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Christmas in Japan.

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Christmas in Japan.

Postby RiderofNesme » Wed 01.09.2008 2:26 am

I know this is a little to late to ask this question but do a large number of Japanese people celebrate Christmas?The reason I am asking is because I saw a post that said KFC in Japan sell Christmas chickens.So I had no idea that there was such a large influence of Catholicism or Christianity in Japan.Also could you tell me the percentage of people that are Christian or Catholic in Japan? I wonder if they even know what Christmas is about?I mean that with respect people so please don't get angry at me and if I hurt you feelings I am truly sorry for that.
Last edited by RiderofNesme on Wed 01.09.2008 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Christmas in Japan.

Postby gfunk » Wed 01.09.2008 2:55 am

Most japanese believe in the syncretism of religion. Thus 100% pure shintoism or buddhism is not as common as you might think. They grab a little from here a little from there and believe in what they want to believe. Around 1% of Japanese are "christians", but the majority is involved in the secular parts of the religion. Christianity is not a large influence. The western world is.

Do they know what christmas is about? With the way it's celebrated in America I wonder if it matters at all.
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RE: Christmas in Japan.

Postby chikara » Wed 01.09.2008 3:05 am

RiderofNesme wrote:
.... do a large number of Japanese people celebrate Christmas?.....

No, because there are not a large number of Japanese Christians.
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RE: Christmas in Japan.

Postby RiderofNesme » Wed 01.09.2008 3:10 am

I know what you mean about the way it's celebrated in America.But since my parents where born in Mexico and I was born in the USA I grew up with a Hispanic culture.From what I seen the whites tend to be more concern about material things while we Hispanics are more devoted to our religion.Now I have seen my fair share of spoil and materialistic Mexicans but not the extent as the whites.Sorry for using the term white but did not know what other term to use.
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RE: Christmas in Japan.

Postby Igirisu_gaz » Wed 01.09.2008 3:25 am

RiderofNesme wrote:
Sorry for using the term white but did not know what other term to use.


I guess if you want to be pc then caucasian would be the way to go, but if people have any sense they won't care, I don't.

Japanese christmas is purely material, ask them about the origins of christmas and the closest anyone might get is something like Santa's birthday. This is a generalisation obviously, but there is little to no religious influence. It is a heavily watered down experience, christmas day is a work day (assuming it falls on the working week) and for those who care they can get Christmas KFC if they really want it.

Of course in your post you're assuming that most white people are christian, but the reality is that religion has lost a great deal of the foothold it previously had in the western family, many people profess to be agnostic or athiest (I myself come from an athiest family) and that really only leaves the material aspect of christmas and the general goodwill of the season, the origins being somewhat wasted on those who don't believe.
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RE: Christmas in Japan.

Postby gfunk » Wed 01.09.2008 3:26 am

I know what you mean, I actually lived several years in Mexico City and different parts of latin america. And yeah, if you see it in the wider scope of things, latin america is more about culture, while in the US it's all about "pop-culture".

Don't worry about the term white btw... that's another latin thing. I love it how in mexico you can have a nickname for someone be "el negro" without having jesse jackson on your back.
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RE: Christmas in Japan.

Postby RiderofNesme » Wed 01.09.2008 3:46 am

Ya, I know what you mean my friend Henry he was born here like me but he is the whites Mexican I ever seen.Any ways we call him "El gringo" and no one gets work up about it.But you say that to a white person and all hell breaks lose.Well that is if they know what it means.Oh, by the way El gringo means white person in particular a white man.
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RE: Christmas in Japan.

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 01.09.2008 9:38 am

chikara wrote:
RiderofNesme wrote:
.... do a large number of Japanese people celebrate Christmas?.....

No, because there are not a large number of Japanese Christians.


I guess it depends on what your definition of large number is.. this comment is very debateable..
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RE: Christmas in Japan.

Postby AJBryant » Wed 01.09.2008 2:53 pm

Interesting bit of trivia: About 1.5 percent of Japan's population identify as Christian. (This article, however, has really different stats!)

Relative comparison: Jews in America are about 6 million total, making (surprise) about 2 percent of the US population. Amazingly small percentage, no? (More trivia: of that 5.5 million, 2 million of them are in NYC, 600,000 in LA, and 500,000 in Miami.)

In terms of population per capita, Christians in Japan and Jews in America are about on par. So why are Christian so invisible in Japan?


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RE: Christmas in Japan.

Postby katafei » Wed 01.09.2008 4:07 pm

AJBryant wrote:
Relative comparison: Jews in America are about 6 million total, making (surprise) about 2 percent of the US population. Amazingly small percentage, no? (More trivia: of that 5.5 million, 2 million of them are in NYC, 600,000 in LA, and 500,000 in Miami.)

In terms of population per capita, Christians in Japan and Jews in America are about on par. So why are Christian so invisible in Japan?


Tony

That is an amazingly small number! btw, your link to the NY Times doesn't work....
But I think you answered your own question (Italics)
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RE: Christmas in Japan.

Postby richvh » Wed 01.09.2008 5:20 pm

AJBryant wrote:
In terms of population per capita, Christians in Japan and Jews in America are about on par. So why are Christian so invisible in Japan?

Could it be because they aren't concentrated in Tokyo and Osaka? (I don't know what their distribution is now, but traditionally they were concentrated around Nagasaki, which I doubt is a major media center, unlike New York and Los Angeles.)
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RE: Christmas in Japan.

Postby Orcrist » Wed 01.09.2008 5:42 pm

Nagasaki hosts the biggest catholic community of Japan, yes.
And the numbers vary alot, I've come across the number of 1% of the Japanese population being anything other than Shinto/Bhuddist (so not even christian per sé). Not like they actually are christian the way the majority of the christians are, since they lack the indoctrination we get in western civilizations. And especially in the case of Japanese christians it's not so much christianity, it's more a blend of christianity with Shinto/Bhuddist values and traditions.
Slightly offtopic; I saw a dutch man with a copy of 'Bhuddism for Dummies' under his arm. A wise man if you ask me, he must have been truely enlightened. :D

I wonder if they even know what Christmas is about?


So what do you think christmas is all about?
1. birth of jesus.
2. story of a catholic dude giving money to a poor girl who didn't have enough money to give to her future husband's family
3. Midwinter fest wohoo!
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RE: Christmas in Japan.

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 01.09.2008 5:50 pm

Orcrist wrote:
And especially in the case of Japanese christians it's not so much christianity, it's more a blend of christianity with Shinto/Bhuddist values and traditions. !


Site your source please. I know plenty of Japanese christians that would disagree with your assessment.
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RE: Christmas in Japan.

Postby chikara » Wed 01.09.2008 6:14 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:
I guess it depends on what your definition of large number is.. this comment is very debateable..

I agree, the term "large" is subjective as is the term "significant". Personally I do not consider less than 1% of the population (some may argue it is more than 1% but less than 2%) a large number of people. It could also be argued that a value of less than 1% is not statistically significant.

You are free to hold a differing opinion :)

AJBryant wrote:
.... In terms of population per capita, Christians in Japan and Jews in America are about on par. So why are Christian so invisible in Japan?

Conversely why are Jews so visible and seemingly powerful in the USA?
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RE: Christmas in Japan.

Postby Orcrist » Wed 01.09.2008 6:29 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:
Orcrist wrote:
And especially in the case of Japanese christians it's not so much christianity, it's more a blend of christianity with Shinto/Bhuddist values and traditions. !


Site your source please. I know plenty of Japanese christians that would disagree with your assessment.


Shinto: The Way Home - Thomas P. Kasulis
And it's not so much about them disagreeing, unless they lived in a traditional christian family ánd society (since society will influence you wether you like it or not). In this matter the ones that have least authority on this matter are those that are part of the matter. They're in the box, and we gotta look at it from outside of the box.
This occurence actually happens all over the world, christianity is practiced in thousand and one different ways. Dutch christianity is alot different from the everyday U.S. christianity for example. And that's without the influence of former/other religions such in societies as Japan or former European colonies. I'm pretty sure you are familiar with the "black churches" in the U.S. yourself, a very straightforward example would be their choir and style of preaching. In different countries where the majority of the society has had only had recent affiliation with christianity (200/300 years), or where the major spiritual influences are anything other than christianity the differences between 'traditional Western christianity' and their view on christianity is even bigger than that of a white vs black church.
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