Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Christianity in Japan

Christianity in Japan

Post questions and answers about living or visiting Japan or the culture

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby lame_duck » Wed 06.13.2007 12:21 pm

I do NOT know how I found this thread, but I love it. lol

I am a Christian and I am SERIOUSLY looking into living in Japan for a while and was also wondering of how Christianity is viewed there. It's going to be hard enough, since my Japanese is next to non-existent now and I'll be relearning a lot before I go, and since I'm a country boy. It's going to be tough if I don't have a church visit and help me thought this transition.

Anyway, does anyone know what would be consider the "religious centers" of Japan for Christianity? I believe the OP asked this question and I don't know if it was ignored or if anyone didn't know but I'm asking it again because I'd really like to know. And Kashin, PM me sometime! Are you planing on visiting Japan or living there too?

Also, anyone in Japan looking for a non-Japanese speaking IT tech? lol
I\'m far from perfect, so forgive me for my faults.
lame_duck
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed 01.04.2006 12:25 am

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby AJBryant » Wed 06.13.2007 2:01 pm

A lot of it depends on what flavor of Christianity you follow. Just about everything is in Tokyo and Osaka, less so in other larger cities, and less still in the "sticks." Russian Orthodoxy is rather populous in Hokkaido owing to the old Russian missions there starting with the Meiji Period, for example, and Catholicism is (I believe) still more prevalent in terms of "area" (if not population) in the south.

Tony
User avatar
AJBryant
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Location: Indiana
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 06.13.2007 3:53 pm

From my experience, Tohoku was/is still predominantly bukkyo and shinto. To the point that the only other religions that I had run in with were sokkagakkai (the ones that used the superbowl screaming fans as avid members of their church abroad) (spelling) and daoism.. (although the daoist seemed to be around the university of koriyama and aizuwakamatsu as there were many chinese and korean imigrants there) I also seem to remember so mahikari (it's the church that has the hand with the light in the center.. )
User avatar
two_heads_talking
 
Posts: 4137
Joined: Thu 04.06.2006 11:03 am
Native language: English

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby Kisshu » Wed 06.13.2007 4:32 pm

Hmmmm yep... I'm a Christian too. And what I'd like to define is that I am a "born again believer" and not one of those people who are good on Christman and Easter and go to church on those days and then act however they want the rest of the year. Keep in mind that Christianity isn't based on works but on your heart.

But I have heard the same. I want to go to a YWAM college in Japan after I finish my college here. I hope to do missionary work in Japan, especially since there is so little there right now. I get the feeling that people ignore Japan's need for missionaries because it isn't a country where people persecution (sp?) takes place. So that is my goal ^_-
ラブラブ!!<3
My Japanese Blog: http://www.jellyfishsushi.blogspot.com
My Art: http://www.k-i-s-s-h-u.deviantart.com
User avatar
Kisshu
 
Posts: 562
Joined: Sat 10.01.2005 1:02 am

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby lame_duck » Wed 06.13.2007 5:11 pm

I would say Baptist, since that is the church I currently attend, but don't let that fool you into thinking that I'm some gay bashing yahoo from the south. I tend to get that "Ewwwwww! Baptist!!!" reaction a lot. And Kisshu is right, it's your heart and not works that make you a Christian. As far as I know the Bible says, "If you confess with your mouth and believe with your hear that Jesus is Lord then you will be saved." I just choose to be baptized in water also because that is what Jesus did. Denomination aside, I'll go to any church as long as it's a true Christian church.

Anyway, thanks for answering. I went to a tech college with a friend and now he's moved to Japan and is working in the IT field. He lives somewhere in Tokyo... lol If it's anything like the city we went to college in, it's got 50 different subs with 100 diffrent names. He says their is a number of Christians, Baptist no less, and it's a nice neighborhood. I wanna try a year there to see if I could make and it I am scared to DEATH. I haven't used Japanese since my first year of college, 7 years ago, so I've lost all ability to speak. Gonna do some hardcore studying on the subject and try my best to relearn what I lost before I go. I probably won't be lucky enough to move near him since he found a 80k Y apartment in the middle of what he calls "Japan's Silicon Valley." He exaggerates, so he probably lives in a shack between his job, Japan's version of a Wal-Mart, and an Office Depot. lol
Last edited by lame_duck on Wed 06.13.2007 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I\'m far from perfect, so forgive me for my faults.
lame_duck
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed 01.04.2006 12:25 am

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby Frumious Boojum » Wed 06.13.2007 5:46 pm

Kashin wrote:
Is Silence the movie adaptation of Shusaku Endo's novel? I've really been wanting to read that. And wow is there any clips of Superbook on YouTube? that sounds like a really strange program...well most Christian television is really strange anyway. :D


Silence is an adaptation of that novel. It was made in 1971 and won Best Director, Best Film, Best Score, and Best Sound Recording at the Mainichi Film Concours the next year.

As for clips of Superbook on YouTube, mostly just various openings:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVCBLQ91Gg4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWeZsUSy_PA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2CScfyw4Jk
Frumious Boojum
 
Posts: 229
Joined: Wed 01.25.2006 11:23 pm

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby flammable hippo » Wed 06.13.2007 10:08 pm

I get the feeling that people ignore Japan's need for missionaries


Well, technically Japan doesn't need missionaries, in the same way that the US doesn't need those Jehova's witnesses who won't leave you alone. (I actually told one I was Jewish to get him to leave, despite the fact that there was a large crucifix hanging right behind me :|) No offense to any Jehovah's witnesses here.

I'm not saying missionaries are bad, they can certainly be a good thing, but I don't think they are necessary.

On a side note, people tend to be annoyed when Christians come proselytizing at their door, but tend to find it a normal occurance, however if a Muslim, Hindu or even an atheist did the same thing, people would probably freak (which is why the US is still a rather intolerant country...rgh.) I wonder what the reaction in Japan would be.

Btw, I consider myself an agnostic Christian, if that doesn't seem completely self contradictory and nonsensical.

and not one of those people who are good on Christman and Easter and go to church on those days and then act however they want the rest of the year.


There are a lot of people though who don't feel that they have to go to church to be Christian. If you think about it, a church is basically just a meeting place to publicly express your faith. You don't have to go every sunday to be a believer.
Two muffins were baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says "sure is hot in here." The other replies "AH TALKING MUFFIN!"

二つのマフィンがオーブンで焼かれていた。片方のマフィンがもう一方のマフィンに向かって、"暑いね”と言った。すると、話しかけられたほうのマフィンは"アッ!喋るマフィンだ!”と驚いた。 :)
User avatar
flammable hippo
 
Posts: 885
Joined: Sun 03.19.2006 4:29 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby AJBryant » Wed 06.13.2007 10:37 pm

No, but fellowship is a Good Thing.


Tony
User avatar
AJBryant
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Location: Indiana
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby Infidel » Wed 06.13.2007 11:24 pm

(which is why the US is still a rather intolerant country...rgh.)


tolerant doesn't mean people appreciate or like others, it means tolerant. If you aren't killing and otherwise persecuting other people then you're tolerant.

tolerant does not mean going to visit everyone else's churches and allowing them into your house. It means if you leave me alone I'll leave you alone. People proselytizing at other people's door is a violation of toleration.

The US is one of the most tolerant countries in the world.
Last edited by Infidel on Wed 06.13.2007 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby flammable hippo » Wed 06.13.2007 11:41 pm

Ok, I suppose I used the word incorrectly, but my point was that most US citizens are ok with Christians coming to their door, even if it annoys them, but if any other religion were to do it, it would probably get some really negative reactions. Just imagine a Muslim going around door to door in Kansas or Arkansas or something trying to get fellowship for a Mosque, I would expect some really bad things to happen. There's a word to describe that, I guess intolerant was a bad choice, but right now it's not coming to me.
Two muffins were baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says "sure is hot in here." The other replies "AH TALKING MUFFIN!"

二つのマフィンがオーブンで焼かれていた。片方のマフィンがもう一方のマフィンに向かって、"暑いね”と言った。すると、話しかけられたほうのマフィンは"アッ!喋るマフィンだ!”と驚いた。 :)
User avatar
flammable hippo
 
Posts: 885
Joined: Sun 03.19.2006 4:29 pm
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby lame_duck » Wed 06.13.2007 11:44 pm

Not all missionaries are bad. Instead of just barging in on them, try doing some work with them. After you help someone work in the garden, build something, or any kind of labor they seem to be more open to what you have to say. This is just from personal experience, but it's worth a try. Just make sure someone isn't using you.

And yea, fellowship is a VERY good thing. Take it from someone that hasn't been able to goto church in about 2 months. I wish I could drop some of this work I gotta do and go, but you just can't do that. I'm thinking of calling in sick this weekend. lol *caught* Oh.... I'm not feeling tooooooo goooooood...
I\'m far from perfect, so forgive me for my faults.
lame_duck
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed 01.04.2006 12:25 am

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby Hatori » Thu 06.14.2007 12:55 am

I've always wondered what the main religion of Japan is. I thinknow (combination of both :p) that Buddhism is big, but I have the mindset that some people may say that they would believe in Buddhism but don't practice it much as it's equivalent to Christians/Catholics saying that they believe in God but don't go to church.

As for Christianity, I just read on this sheet I saved from this website called CultureGrams that there is a decent amount of Japanese Christians. I can't find the sheet right now, but I saw it earlier today. It gets me mad.
我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。
lol
~ハトリ~
User avatar
Hatori
 
Posts: 949
Joined: Thu 10.13.2005 10:31 pm
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Native language: English
Gender: Female

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby Kashin » Thu 06.14.2007 5:40 am

Man, so many posts in one day! I'll reply to each point I choose in the order they were posted:

Kisshu wrote:
I want to go to a YWAM college in Japan after I finish my college here. I hope to do missionary work in Japan, especially since there is so little there right now

That's exactly what I want to do too. Part of me just wants to learn Japanese, go there, and just wander wherever God leads me. Then again I can barely do that here I would rather have the structure of an actual organization like YWAM or the like. Like I said a friend of a friend was there with YWAM it sounded like an amazing experience.

Frumious Boojum wrote:
As for clips of Superbook on YouTube, mostly just various openings:

Wow...that seems like quite a show. Flying House seems even stranger. I wonder how CBN managed to even produce something like that. It may be a little strange theologically but I guess for shows teaching kids bible stories it's not much different from stuff here in America.

flammable hippo wrote:
people tend to be annoyed when Christians come proselytizing at their door

I would say a recent trend in the Evangelical Christian community has become more doing different outreaches like missions trips or community service days or church events. Just helping people in need or the like and sharing the Gospel at the same time. And any kind of door to door visits are usually just to let people know of different events going on.
When i did a mission trip to Mexico, we would help build houses during the day, and at night we would do a vacation bible school for the neighborhood kids. The only door to door things we did was walk around the city and tell people about the VBS and give them invitations.
The door to door evangelism trend typically does prove to be counterproductive and people consider it more of a hassle and an invasion of privacy rather than giving them the "good news."
Again it reminds me about that same great-grandfather I had mentioned earlier, he would also go around to parks in LA and hand out sandwiches to the homeless people and share the Gospel and pray with them. That kind of "faith in action" is what Christians should be doing instead of going door to door shoving books into peoples faces or asking for money...and for that matter debating who's right and wrong and getting so deeply involved in politics. Alright that's my two cents on the matter. ;)

I consider myself an agnostic Christian, if that doesn't seem completely self contradictory and nonsensical.

Actually that isn't as nonsensical as you think. I can't remember exactly but my professor in one of my theology classes was saying how Christians are agnostic to some extent. It's a type of "Agnostic Theism". Christianity asserts, to be a Christian, you must have faith in the Christian God. If God could be proven or known as undisputed fact, faith would be unnecessary. Therefore, for Christianity to be true, or faith to be possible, God cannot be empirically or logically proven, or known as undisputed fact. I'm not sure if that makes sense, it also goes into the balance of Knowledge and Belief. So I personally would say that at least a weak Agnosticism is compatible with Christianity, insofar as the Agnosticism allows for the possibility of God/deity to exist or be known. Then again some Christians/Theists would say that there is no room for doubt in faith. I don't really know i'm still pretty new to this kind of philosophy. But I hope that made sense. ;)

AJBryant wrote:
fellowship is a Good Thing.

No doubt. I don't know where I'd be without my church family or the community of believers around the world. My church takes fellowship with each other very seriously. I think fellowship is important in the church around the world (or any other religious or political or idealistic group...whatever) to function in harmony as a united body. So as Toni-san and lame_duck so poignantly stated, fellowship is a good thing.

Infidel wrote:
tolerant doesn't mean people appreciate or like others, it means tolerant

Agreed. Tolerance is also being tolerant of intolerance. Honestly that can be pretty difficult, as most people would then have to tolerate themselves! :D
lame_duck wrote:
Just make sure someone isn't using you.

Then again, selflessness is serving others even if they do use you or don't respond to your message.

*caught* Oh.... I'm not feeling tooooooo goooooood...

lol did you catch something? Oh, you must have caught a cough! :p

Hatori wrote:
I just read on this sheet I saved from this website called CultureGrams that there is a decent amount of Japanese Christians

Find that sheet! Does it give a breakdown of the numbers in the denominations? Maybe i should just try to find it. BTW, how old is the statistic that says that only 2% of Japan is Christian? I'm sure the numbers have increased since then. Then again the overall population has probably increased just as much.

Wow this may have to end up in the "Off Topic" forum someday! :p
What good is a farmer who tills the soil, but forgets the seed?

~落ち葉は風を恨まない~
User avatar
Kashin
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri 05.25.2007 3:19 am

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby Infidel » Thu 06.14.2007 6:27 am

Agreed. Tolerance is also being tolerant of intolerance. Honestly that can be pretty difficult, as most people would then have to tolerate themselves!


There you're wrong.

Tolerance must be mutual. Unless all parties exercise tolerance it is a form of martyrism-- aka, stupidity. Descretion is required in all things keeping in mind the entire context. Only victims and oppressors argue for unilateral tolerence. It is much easier to kill sheep if they won't even run away.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語

RE: Christianity in Japan

Postby two_heads_talking » Thu 06.14.2007 9:44 am

For once, I actually agree with Infidel. to say, I must be tolerant of you while you have tolerance for me is pretty elitist if you ask me. it's like saying, you must accept me for being atheist but I won't accept you for being polytheist. it's a double standard that people tend to expect but won't offer.

being willing to help/serve others even if they don't like you/appreciate you is one of the things Christians have forgotten about in recent times. all they do is profess it's from the heart and words and don't do anything.. (faith without works is dead).. it's a simple concept. From the get go, Christ worked to help and build up others. modern Christians tend to undermine and tear down. it's a shame, but that's why the majority of people inside and outside America want nothing to do with missionaries, or other Christians, they think that those Christians are just hipocryts and braggarts. neither of which is what a Christian should be.

anyways, to get back on topic, the japanese I met, even when very staunch Buddhist or Shinto, were always pretty open to talking with me. And the majority of them would tell me as politely as they could that they had no interest or that it wasn't relevant to them. And with Tohoku being a farming community, there were many times that I would rollup my sleaves and help out an elderly couple working in their yards. Of course, they had to show me how to do what they were doing, as even though I thought gardening would be similar, it really isn't. I wish I had more time to help out the farmers in the rice fields, that would have been awesome.
User avatar
two_heads_talking
 
Posts: 4137
Joined: Thu 04.06.2006 11:03 am
Native language: English

PreviousNext

Return to Culture and Info about living in Japan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests