近江兄弟社メンターム

Continuing the Spirit of Founder, William Merrell Vories


The Practice of Both Faith and Business

William Merrell Vories was born in Leavenworth, Kansas in the United States. He decided to pursue foreign mission service as a result of attending a lecture by a group of overseas student missionaries during his university days. He came to Japan in 1905 and accepted an assignment as an English teacher at Omi-Hachiman in Shiga Prefecture. Vories, who had a strong conviction to achieve his ideal of “making Omi into God’s country”, launched businesses in fields such as medicine, architectural design, medical treatment, and education. These businesses were centered in Omi with the intent of investing the profits into local community services. The Omi Brotherhood Group’s founding spirit, namely, the “practice of both faith and business”, has been passed down–unchanged–from Vories, who personally owned no property and spent his entire life contributing to society.

Daimaru Department Store in Shinsaibashi, Osaka, designed by Vories

Vories’ Architecture by Masaaki Yamagata