Quakerism in Japan grew out of the work of Philadelphia Friends, beginning in 1884. Members of several yearly meetings and the American Friends Service Committee have contributed to its development. Japan Yearly Meeting was formally established in 1917. In 1940, under governmental suggestions, the Yearly Meeting joined other Protestant denominations to form the National Christian Church, but a small group of Friends continued to meet separately in their accustomed manner of worship based on silent listening. Out of this group a new yearly meeting was formed in 1947 and those who had been members of the National Christian Church returned to the Japan Yearly Meeting.

Sunday Schools are held in some of the monthly meetings and there are small groups studying the Bible, Quakerism and non-violence activities.

The Friends Girls’ School, established by Philadelphia Friends in 1887, is now a self-supporting institution with several Friends on the faculty and on the school board. The faculty includes a few American teachers who are selected by the recommendation of Philadelphia Quakers. It is a day school, combining junior and senior high school and following the public school syllabus. The student enrolment is 900.

Friends Old Folks Home, “Ai-yu-en”, was founded in 1920 in Mito in Ibaraki Prefecture, where it was a pioneer project. Setagaya Old People’s Day Care Center is run by the Japan Friends Service Committee.

Friends Center in Tokyo is now maintained and run by Japan Yearly Meeting. It serves for various Quaker-related activities and a guest house for visiting Friends.