Week 7: Conclusions and Analysis October 19-25

Week 7 Conclusions and Analysis

Reading:

    • Understanding Japan: Conclusions and Analysis
      • Chapter Fourteen: Analyses and Strategies
      • How to Share the Good News With Your Japanese Friend by Mark Reasoner Page 16-29

Interview: a non-Japanese who has visited Japan. Discuss their impressions. Offer insights from your Japan 101studies.

    • Writing: Weekly Paper: “Impressions and Points from Your Reading”
      • Reflective Writing
      • Read as many of the other students’ writings as you have time 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:

Questions

  • 1

    Esha: Japan 101: Week 7

    EshaRJC

    The latter half of the Reasoner’s book provided some great insights on how to overcome some barriers while being culturally sensitive. One thing I have loved about this book is that the author has provided a pool of Bible verses and passages to draw from for various situations. This booklet will be a helpful guide if God entrusts me to sharing the Gospel with a Japanese.

    Now to Lee’s book. Revisiting some of the barriers, I came across the one that I would struggle with the most if I were Japanese: “community”. How can we allow to create community of believers closely knit to provide the same community atmosphere? How can be make it possible for new converted Japanese Christians to be able to take part in traditional and cultural festivals while still practicing their faith? Could small “house churches” offer better community than large churches?

    I do not believe Christianity will be accepted in Japan if we present it with its western style. Contextualization of the Gospel will be very important in order for it to be accepted within Japanese culture, without losing its real meaning. There are various cultural customs and ideas that can be incorporated to make the Gospel more Japanese. (Jesus laid down His own life to take our shame away). Another example is using Chado for the Lord’s supper and using anime to explain gospel (i.e. the search manga) Finding redeeming analogies in Shinto and Buddhism that help us build a bridge to Christ will be very helpful. What other contextualization you have come across or thought that would be good to apply within Japanese culture?

    • Naoko Brown

      Esha,
      Thank you very much for your thoughts! I am glad you enjoyed Reasoner’s book. It has been a popular resources.

      We all are seeking the best way to bring Japanese to Christ. One method doesn’t work for everybody, so it is good to discuss and hear people’s ideas and experiences.

      I would love to hear more about how you and others reach out to Indian people.

  • 1

    Week 7 thoughts - Sarah

    Sarah Moore

    I appreciated this chapter as it did a great job summarizing what has been said and providing some possible strategies for ministry in Japan. I was reminded of the history of Japan in which it isolated itself from the rest of the world. Persecution of Christians became common during this time. The emperor wanted to rid Japan of any outside or “Western” ideas including Christianity. It was associated with power and politics and so it was not viewed highly. It does seem like Japan has not been properly introduced to Christianity as the book mentions. After WWII, I think it was a lot harder for Japanese to accept Christianity as they associated it with the West.
    I do wonder how we can bring a new light to the gospel in Japan and allow people to truly experience His healing presence and hope. I have been burdened thinking about the hikikomori, the high suicide rate, the pressures of work and school, and also how women are viewed. I believe that Jesus is the only one who can come in and heal these people and this land. It seems that one of the ways that Christianity could have an impact is through technology and reaching younger people. Many Japanese are more comfortable sharing honestly over texts or online so maybe we could focus on this way of sharing the gospel? I also agree with the author that the younger generation may be more open to hearing the gospel especially with the difficulties and pressures they face. I am continuing to pray for wisdom in how to reach the Japanese for Christ!

    Tym and I also talked to an American friend who has visited Japan twice. He stated that both times he noticed how respectful the culture is(example of cleanliness) and also noticed the influence of Buddhism/Shintoism and commented on the amount of shrines/temples throughout Japan. He lived with a family who practiced Buddhism. He did say his first experience was more difficult/shocking because he didn’t know what to expect going in. However on the second trip, he knew more of what to expect and enjoyed his experience more.

    • Naoko Brown

      Sarah,

      Indeed HEALING is a big theme as we reach out to Japanese. I knew it but it was refreshing to hear it from you!

      Is your American friend Christian? I am sure it was shocking to always think about taking off shoes, wear special sandals in toilet, etc.

      Thank you for your passion and compassion for reaching out to Japanese!

  • 1

    Thoughts from the Reading Wk7 Tym

    Tym Moore

    For the interview I interview a friend who has been to Japan twice. Once for a school program and the other for vacation with his wife. One big thing that stuck out to me is that he never noticed anything negative about the culture in Japan. This was my same impression when we I went for vacation. It seems a lot of the societal issues in Japan are well hidden. He also mentioned most Japanese he met were very prideful of their country and were often Buddhist, though they never tried to share their beliefs with him.
    This last bit of the book was a good review. It was nice to finally get a bit of a bird’s eye view of Christianity in Japan. It showed how Japan’s history, societal issues and cultural obstacles to the gospel have effectively made Japan the large unreached people group it is today. Consequentially, I feel like the strategies the author offers make the task of doing ministry in Japan seem super intimidating. A lot needs to be done before Japan can fully embrace Christianity. At this point, the only truly effective ministry I could see working in Japan (at least for western missionaries, those from countries closer to Japan might have an easier time) would be to go to Japan with the intent to strengthen and encourage those already in the church, rather than evangelize. If the Church needs to be remodeled for Japanese culture, it sounds like it would be best to have the Japanese themselves do it in order to give it a chance of being more readily accepted. We could go inspire, encourage, and support the Japanese theologians of tomorrow, and then let them lead the revival in Japan.

    • Naoko Brown

      Tym,

      Those negative information that the author presented are hidden in the culture. It is understandable if we know Uchi vs Soto, Honne vs Tatemae concept. Of course, there are many genuinely beautiful things and exciting things in Japan, so tourists see the good things and enjoy. However, it is not unique in Japan that we don’t see everything at the beginning.

      I agree that strengthening Japanese Christian is very important and crucial! Also I would like to encourage you, Sarah and everybody else that you are shining Jesus’ light, so even without clear tactics how to evangelize Japanese, your kindness and big smiles have impact on those who are not believers yet.