Son of a samurai of the Hirosaki clan. He was baptized in Yokohama where he was studying in 1872 and worked as a missionary. He became the head of Too Gijuku in 1874 and founded Hirosaki Nihon Kirisuto Kyokai (The Church of Christ in Hirosaki, Japan) in 1875. He also got involved in liberal and democratic rights activities and was elected a member of the Aomori prefectural assembly in 1882. He resigned as deputy and became a Methodist priest in 1886. He went to the US to study in 1888. After returning to Japan, he was appointed president of Tokyo Eiwa Gakko (later Aoyama Gakuin) in 1890. He became the first chairman of the Young Men's Christian Association in Japan in 1903. He was instrumental in the merger of the three Methodist factions and was elected the bishop of the Japanese Methodist Church in 1907. He became the president of the Nihon Kirisutokyo Domei-kai in 1911. He participated in the Sankyo Kaido organized by the Home Ministry as the representative of Christians in 1912.