Alumni News

In Memoriam: His Eminence Metropolitan Daniel (Nushiro) of Tokyo and All Japan


With faith in Christ and hope in the resurrection, we share the news of the repose of His Eminence Metropolitan Daniel (Nushiro) of Tokyo and All Japan. Metropolitan Daniel fell asleep in the Lord Jesus Christ on Thursday, August 10, 2023, at the age of 84.

He served the Lord in clerical orders for 54 years, including 23 as the primate of the Japanese Autonomous Orthodox Church.

The future metropolitan was born Ikuo Yoshihara, on September 5, 1938, in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Metropolitan Daniel was a convert to Orthodoxy, baptized into the Orthodox Faith in 1956, taking Jude as his baptismal name.

In 1965, he graduated from the Tokyo Theological Seminary, and in 1968 from St Vladimir’s Seminary with a Master of Divinity.

The future Metropolitan Daniel (far left) with Japanese seminarian classmates and future co-laborers in the Orthodox Church of Japan, at SVOTS in 1967. From left: Jude Ikuo Yoshihara, Roman Okawa, Ekaterina Kato, Justin Yamaguchi, Savvas Onami.

Professor of Liturgical Music Emeritus, David Drillock, remembers the future metropolitan during his studies at St Vladimir’s Seminary as a quiet, studious young man. Other contemporaries recounted memories of a young Japanese seminarian who worked diligently at his studies, supporting himself by working part-time at the local hot dog joint, Nathan’s. 

After returning to Japan, he was ordained to the diaconate in November 1969, and to the priesthood in January 1972. He was appointed rector of St Matthew Orthodox Church in Toyohashi, Japan, where he served as a parish priest until 1999.

Following the death of His Eminence Metropolitan Theodosius of Tokyo and All Japan in 1999, he was tonsured a monk in Russia and subsequently consecrated to the episcopacy as Bishop of Kyoto. In early 2000, Bishop Peter [Arihara], another Saint Vladimir’s Seminary alumnus, was elected Metropolitan of Japan, but prior to his enthronement and elevation to the primatial see, he resigned for reasons of health and died shortly thereafter. It was then that Bishop Daniel was elected Primate of the Japanese Church. His elevation to the rank of Metropolitan and enthronement, at which His Holiness Patriarch Alexei of Moscow and His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius of the Orthodox Church in America were present, took place in Tokyo in May 2000, three days after the death of Bishop Peter.

His Eminence Metropolitan Daniel last visited the Saint Vladimir’s Seminary campus in September 2003 as part of a visit to the US for the Enthronement of His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman of the Orthodox Church in America.

St Vladimir’s Seminary Dean at the time, Prof. John H. Erickson, members of the faculty and administration, and the student body welcomed Met. Daniel warmly and held a prayer service at Three Hierarchs Chapel. At the conclusion of the service, Metropolitan Daniel reminisced about his years of study at the seminary. He shared with the community the overwhelming feelings he experienced as he passed through the gates of the seminary. With tears in his eyes, he remembered his departed professors and expressed words of gratitude for the education he received through them.

Also in 2003, Met. Daniel spoke about his ministry in the Japanese Church in the interview, “Divine Love Must Reign in the Heart of Man,” leaving behind a valuable record of his worldview and missiological outlook.

The Metropolitan presided over the celebration of several important anniversaries for the Japanese Orthodox Church in September 2020: the 150th anniversary of its founding, the 50th anniversary of its autonomy, and the 50th anniversary of the glorification of St Nikolai of Japan.

Met. Daniel Funeral

His Eminence Archbishop Seraphim (Tsujie) of Sendai led a panikhida for Metropolitan Daniel in the Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Tokyo on August 16, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. On August 17, a large number of Japanese and multinational Orthodox clergy and faithful gathered at the cathedral to attend Divine Liturgy and the hierarchical funeral service, presided by Archbishop Seraphim. His Eminence led the funeral procession to Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery for the burial.

May Metropolitan Daniel’s memory be eternal!

Adapted from,, and