Week 1: A Brief Review April 6-12

Week 1 Japan – A Brief Review

Conference Call: The time for the call will be arranged so that the participants will all be able to get acquainted.
Reading: 1. Understanding Japan: Part One Japan–A Brief Review

  • Chapter One: Origin of the Japanese People

2. Japan-Guide

  • As you have time and interest, read Historical Section-Early Japan through Azuchi-Momoyama Period.
  • You may read as many sections as you have time for.

Writing: Weekly Paper: “Impressions and Points from Your Reading”

  • There is no minimum or maximum amount for this assignment. Use this as an opportunity to reflect and apply what you have read. This is to be written in your comment section of Japan 101.
  • Read as many of the other students’ writings and comment on at least two of them.

Pray:

  • Pray daily for Japan and Japanese, using Operation Japan. Make a note in your blog concerning the information and/or your prayer.

Extra Suggestions:

Here are some of the links that others have shared:

Discussion

  • 5

    Wèek 1 reflections- Brandalyn

    Brandalyn
    Reply

    Most of this week’s material I have been introduced to before, but it was nice to go over it again in this format. And I think I understood it more this time than any time prior. I do wish that accounts of religion separated Catholic from “christian” because I generally see the two as being quite different and so it would be nice (in many resources) to have that distinction for my own understanding and clarity. I am personally fascinated with digging deeper into the jewish- Japanese connections because I came across a lot of it in my personal studying this year and I think it is an important element in introducing and relating the Bible and the gospel to Japanese.

    • Spencer Wentland

      But Catholicism is a part of Christianity so I am curious why you want them to be separated?

    • Naoko Brown

      Brandalyn, it was nice to meet you on the Zoom call.
      I am also very fascinated by Jewish-Japanese connections. For a long time I thought God really didn’t care about Japan because He was angry at Japan and its culture. However, when I read about this theory, I felt great that God did touch Japan with His people at the very beginning of the nation. Thank you, Lord! You love Japanese people and have a wonderful plan for Japan.

    • Shibu AV

      I am also quite fascinated to know the connection between Japanese people and the Jewish people, I would like to know more about it…

    • Emily Frey

      Your comments on Catholicism reminded me of some notes I took while reading the Japan Guide online, “Foreign traders and missionaries had acted aggressively and intolerant towards native Japanese institutions in an era when their fellow countrymen were conquering and colonizing other parts of the world in the name of Christianity.” Once again, in Japan, as well as much of the rest of the world, we can anticipate some long-term, devastating effects of “Christianity” being introduced as a means to reach a political agenda instead of for the transformation of souls by the Spirit. These ways should have encouraged true repentance, a turn from idols, conviction and transformative living by the Spirit, a focus on eternal life, like-mindedness in Christ, and praise for adoption into the Family of the One True God.

    • almabermejo

      Totally in agreement. Catholics and Evangelicals are completely different. I was a nominal Catholic and I know the huge difference between the two.

  • 1

    Week One Prayers - Brandalyn

    Brandalyn
    Reply

    Monday – Lord, I thank you that at the beginning of time – from the time of Creation – that the Japanese people have been in your heart. You have loved the and cared for them. You have had a plan for them. They are not “new to your awareness”

    Tuesday – Lord, I am in awe of the ways that you have woven your truth into the Japanese culture and history. The more I learn the more excited I am that you have planted the seeds of your truth into this nation from long ago and that they have been sprouting and likely blooming and bearing fruit even beyond what we have known about. Continue to reveal yourself and your truth to these people as they find you in their history

    Wednesday – Lord, thank you for the abundance of material that we have been provided to be able to understand your people in japan and to understand some of the seeds of truth that you have planted in their nation from times of old. I pray that you would help us to make the most of it and to use it for the furtherance of your kingdom as we work with others in Japan to spread the gospel effectively. I pray for opportunities to discuss with friends and their interest in investigating it more.

    Thursday – As I read about the history of Tokyo and how it went from a small fishing village to be the bustling, massive capital city of the country, I lift up and pray for the people in the Tokyo region. I pray for the ministries happening in this area, for the people to be reached, For those who have heard your gospel and for those who have yet to hear it.

    • Brandalyn

      Friday – Thank you Lord, that you are bigger than the screw-ups of man. The ways that we have made mistakes in trying to take your truth to others and doing it poorly – whether through wrong motives or twisted truth or rigid thinking etc – that you are greater. Your ability to reach people is greater than our ability to botch it up. I pray that you would heal the past wounds and mis-trust that has been created by those who have gone before us in poorly representing your name and your truth to the Japanese people. Show us how to bring your genuine love and truth in your way!

      Saturday – Lord, I pray for Toru-san and Kazumi that as he is sick and they fear the corona virus that they might look to you. I pray that the discussions that Kazumi and I have had about you might cause her to consider your love and power and application to their life. I pray that you would heal Toru-san as we have been praying for him and that his healing would be a testimony of you.

      Sunday – You arose the risen Lord of all nations. Your power over evil and death is final and complete and you ARE the king of this world and the nations. i pray your power over the nation of Japan, an outpouring of your love and your truth and your goodness over their nation that they would be drawn to you – that eyes blinded by traditions and religion would be opened to a God of love, hope, second changes and grace.

  • 5

    Week 1 "Impressions"

    Emily Frey
    Reply

    For the first time, I learned of the Japan-Israel connection in my readings this week. It was very fun and interesting to discuss and debate with my household. It was also great to read the mythological “origin story” of Japan. This was another story I had not yet heard. Reading it helps me understand what is important to them as a people, how they relate to spiritual beings, and how the Biblical Creation account might sound. These stories make me want to visit several of the places identified with these stories and traditions.
    It was also very interesting to read in local newspapers about how Tokyo has declared a “state of emergency” because of the corona-virus. This was the first topic my Japanese friend mentioned on the phone this week! Our prayers this week center right on that city and area so it has become ever so relevant to pray fervently for people to turn to God during these times.

    • Spencer Wentland

      Yes, one of the sisters who attends the bible study connected with the international service has asked for prayers for her friends son who is a doctor working in Tokyo.

    • Shibu AV

      I think many countries have the ideas of creation or their formation the same as Japan. For example, India believes in many mythological fictions, a country with many gods and goddesses. The Hindus believe everything begins with the sound “OM” and people were created from different part of god Brahma, they believe Brahma is the god of creation…according to the creation story, in terms of human being, they believe there are four classes of people, India use the word “caste instead of class”, there are four main castes, Brahmins, come from the head of Brahma, Kshatriya comes from shoulders of Brahma, Vishay comes from the thighs of Brahma and Shudras come from the feet of Brahma…once you are born in any of these castes impossible to change your status…Even today it is practiced very strongly!

    • Naoko Brown

      Emily, thank you very much for your comment.
      I heard that some Japanese started to pray for some mythical god to stop the virus. It is amazing how people find such new god so easily even though the Biblical God has been there for so long. What makes people ignore our God, but to be attracted to something else? I guess it is the way our sinful nature is. Let’s pray that some people find Him through this difficult time. He brings beauty out of ashes!

    • Emily Frey

      Thanks for your comments everyone. I know kharma and fate is a real thing the Japanese believe in. Its easier to believe in nothing absolute than something absolute for them it seems. When I am trying to share about God and Jesus as active beings in our lives with my Japanese friends, I often ask what things may be worrying them. Then, pray with them to God in Jesus’ name for whatever the need to be fulfilled. After some time, I check back to see if the need was met. It takes a lot of time for them to believe it wasn’t some other outside force or fate. Sometimes it takes a lack of prayers in Jesus’ name with bad results or desperate prayers for them to begin to believe and have a desire to understand more. Having them see and believe in the power of God seems a crucial first step.

    • almabermejo

      The state of emergency is now nationwide. Today the number of people infected came up to 10,000 according to the news I watched earlier. Schools in Hokkaido closed again after 1 week of classes. The situation is getting out of control Please pray for the Prime Minister and governors of the 47 prefectures.

  • 3

    Week 1 Impressions

    Spencer Wentland
    Reply

    My undergrad was in intercultural studies and I minored in asian studies, most of which I fulfilled while studying abroad for a year in Nagasaki. I only say that to say, that reading the preface for the Understanding Japan, I think the many changes and complexities of Japan in these last ten or so years is very accurate. I appreciated him surveying and highlighting aspects of those changes.

    As for chapter one, I enjoyed as well. In particular, I was glad to be reintroduced to the Israel Japan theory which I think is fascinating. During my first year in Fukushima the Holy Spirit lead me to someone who became a person of peace and the first time we met he invited me to a festival at a Suwa Shrine in his hometown. I did a lot of research on that and came across this.

    I also studied in Israel for some time and we visited some of the high places and other places that ancient Israelites worshipped and the lay out was totally the same as shinto shrines, I thought that was very interesting as well.

    I think the flow of Assyrian Christians to Japan in sixth century at least establishes the reality that there was a flow from the near east to Japan in ancient times and this is much more plausible then it appears at first.

    • Naoko Brown

      Spencer, it is good to have you in the class! We would love to hear more about your experiences in Japan as well as Israel. I know you have a lot of insights and advise to all of us during the next several weeks!

    • Emily Frey

      Spencer, that is so amazing that you got to visit some of those famous traditional places for the Japan-Israel connection. It would be fun to visit with Japanese friends and talk about the deep Hebrew meanings. Some of my most interesting conversations with Japanese students has been about the differences in Christianity regarding religious practice and rules, and how we pray.

    • almabermejo

      I have heard evangelicals, especially pastors in Japan mentioning their Jewish toots. That is something that other nations are claiming as well. I have also seen an increased desire in some Christian groups to learn the Torah and Hebrew language. Some churches even celebrate the Feasts and other Jew traditions.

  • 1

    P.S. Concerning Operation Japan Prayer

    Spencer Wentland
    Reply

    I have been praying for the Tokyo area. I have a story about how I got introduced to Operation Japan Prayer when I was a senior in high school but I have been praying out of it since then and have notes of impression from the Lord here and there written on the printed version (I think version three) but once the facebook group launched I primarily use that one b/c its updated live and is interactive.

    If you are curious to hear the story behind the person of peace in Fukushima or how I got introduced to Operation Japan Prayer, I would be glad to share about it sometime.

    • Naoko Brown

      Yes, please. Perhaps at our next zoom call…?

  • 5

    Understanding Japan

    Amarilys Vega
    Reply

    It was interesting to go briefly through Japan’s history, their beliefs and how the society, the culture, and the situations changed through time. It impressed me, the possible connection between Japanese and Jewish traditions.
    Also, it kept my attention when Portuguese people and the Spaniards tried to introduce the Catholicism in the country, that didn’t impress them, and as we see in other countries like India as an example, the same thing happened, the people had a bad concept of Christianity because they felt that the Catholicism was imposed to them and they were not giving an example of Jesus love, rather they made them feel that foreigners were superior.
    Here is when this kind of training is important because we can learn to respect, to understand the Japanese people and their culture, without compromising the message of the gospel and to learn how and when we can approach them to share the Good News, to plant the seeds.
    It is my prayer that all those students that come out of their country will have contact with people that will give them a real taste of Jesus’s love and they will feel to have that peace, joy, and love that just the Lord can give us.
    Here in my country, Japanese people are not open to have a friendship with the locals. I would like to learn what is the best way to approach a Japanese person for the first time. My Japanese friends are different because I got to know them while I was on the ship, they were interested to know about life on the ship and the places we visited there were no many foreigners there. But for me, it has been difficult of how to make new contacts that may last longer than just a short conversation.

    • Brandalyn

      Amarilys, where do you live? I was so intrigued by your comment that the Japanese people are not open to have a friendship with the locals. I have had an easy time making Japanese friends at the university and with exchange students. It can be more challenging outside of school or exchange settings for sure.

    • Shibu AV

      I agree with Lily, that in the past when the British were ruling the nation, they had a great opportunity to spread the good news in India but their aim was the trade and strengthen their power in the country, there were many missionaries too, they did not learn much about the culture or their religion in order to share the gospel in a contextual manner, rather they tried to communicate it from their own background which caused many misunderstandings and gradually Christianity was not well accepted by the Indian community though they mase many good things in India, the gospel was not well received. I think studying about Japanese people and their culture and religion would help us to prepare better to communicate the gospel in an appropriate manner.

    • Shibu AV

      I have some friends from Japan that I met on the Doulos Ship in 2006, and I tried to maintain the friendship with them…now I feel the importance of renewing and continuing the friendship with them, as Lily said it is not easy for us to build the friendships with them here in Panama, maybe because they are a small number of them are here, and they try to be close to their own people, I believe in Japan it would be much easier, because you may find them everywhere.

    • Naoko Brown

      Lily,
      Thank you very much for your love for Christ and the Japanese people. In case of Brandalyn, probably it is easy for her to make Japanese friends on campus because they are college students who chose to come to US. They are in their adventure and eager to explore. On the other hand, probably Japanese in Panama are there for business? If so, it is possible that they have “us verses them” mentality and not easy to open up to non-Japanese. You will study about “uchi and soto” concept later in the textbook. In any case, do not be discouraged. I pray God will bring some people who are drawn to your kindness. Sometimes Japanese culture bind them in obligation and pride, etc. and some of them seek friendship with non-Japanese. We will talk more in the next several weeks!

    • almabermejo

      Many Japanese people come to the Lord abroad, I personally know some. And those that are disciplined eventually become leaders when they come back. May the Lord give you the keys to unlock their hearts and use you to lead them to HIM. Keep up the good work!!!

  • 5

    Weekly Reading Report:

    Shibu AV
    Reply

    I would like to write down some of the things that I noticed through my reading: This reading helps me to get a proper and clear perspective on Japanese people and their origin, some of the things surprise me but I am trying to understand, some of the things are quite similar to India where I come from. I hope this will help you get some ideas, even though all of you have your reading and writing. I appreciate your insights.
    It was the first time I had the opportunity to look at the background of the Japanese people, their origin and the establishment as a nation.
    Japan is one of the richest nations in East Asia, with a population of 126.8 million people according to the census of 2017. It is amazing to see how fast the nation thrived from its collapse after the 2nd World War. That shows the commitment and hard work of the people in Japan, it is a very hard-working community.
    The first chapter of the book “Understanding Japan Through Eyes of Christian Faith” explains briefly how the various eras in the history of Japan have influenced its development through the centuries.
    A Brief Geography: It is surprising to me to read that Japan has many islands because I never knew that it had so many islands! It has four main islands and around 3900 small islands. The four main islands are, Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Tokyo is the capital city of Japan, the other major cities are Osaka, Kobe, and Yokohama on Honshu the largest Island of Japan. Another major city in Nagasaki is located in Kyushu. Japan is divided into 47 prefectures which are quite similar to states or provinces in other countries, the neighboring countries are Russia, and North and South Korea.
    The origin: There are many mythological beliefs about the origin of the Japanese people. Some believe the Jomon people were the original people of Japan, others believe the Tungus of the North were the original inhabitance of Japan, the Tungus were the Siberian ethnic groups. These Tungus were divided into two groups, Evenki and Lamut. These groups lived by the river and the coastal areas, the Evenki lived by Yenisei and Ob rivers that were connected to the Pacific oceans and by the Amur River that was connected to the Arctic Ocean and the Lamut lived by the coast of the Okhotsk Sea.
    Tungus were closely related to the Manchus and they practiced Shamanistic religion. Tungus and Tungusic languages come from the Altaic family of language and it also had some relation to the Mongolic and Turkic language. Some believe that Japanese people were originated from the Austronesian background from South Asia and others believe they are a mix of both Tungus and Austronesian, and some believe that the Japanese are descended from one of the lost tribes of Israel.
    I am quite impressed and surprised to read the connection between the Japanese people and the Israelites. The way they practice the festivals and incorporating many of the ritual practices of the Jewish people.
    The influence of Shintoism in Japan was quite noticeable, the way it is rooted in the soil of Japan as the way Hinduism rooted in India, everything is based on Hinduism in India, and I see the same with the Japanese people, most of their belief system, lifestyle, traditions, and ritual practices were based on the influence of Shintoism for many centuries in the past, I think many people must be still holding onto this traditional views of Shintoism even though today generation may not be much into it.

    Japan Through Various Periods:
    The Jomon period: It was the earliest historical period in Japan, which is approximately from 8000 BC to 300 BC. Though there are no many details about the Jomon period, Author Samuel Lee gives us some ideas of its beginning history. Japan had 100 kingdoms and 30 of those had some diplomatic connection with China, but there were constant wars between these kingdoms, the story goes on that one of the queens called Himiko ruled a kingdom called Yamatai and she gained power over other kingdoms and the rulers of Yamatai known as Yamato and their rule continued for a while.
    Yamato period: The Yamatai kingdom was located in the Southern part of Japan and the capital was Kyushu and they established the imperial family line in the kingdom and claimed that their rule was directly coming from the god Amaterasu. They also classified people into ruling and serving classes, the Yamato family upgraded them into the imperial ruling line. During this period they followed the Chinese political structure and for the first time, Japan was controlled by the civil and criminal law system. The Yamato family ruled in both periods of Nara and Heian.
    It is also interesting to see the various facts that supported the progress of the ancient history of Japan. Chinese cultural influence was very predominant in Japan, and they introduced Buddhism into Japan which was quite a remarkable period in Japanese history, as Buddhism thrived in Japan it characterized the nation’s lifestyle, both spiritual and cultural.
    Another thing to notice is that the imperial family Yamato’s great influence in Japan, they promoted Buddhism into a higher level, they built many Buddhist temples and other religious centers but gradually they lost the power to the Fujiwara family, and their influence resulted in the initiative of feudalism in Japan, the military power was initiated and it was called the way of the Samurai, and this era continued for a long period of time.
    Tokugawa Period: The other remarkable periods in Japan were the Tokugawa period and the Meiji period. The Tokugawa period promoted both Confucianism and Buddhism, their military power was quite strong, in the beginning, they had sixty thousand Samurais but they were able to extend it up to three hundred thousand. They made Buddhism be the national religion in order to eliminate Christianity. During this time everyone had to be registered at the Buddhist temple, and many Christians were martyred. People focused on literacy and many other developments of the country, the Dutch helped the nation by introducing Western medicine. During this period the Confucianism played a key role in the society, and also this period led the nation into modernization and industrialization. Gradually the growth of modernization and the industrialization led many others to have their own companies with the help of the Western world, and the people also lost faith in the Buddhist priest, which led them to come back to Shintoism, eventually, the Tokugawa period has come to an end which led the Meiji period.
    Meiji period: It was a turning point in the history of Japan, during this period the nation tried its best to advance military power and many other developments compared to other European nations. Their motto during this period was “civilization and enlightenment” and “rich nation with a strong army”. And also they realized the importance of education during this period, many started to promote the need for schools and universities, especially western education. Fukuzawa was one of the intellectuals who took the initiative in regard to the education system of the country. Fukuzawa also emphasized the importance of accepting Christianity in regards to the future development to the nation but it was rejected by the majority of the leaders.
    During this period the laws were changed, and they passed new laws in the country, according to the new law people were considered equal, the class system in the society was abolished, though it was continued in some extend. Gradually the political system took a new wave in the 1870s when the first political party was formed in Japan, and its association with the European and Western world helped the nation to move into a higher level of growth and developments. So the mindset of the Japanese people changed, and they aimed to transform the nation into a superpower.
    It was quite interesting to see how fast the Japanese grew up politically and became the most powerful nation in the world, during the first and second world wars, they were one of the strongest nations that had defeated many surrounding nations, including Russia.
    During the Meiji period, they made Confucianism along with Shintoism and Buddhism as the national religion and Christians also had some freedom. During this period; Christians contributed to the welfare of the Japanese society by building schools and universities and worked on empowering the rights of the women.
    Fall of Japan: During the Second World War everything had turned against Japan, she was defeated by the Allied Forces in 1945, which caused the nation’s downfall and a complete surrender to the Allied Forces. Many people lost their lives in Japan and surrounding nations, and it was stricken by disease and poverty, and their dream for superpower had come to an end. Japan had to go through the supervision of the “Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, they asked Japan to go through three-phase: demilitarization, democratization and rehabilitation” (Understanding Japan…5th edition Pdf Page 50). And certain laws that had been imposed by the Meiji period were canceled and the acknowledgment of the deity of the Japanese emperor was abolished, and Japan was completely dismantled by the Second World War.
    The Fastest Transformation of Japan: Japan came back to its shape far better than in the past in a very short period of time through the commitment and hard work of the Japanese people, today they have the best technology, numerous manufacturing companies for electronic devices in various kinds, they have one of the best automobile systems, also they were able to provide enough jobs to the Japanese people to eradicate the unemployment, and they have become one of the economically strong nations in the world.
    The Great Spiritual Need: The physical growth of Japan did not meet the spiritual need of the people, rather in many ways it took them away from God! Many people go through depression, emptiness, loneliness, they have become more job oriented than people-oriented, and due to this many families face various problems, the divorce rate is increasing, and the spiritual bankruptcy is sweeping the country. There is a great need in terms of evangelism in this nation. I pray that a great revival may break out in Japan and many may turn to the Lord Jesus before His coming.

    • Brandalyn

      In the times I have spent in Japan (and also in this reading of the Japanese creation mythology), I have been struck by the many similarities between our North American Indigenous people’s traditions and those of the Japanese. There are very similar styles of creation mythology, the traditional song and dance I think has a very similar look and sound – it is fascinating the many similarities that can been seen across cultures!

    • Spencer Wentland

      Brandalyn, I have noticed that too, very interesting indeed!

    • Shibu AV

      Thank you for the comments, one of the things that I noticed was, that people easily believe myths and fictions because it is quite fascinating and quite attractive. The Indian people promote the myths and all kinds of creational stories and their deities through movies and series of events throughout the year and create an atmosphere among the people as it is real. So the people both educated and uneducated believe them and follow and practice whatever they see in these movies and series…that is why it is so hard to bring a person out of that belief system.

    • Naoko Brown

      Shibu,
      What a great summary! Maybe we can use your comment as a textbook! ;-D
      I have many Indian friends from work, and some of them are became like family. A few of them watch Christian TV and are so impressed by the sermons. Yet they don’t want to depart from their own gods from India. One time an Indian friend invited me to his temple saying “Jesus is not going to be mad at you. It’s OK to believe in Jesus and come to see our gods in temple.” I did go to his temple and had a good time interacting with all the wonderful Indian people. I talk to him every day, but I still cannot figure out how to tell him that Jesus is the only way. Well we will talk more about it later! Good to study with you!

    • Shibu AV

      Hello Naoko, thank you so much for the word of encouragement, actually I did the summary for the first two chapters that is why it was very long! I appreciate your comments. Regarding reaching the Indian community, especially the Hindus, it is quite similar to the Japanese people, one of the best ways is through friendship that you are already doing, and God will give you the opportunity to share the gospel. Another thing you can do is, ask them about their faith and get to know what made them believe in the particular deity that they believe, it is just like you are trying to learn from them, these search may also create an opportunity to share what we believe and why we believe… For Hindus, their religion is their culture, it is quite hard to separate, but it is not impossible for God, lots of prayers and perseverance is needed. God may help you. Blessings!

  • 0

    Pray for Japan

    Shibu AV
    Reply

    I have been praying for Japan ever since I had the opportunity to visit this beautiful country. I am continually praying for her well-being and both spiritually and physically. I pray that God would bring a great revival into this great country, may the lives would be turned into faith in Jesus. God may bring more workers into this nation, and God may protect those Christians who are in Japan and He may continually use them for reaching the unreached. God also may heal the nation from this coronavirus. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  • 0

    Alma Bermejo - Week 1

    almabermejo
    Reply

    According to Operation World, Japan is the largest not evangelized country in the world. Japanese people are open to missionaries for a good number of reasons but they are not accepting the Gospel. Actually the evangelical population in this nation is decreasing.

    Once a bible school student told me that Japanese “have two bubbles”, they may let you come close and pop up the first one but never the second one. They don’t like to share their deepest feelings and needs because that makes them vulnerable. Vulnerability is a sign of weakness, and if you are weak others can easily have power over you.

    I have slowly learned the huge challenges that people in this country face, especially children and youth. They must fulfill people’s expectations and excel in everything in order to bring honor to their parents or those in authority. They should not dare to be different because different draws attention and it breaks unity and balance. Mistakes cause shame and dishonor. When I understood that “harakiri” was an honorable way for a Samurai to die, I realized why a Japanese person will do almost anything to avoid taking challenges and being exposed.

    Japanese people have been trained to be followers, they are to conform to the norms. Those that challenge authority will be nailed down by the group. That is one of the reasons they do not fully commit to Christ.

    There is a huge lack of discipleship in the churches, most people attend church once a week but their minds are not renewed with the Word of God.

    I agree with the author when he states that Japan is moving into an individualistic society. New generations are challenging the values that their parents and elders have consider sacred. They do not want to be married, have children, sex, etc. Without realizing it they are rejecting, like many other societies today, what God treasures.

    Yes, Japan has a huge influence in the world today, it amazes me to see the number of young people across the globe that want to come here. They are learning Japanese in order to read Manga! Their anime has reached some of the farthest places in the globe. How I wish they would commit to Christ and lead millions in other nations to do the same.

    Japanese people work very hard and are well able to overcome almost anything. After the Fukushima catastrophe, I contacted friends and they always told me they were fine. No matter what comes against them, it seems that they can always recover and that is actually their biggest problem. They do not need God to help them.

    I read what the book mentions about the origin of the Japanese people and the earliest periods. In my opinion, yes, Mongolians and Russians from Siberia look very much alike. I was astonished when I went to those countries and saw their faces! Actually people in Siberia eat raw fish and it tastes just like sushi.

    I also read about the history of Japan on japan-guide.com and I found very interesting the role of the Samurai during the Edo period. I didn’t think I would be so attracted to this country’s history! I watched 2 short clips about the Second War World and one you suggested called Mystery File #1 (Zionfestival)

    I have been reading Japan Today every day and praying for Japan following the Prayer Guide but not every day.

  • 0

    Hi

    Naoko Brown
    Reply

    Thank you, Alma. I like the analogy of two bubbles. I agree with the statement. As you know counseling is much less common in Japan, because it is hard for them to share their burden and “shame” with even professionals.

    Thank you very much for your love and passion for Japan!