, although he had one year yet to serve. After his release he called on us and told us his story. He had killed a man ten years ago in a Quarrel. He has since started a private school in Otsu, and Mr. Davis, myself, and some of the students have preached there ever since.”

Departing from the chronological order of events, we may here insert one or two other incidents connected with work for prisoners. The first relates to a young man who failed in an attempt to inaugurate such work.

He was a student in the Doshisha School. While there, his conscience troubled him because a few years before, when a boy in Tokyo, he had stolen some shoes from a hotel. He finally decided to confess his crime and take the consequences. Supposing that he would have to spend considerable time in prison, he began to think where he could do the most good. As no Christian work had yet been done in the province of Satsuma, he decided to seek imprisonment there in order that he might preach Christ to those that were confined with him. He left school without telling any one of his plans, and went to Satsuma. From there he wrote letters to two leading newspapers in Tokyo telling of the theft committed years before, of his remorse of conscience since he had been taught by Christians, and his desire to make all the restitution in his power. He then gave himself up to the officers of justice for punishment. He was detained a few days and then, much to his surprise, was released, the authorities scarcely knowing what to make of such a conscience. Thus his plan for Christian work in a prison ended in failure.

The prisoners at this time furnished a more hopeful field of labour because they contained, especially after the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877, a number of political prisoners, who were intellectually and morally of a higher grade than most criminals. The labour of the convicts was often let out to farmers and manufacturers. In Kobe a Christian had established a small factory and he employed some of these political prisoners to run the machines. He began to speak to them about Christianity, had someone read the Bible or other books while they were working, and once a week invited some preacher to address them. The official that accompanied these prisoners made no objection, and some of the men became very much interested in what they heard. After a time, business grew so dull that the employer could no longer afford to keep his machines going; but the prisoners were so desirous of continuing the arrangement that one or two of them, who were men of property, furnished funds to enable him to continue hiring them and their companions through the dull season. Several of them were baptised after their sentences had expired, and on returning to their own province opened the way there for Christian preaching.

Who’s Calling You?

What many private investigators and law enforcement agents will never tell you is how to trace a cell phone number online with just a few mouse clicks. And with a creative approach, you may never need to spend a dollar to reveal the identity of the person behind an unknown phone number. The things you will need:

You may be thinking that by a “spyglass” I mean a specialized software that you install on someone’s phone and then read their text messages and listen in on conversations. Well, this type of cell phone spying does exist and can be done – no question about it. But it is not what I had in mind. I am talking about a free tool that will allow you to anonymously check the voice mail greeting for any mobile number. Called a SpyDialer, this software works for 90% of the U.S. cell phone numbers. You simply enter the number you would like to spy dial and then a recording of their voicemail message is produced for you to hear. Simple, yet powerful in many situations when one needs to figure out who just called without leaving a message.

The problem? Many people have a standard voice mail greeting that sounds something like: “one two three four five six seven eight is not available …” Damn, dead end!

So, you will need to move on to the next tool – your favorite Google. The trick here is to enter the number in different formats since Google cannot quite guess that it is the same thing you are searching but just expressed it differently. The most common formats are xxx-xxx-xxxx, (xxx)-xxx-xxxx, xxxxxxxxxx and

You can input them with quote marks to pull up only exact match results. In many cases such searches work: for toll free numbers used by banks and bill collectors which are published on consumer boards like; for numbers included in classified ads, resumes, and even reverse domain records that are picked up by the search engine. Keep in mind, that you may need to go through 2-3 pages of results before you come across something meaningful though.

Well, let’s move on to our third sneaky tool – the sneaky database, actually, several databases. This will be helpful and will work for many phone numbers including mobile numbers. While it is an automatic database sourced from various public records, it still can produce the name and address of the person whose number you are trying to track down. And you won’t need to pay anything – well, at least for three days. You simply do a free reverse phone lookup, then sign up for three-day free trial via PayPal. Got the info you needed, cancel your trial membership in your PayPal account and done. This is the beauty of the Internet – you can get things for free if you can use a few tricks.

The fourth tool will come handy for those who receive calls from blocked numbers. If, say, someone is persistently calling you using a blocked number, you can unblock it by using a TrapCall service or by signing up for any toll-free number service and then redirect the calls to a toll-free number in order to ublock them. The trick? One can’t block their number if calling to a toll-free number. Once the number is unblocked, you can proceed with the other tools on our list to check who it was that was calling you!

The fifth on our list, but not least, is the voice modulator. Well, you can ask a friend to call the number back and ask a few questions in the hope of getting some clues about the person’s identity. Have them use a speakerphone or record the conversation for you. Or, if you would like to keep it on the down low, a voice modulator will be helpful. It would also be nice to have your number from which you will be calling, “spoofed” – you will agree. Well, you got it! There is a free tool for that. It is called CallerIDFaker – the service includes everything you will need: a voice changer, caller ID faker and a call recording option. The only thing left is what questions to ask? Well, use your imagination. How about this one (if it’s a guy): “I found your number on the Internet dating site – I like what I see, would you be interested in a date?” Don’t screw up with the voice modulator though!

I will admit, there are complicated cases when non of the tools produces desired results. The the only option left is to run a manual carrier’s database check. While expensive, this one is bulletproof – you get the record kept by a cell phone company for the number in question. Yes, their first and last name and the billing address. No bars held. The service I have been working with for a long, long time is PDJ Investigations. $50 will get you the current name and address for any number. Don’t have time to play a private investigator yourself? Skip all the steps and get the $50 sure thing.

Duch to be segregated from other prisoners

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, Jul 5 (UPI) — Kaing Guek Eav, condemned to life in jail by a Khmer Rouge tribunal, will be housed in a specifically built cell, Cambodian officials said.

The bonds sum were finalized final week between a tribunal’s prosecutors and a Cambodian Interior Ministry, that is obliged for a apprehension of a former Khmer Rouge personality famous as Duch, a Phnom Penh Post reported Wednesday.

A U.N.-backed judiciary perplexing Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge leaders condemned Duch, a heartless regime’s jail chief, to life seizure in February. Duch was indicted of using a S-21 “factory of death” apprehension trickery where adult to 15,000 inmates reportedly were tortured and executed in Cambodia’s “killing fields.”

Kuy Bunsorn, director-general of a ubiquitous dialect of prisons during a Ministry of Interior, told a Post a dungeon during during Kandal Provincial Prison would be finished before a Khmer New Year.

“We built a apart dungeon for Duch since we can’t keep Duch with a other prisoners,” Bunsorn said. “This is to yield insurance and confidence for him since he is a Khmer Rouge prisoner, so a crimes he committed are opposite from rapist cases or other cases of other prisoners” during a Kandal prison.

Duch is being hold during a on-site apprehension trickery during a judiciary in Choam Chao.

The Post pronounced officials didn’t know when Duch would be eliminated to a penal facility.

Jack Murphy and his Jewels for the Journey

Jack Murphy gained notoriety in 1964 for committing what was then called the Jewel Robbery of the Century, lifting more than $2 million in gems from the J.P. Morgan collection in New York City’s American Museum of Natural History. Actor Don Stroud immortalized Jack, known as ‘Murf the Surf’, in the movie of the same name, a film that highlighted his daring jewel heist.

Murf served 21 years in prison in New York and Florida state prisons for the jewel heist and other serious crimes. In 1975, while incarcerated in Florida State Prison, Murf met prison ministry volunteers. It was that experience and a decision to follow Christ that changed Murf’s life forever.Upon his release from prison in 1985, Murf soon returned to prison, this time as a featured platform guest, speaking to inmates about his 21 years behind bars and boldly proclaiming the Gospel of Christ.

Jack spent 30 years servicing the Lord on staff with Bill Glass Champions for Life, he has been a featured guest and speaker for Coalition of Prison Evangelists (COPE), KAIROS, and Good News Jail and Prison Ministry. Jack is on the Board of Directors of the International Network of Prison Ministries. He has spoken in over 1,200 prisons around the world.

Reflecting the incredible work Murf has accomplished in prisons around the world, his life-time parole was completely terminated in 2000.

Murf was the keynote speaker in Jerusalem during the 1st World Conference on Crime Prevention and Recidivism through Religion. In addition to being a regular on Christian TV and radio programs, Murf has also been a featured guest on CNN’s Larry King Live.

Murf is an accomplished painter (take a look and get one or the whole set signed by Jack for your ministry!) and musician and won two Hollywood Angel Awards in Evangelism, one for his book Jewels for the Journey, and the other for a TV documentary he directed entitled San Quentin Homecoming Reunion. In 1997, for his lifetime achievement in the sport, Murf was inducted into the Surfing Legends Hall of Fame.

Now living in Crystal River, Florida, with his wife Kitten and grandchildren.