To understand why the Christian gospel has success amid one culture, while seeming to fail in similar, neighboring cultures, one must look to additional factors than those often cited by missionary sources. Some of these factors would include the socio -political and religious context of each of those cultures in question, in addition to the prior encounters with Christianity and the reactions to the gospel by the receiving cultures. To illustrate this need, this paper analyzes the contexts of Japan and Korea during the period of Japanese expansion and wartime (1894 – 1945), and looks specifically at what was happening in the other major religions present at the time (Confucianism, Buddhism, and Shintoism), which would include their responses to the Christian missionary presence.