Freemasonry around the world:
The first known Lodge in Japan was Sphinx Lodge which operated under the Grand Lodge of Ireland during the years 1862-1865, a few years after the opening of the ports of Japan by Commodore Perry of the United States Navy. The roster consisted primarily of members of the military forces with a few local foreign residents, for a total of about 20 members.
THE WAR YEARS
On the declaration of war on December 8, 1941 the Japanese Government confiscated the building together with all lodge furniture, regalia, jewels, tools, implements and books; but even before, at the outbreak of the “China Incident”, in 1937, the Japanese Government had already started a campaign of putting on pressure. This was the beginning of the storm against Masonry and all who happened to be connected with the Craft.
After September 1945, prewar members of Lodge Star in the East with the assistance of Masonic Brethren of the American Occupation Forces reactivated this Lodge on April 9, 1946. Lt General Robert L.Eichelberger, Commanding General of the Eighth United States Army and a Brother Mason materially assisted in the reactivation. Since 1946, many members of the Occupation and Security Forces, both military and civilian, have joined or affiliated with Lodge Star in the East. Prewar and postwar members of Lodge Star in the East have and are still playing a very important part in the furtherance of Masonry here in the Far East.
AFTER THE WAR
During the early days of the Occupation of Japan by the Allied Forces, many Masonic Clubs were started and in due time dispensations were requested from the Grand Lodges in the United States; an example was the Tokyo American Lodge.
This Lodge was instituted about 1947 and operated under dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, but upon the Grand Lodge of the Philippines assuming an active part in the furthering of Masonry in Japan, Tokyo American Lodge returned its dispensation to the Grand Lodge of Connecticut. They then applied to the Philippines for a dispensation and its name was changed to Tokyo Masonic Lodge No. 125 (now known as Tokyo Lodge No. 2 under the Grand Lodge of Japan).