Week 6: Japanese Culture and Christian Faith October 11-17

Week 6 Japanese Culture and Christian Faith

Reading:

  • Chapter Eleven: Christianity’s Contribution to Japanese Life
  • Chapter Twelve: Elements of Japanese Culture
  • Chapter Thirteen: Spiritual Culture in Japan
  • How to Share the Good News With Your Japanese Friend by Mark Reasoner Page 1-15
  • This text can be purchased here.

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

  • Continue to adhere to the 100 word minimum 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 as you have time and comment on at least two of them.
  • Japanese Pre-Contextualization Assignment:
  • List out the basic elements of the Good News of Jesus Christ that is preached in Acts 10:34-48 and Acts 17:22-34, and the manner in which their messages were delivered. These separate lists serve as summary descriptions of the Gospel. Then list out any cultural, theological, or communication barriers Japanese people might have related to each basic element in your lists. Use any information you have encountered from the course so far. (Things to pay attention to are what Japanese people would generally reject theologically, methodologically, or culturally.) The purpose of this assignment is to help you begin to theorize how to share each point of the Gospel in a meaningful way with a Japanese person.

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:

Questions

  • 3

    Max reflections week 6

    Max Chau

    For this week’s reading, one important point that stuck out was how the missionaries realized the national neglect in Women’s education and so they created universities and schools for girls. Through these schools the girls would have access to the gospel but also through these missionaries, Japanese women can now have access to education. It’s good to be reminded that God cares for social justice and gives us missionaries to remind us of this fact.

    I also quite liked learning on the specifics of Japanese culture such as honne/tatemae and uchi/soto, but as Samuel wrote, I think these concepts probably are in other cultures but I guess it’s much more pronounced in Japan.

    • Faith Minter

      I also really enjoyed reading about the positive impact missionaries had on the education system! I feel like at times people who are not christian and don’t understand the purpose of missionaries and thus can be so negative towards missionaries. Yet, seeing how big of an impact missionaries have had in Japan is so encouraging. I don’t feel like even those who don’t understand missions could deny the positive impact in this situation.

    • Naoko Brown

      Max,
      Yes, it is a reminder that missionaries are not only to reach out to individuals but also to reach out to the whole country and touch the culture on a big scale with God’s supernatural power! It is exciting to imagine what you all can do for His glory!!

    • Paxton Blunier

      Max, I totally agree with you about how God cares for social justice and it is very cool to see how God uses missionaries to address those issues. I pray that God would reveal each of our passions to know how we each play a part in reaching the Japanese with our gifts that God has given us!

  • 2

    Faith's Reflections Week 6

    Faith Minter

    I really enjoyed the chapter on Japanese culture, yet I feel like I am more confused than before I read it! Mainly just because these ideas are so foreign to me. I can definitely see how foreigners could accidentally be offensive if they don’t know some of these things.

    This one example is so confusing to me: “when a person is visiting someone’s house in Japan and it becomes time for supper, people will often say, “Won’t you dine with us?” However, this is not really an invitation; rather it is a subtle hint that it is time to go home. To those
    from other countries this may sound confusing, but for Japanese it is a natural way to interact socially. So the correct response to, “Won’t you dine with us?” is “Thank you very much, but I am not hungry.” This type of behavior is formulaic in Japanese society.”

    My thoughts are how do I ask someone to stay for dinner in a way that they know I actually mean it? And how do I know if they actually mean it when they ask me?

    Hopefully when I get to Japan I’ll be better able to understand these things the author pointed out about the culture so that I am not offensive!

    I also thought the festivals were very intriguing! I am glad I know now not to throw away any dolls.

    • Max Chau

      Hi Faith,

      Now that you mention it…I completely missed that part. Maybe if it’s family or friends, they actually mean it, but if it’s acquaintances and such it’s more out of politeness.

      Maybe it’s the way we have to say it as well, like maybe we have to be like I’ll cook supper for you, so stay haha.

      but that’s a good point and I’ll need to keep that in mind as well.

    • Paxton Blunier

      Faith, I totally hear you when you say the culture is confusing sometimes. I have found that to be a struggle for me at times when my Japanese friends are indirect. I hope as we all continue to seek God and learn more about the culture that things will become easier to understand and not so complex. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • 0

    Paxton: Week 6 Reflection

    Paxton Blunier

    Chapter 11

    I really like how the author categorizes Christianity in there country by: education, social justice, and intellectual life. I’m glad because of past situations that now allow women to get an education. It was interesting to read how some missionaries helped open up christian schools for the girls. It was very interesting to read how God has raised up and used different people to fight for what is right for the different difficult situations that Japanese people experience to help make a difference. I also thought it was very cool to see how many different christian authors from Japan had written and published books. I continue to pray that God would lead more believing Japanese people to write books in their language and that it would a useful tool to reach the Japanese.

    Chapter 12
    I found this chapter to be very insightful and helpful to understanding why the Japanese do what they do. The different terminology was super helpful and cool. I loved how he went into detail of how that effects the culture and why they think and act the way they do.

    Chapter 13
    I found it very intriguing to read about there festivals and traditions they have. I noticed that the culture is very fear/power based and how they believe in good and bad spirits. I pray that God would continue to reveal Himself to the Japanese people and bring them the perfect peace they are searching for.