Mr. Yataro Yamaguchi

For two years in my early ministry I was associated in various places with a Japanese evangelist, Mr. Riuza Kasamatsu, who had been converted in California and afterwards gave himself to ministering the Word among his own people, many of whom were settled in that state.
At one time we spent some weeks in Sacramento, where I preached to those whose first language was English, and he preached to his oriental brethren.

At this time he introduced me to a Japanese fruit contractor, Mr. Yataro Yamaguchi.
This man had been brought up in one of the many Buddhist sects in Fukaoka Ken, and at one time had about decided to give up all temporal employment and retire to a Buddhist monastery in order to obtain the salvation of his soul. His father was averse to this, and insisted that as the eldest son it was his responsibility to get into some lucrative business where he could help in the support of a rather large family.

So, putting aside the question of his religious longings, he concluded he had best emigrate to America.
Upon reaching Stockton in California he inquired of a friend as to which was the best religion to profess in the United States, so as to make the most friends and accumulate the most wealth.
His friend told him the Methodists were probably the most popular. "Take me then," he commanded, "to a Methodist priest, and tell him I wish to join his church."

His friend, who spoke English, hunted up a Methodist minister and explained that Yamaguchi desired to be a Christian.
It was difficult to make anything very clear, as the "convert" spoke no English and the parson no Japanese; but on the assurance of the other party that all was thoroughly understood, the young man was solemnly sprinkled in the name of the Trinity and received into the church.

He cultivated the acquaintance of Christian people, and through them found many opportunities to turn an honest dollar.

Later he returned to Sacramento, where he became a contractor, using large numbers of his fellow-countrymen to pick, dry and pack fruit - a business that brought in good financial returns.

Hearing Mr. Kasamatsu preach, he became greatly concerned about spiritual matters and the two had many long interviews, as a result of which Mr. Yamaguchi became convinced of the truth of Christianity, but he felt that he could not commit himself to Christ and bear testimony to his changed convictions, as it might interfere seriously with his money-making, which had now become an obsession.
He did not see how he dared take issue with his countrymen, and he realized, too, that the Christian ethical standard was so high he was afraid he could never live up to it.