Takuma Sawabe (1834–1913) was born the son of a samurai and in the mid-nineteenth century became the administrator of a Shinto temple. It was around this time that he joined a radical group that rejected foreign influences and demanded the expulsion of foreigners. Following a confrontation with Bishop Nikolay at the Russian consulate in Hakodate, he and two of his friends converted to the Orthodox faith in 1868. Having taken the baptismal name of Paul, Sawabe began his missionary work in Japan, which he pursued even against government opposition. In 1872 Sawabe became the first Japanese to be ordained a priest.
Portrait of Takuma Sawabe, black-and-white photograph, unknown photographer; source: © 2013 National Diet Library, Japan https://www.ndl.go.jp/portrait/e/datas/96.html.