History & Boundaries



History of the Church in Japan LDS Missionaries first arrived in Japan in 1901, with Heber J. Grant as the first mission president.  Missionary efforts continued until 1925, and included missionary work opened in Sendai and Morioka, but were abandoned until post-World War II. LDS missionaries have been serving in Japan continuously since 1948. A chart of the ever-changing History of LDS Japan Mission Names and Area Boundaries appears below.

Sendai Mission History and Boundaries The Sendai Mission was established 01 July 1974 when the Japan East Mission, which was headquartered in Sapporo and had only existed for four years, was split into two missions. The island of Hokkaidō became the Sapporo Mission and the six-prefecture Tōhoku (Northeast) region of the island of Honshū became the Sendai Mission, including the southeastern-most city of Iwaki, which had been part of the Tōkyō Mission prior to this date.

The Tōhoku-only Sendai Mission boundaries remained consistent for 27 years until 01 July 2001, when branches in Niigata prefecture, formerly part of Tōkyō North Mission, were merged into the Sendai Mission for 12 years, until 01 Jul 2013, when they once again returned to be part of the Tōkyō Mission.

Effective 01 Jul 2019, 45 years after its creation, the Sendai Mission will be dissolved. It will be split basically in half, with the northernmost Aomori, Iwate and Akita prefectures becoming part of the Sapporo Mission, and southernmost Miyagi, Yamagata and Fukushima prefectures becoming part of the newly re-created Tokyo North Mission.

Mission Names and Boundaries History Over the years, border shifts, mission dissolutions, additions and consolidations have affected all missions in Japan. I've created a chart of the History of LDS Japan Mission Names and Area Boundaries that appears below. I've added a 'unit count' row at the bottom to illustrate the relative number of church units in each mission (as of 2013); the two most rural missions, Sendai and Sapporo, also have the lowest unit counts. Please feel free to address questions or corrections using a 'Contact Us' entry. (Admin Note 02 Jan 2019: to be updated once clear new boundaries are know)

Sources: Church Almanac, Thesis: History of Japan Mission 1901-1924 Nichols, Murray, Riding on the Eagle’s Wings: The Japanese Mission under American Occupation, 1948-52. Shinji Takagi, Ph.D.Thesis: History of LDS Church in Japan 1948-1980 Nelson, Terry G, 世紀を越えて末日聖徒イエス・キリスト教会100年のあゆみ


Mission History Section Links:
Senkyoushi-go: Teruya Jidai   post-77
Temples:  Tokyo   Fukuoka   Sapporo