Author Topic: Orthodoxy in Japan  (Read 5606 times)

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Offline GregoryLA

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Orthodoxy in Japan
« on: August 26, 2009, 12:02:43 AM »
Hello, All! 

I'm an Orthodox inquirer living in Japan.  I've been attending an Eastern Orthodox church here for a few months.  Just thought I'd use my first post to show you a video of our Divine Liturgy in Japanese.  This is Pascha, by the way...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4myAuNN701I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU6TOxg7R_o&feature=related

I look forward to interacting with you all in my journey that I hope (and assume) will end in Orthodoxy.  In this respect, and all others, I appreciate your prayers!   :D

If you have any questions about Orthodoxy in Japan, I'll try my best to answer them :)

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2009, 12:04:11 AM »
Are you ethnically Japanese, or an immigrant worker living there?

Offline GregoryLA

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2009, 12:06:36 AM »
I'm American but have lived in Japan now for a little over 3 years.

Offline Salpy

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2009, 12:09:03 AM »
Lovely videos.

Welcome to the forum!

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2009, 12:17:48 AM »
Awesome! Thanks for sharing, and welcome to the forum!

I have been told that for a Japanese person to convert to Christianity, it is looked down upon in Japanese culture. Is this true?
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2009, 12:27:14 AM »
I understand that to be true as well.  The boss I had last year at the university I work at is a Japanologist, and he says that the Japanese tend to look down on anyone who takes religion very seriously or passionately.  They are seen as fanatics.  Almost all Japanese prefer a fashionable Western style "Christian" wedding (like in the movies), but they will prefer to have a Shinto ceremony performed for their infants, and the Buddhist priests handle funerals.  They tend to not rigidly define "religions" into categories as we do in the West, at least that is my understanding.  Christianity has never had a strong presence in Japan, no matter the movement: Roman Catholic, 'indigenous Protestant' attempts, or otherwise.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2009, 12:30:23 AM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline GregoryLA

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2009, 12:34:16 AM »
Awesome! Thanks for sharing, and welcome to the forum!

I have been told that for a Japanese person to convert to Christianity, it is looked down upon in Japanese culture. Is this true?

I think it just depends on who is around you.  On the one hand, the Japanese traditionally respect authority and so clergymen are respected, for the most part, regardless of the religion.  But Japan is a pretty a-religious society.  Shrines and temples are prevalent but religion is pretty absent from the every day lives of the people.  Perhaps in part because of this, there isn't much of a distinction (so I've been told by my Japanese girlfriend) in the minds of most Japanese between "cult" and "religion."  And so any fervent religious observance is viewed with a certain amount of suspicion, this is might be due to the fact that Japanese society is fairly "group-based" and, since the society at large is not religiously observant, to become so is to in some way remove yourself from the group.  

At the same time, I've heard a few Japanese people comment that Japan is suffering from it's lack of religiousness.  The Japanese people I'm closest to- my girlfriend's family- don't seem to care one way or the other if she were to convert.

Offline GregoryLA

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2009, 12:38:12 AM »
I understand that to be true as well.  The boss I had last year at the university I work at is a Japanologist, and he says that the Japanese tend to look down on anyone who takes religion very seriously or passionately.  They are seen as fanatics.  Almost all Japanese prefer a fashionable Western style "Christian" wedding (like in the movies), but they will prefer to have a Shinto ceremony performed for their infants, and the Buddhist priests handle funerals.  They tend to not rigidly define "religions" into categories as we do in the West, at least that is my understanding.  Christianity has never had a strong presence in Japan, no matter the movement: Roman Catholic, 'indigenous Protestant' attempts, or otherwise.

This is more or less my experience.  I've heard it said the Japanese are "born Shinto, marry Christian and die Buddhist."  There is also somewhat of a industry of white men who perform the role of priest for Japanese weddings.  The ceremony is an entirely civil ceremony I would assume, occuring in a "chapel," but the priest is there just to add to the "ambience" since he is not ordained and usually has a completely unrelated day job.

Interestingly though, I've heard that at one point Orthodoxy was the predominate form of Christianity in Japan.

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2009, 12:40:13 AM »
Thanks for your response. The reason I asked is because a Japanese poster on another forum had said that he found it highly insulting for Christians to try to evangelize in Japan, and that Japanese who converted and left the way of the Shinto weren't truly Japanese, and shouldn't be trusted.

How reliable his statements were, I don't know, but thought I would ask.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11

Offline GregoryLA

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2009, 12:46:18 AM »
Thanks for your response. The reason I asked is because a Japanese poster on another forum had said that he found it highly insulting for Christians to try to evangelize in Japan, and that Japanese who converted and left the way of the Shinto weren't truly Japanese, and shouldn't be trusted.

How reliable his statements were, I don't know, but thought I would ask.

You're welcom! ;)

I'm sure there are probably some people like that but I don't think they're the majority.  Some Japanese can be pretty ethno-centric and nationalistic, but I think most educated Japanese- especially young people- know better.  Like any country probably though, you can find these sentiments get more common in older populations, rural areas, people with less interaction with the west, less education, etc.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2009, 12:51:59 AM »
The reason I asked is because a Japanese poster on another forum had said that he found it highly insulting for Christians to try to evangelize in Japan, and that Japanese who converted and left the way of the Shinto weren't truly Japanese, and shouldn't be trusted.

This is exactly the attitude you will find with many Russian nationalists concerning those who convert to Roman Catholicism, which is at least a Christian religion.  To be Russian is to be Orthodox.

To be a good Japanese nationalist, one should pay a visit to the local Shinto shrine occasionally and help to pacify the spirits of the dead soldiers, and to petition the kami (gods).  Also, 'Shinto' as a category divorced from Buddhism is a recent development in Japan, so in a sense categorical 'Shinto' religion is rather new on the scene, but most of the practices are in fact the ancient indigenous religion of the people.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2009, 12:59:24 AM »
Interestingly though, I've heard that at one point Orthodoxy was the predominate form of Christianity in Japan.

Based on my studies of Christianity in Japan, I would say that this is absolutely false.  Orthodoxy has virtually no presence in Japan in comparison with everything else going on there.  The only figure I have seen is that there are about 9,000 Orthodox Christians in Japan.

Offline GregoryLA

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2009, 01:15:25 AM »
Interestingly though, I've heard that at one point Orthodoxy was the predominate form of Christianity in Japan.

Based on my studies of Christianity in Japan, I would say that this is absolutely false.  Orthodoxy has virtually no presence in Japan in comparison with everything else going on there.  The only figure I have seen is that there are about 9,000 Orthodox Christians in Japan.

Now Orthodoxy is definitely in the minority.  In the article on the Japanese Orthodox Church wikipedia reports an estimation of only 25,000 Orthodox in Japan.  However, on the article on Christianity in Japan, it says only 9000.  My girlfriend read somewhere that at one point in Japanese history, I believe through the work of St. Nicolai of Japan, that Orthodoxy was the predominate form of Christianity.  I'll have to ask her where she read that see if she can find the link but I'm sure it will be in Japanese.  She could, however, have been mistaken.

Offline John of the North

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2009, 01:22:39 AM »
Interestingly though, I've heard that at one point Orthodoxy was the predominate form of Christianity in Japan.

Based on my studies of Christianity in Japan, I would say that this is absolutely false.  Orthodoxy has virtually no presence in Japan in comparison with everything else going on there.  The only figure I have seen is that there are about 9,000 Orthodox Christians in Japan.

He said at one time, not right now....
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2009, 04:52:48 AM »
Interestingly though, I've heard that at one point Orthodoxy was the predominate form of Christianity in Japan.

Based on my studies of Christianity in Japan, I would say that this is absolutely false.  Orthodoxy has virtually no presence in Japan in comparison with everything else going on there.  The only figure I have seen is that there are about 9,000 Orthodox Christians in Japan.

Now Orthodoxy is definitely in the minority.  In the article on the Japanese Orthodox Church wikipedia reports an estimation of only 25,000 Orthodox in Japan.  However, on the article on Christianity in Japan, it says only 9000.  My girlfriend read somewhere that at one point in Japanese history, I believe through the work of St. Nicolai of Japan, that Orthodoxy was the predominate form of Christianity.  I'll have to ask her where she read that see if she can find the link but I'm sure it will be in Japanese.  She could, however, have been mistaken.

She could be correct. There was a very strong presence of the Orthodox.  William Smith Clark was invited by the government to combat it.
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Offline Rosehip

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2009, 09:44:12 AM »
From what I've heard, Japan has become an extremely materialistic society.

I've also read that many of the traditionally Christian religious symbols, such as blood (communion) and the Lamb are viewed as either repulsive, ridiculous, or humiliating. I was told that some Protestant churches in Japan rarely celebrate communion, because the concept of blood, even if only symbolic, is totally repulsive to a Japanese person. Therefore I wonder how it is approached in an Orthodox Church. Would receiving communion be a problem/offensive?
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Offline Schultz

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2009, 10:49:09 AM »
From what I've heard, Japan has become an extremely materialistic society.

I've also read that many of the traditionally Christian religious symbols, such as blood (communion) and the Lamb are viewed as either repulsive, ridiculous, or humiliating. I was told that some Protestant churches in Japan rarely celebrate communion, because the concept of blood, even if only symbolic, is totally repulsive to a Japanese person. Therefore I wonder how it is approached in an Orthodox Church. Would receiving communion be a problem/offensive?

Keep in mind that to a 1st century Jew (and indeed any observant Jew today) the idea of communion was (and is) incredibly repulsive.  The thought of drinking blood was probably more problematic than the persecution of fellow Jews and the Romans. 

And yet, they still came.

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Offline Elpidophoros

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2009, 01:38:52 PM »
I was told that some Protestant churches in Japan rarely celebrate communion, because the concept of blood, even if only symbolic, is totally repulsive to a Japanese person. Therefore I wonder how it is approached in an Orthodox Church. Would receiving communion be a problem/offensive?

We should not forget that Nihon has a strong vajrayana tradition since 平安朝,why nipongin have no problem with the tantratic blood-drinking rite and gods/godesses?

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2009, 06:02:51 PM »
I was told that some Protestant churches in Japan rarely celebrate communion, because the concept of blood, even if only symbolic, is totally repulsive to a Japanese person. Therefore I wonder how it is approached in an Orthodox Church. Would receiving communion be a problem/offensive?

We should not forget that Nihon has a strong vajrayana tradition since 平安朝,why nipongin have no problem with the tantratic blood-drinking rite and gods/godesses?

I still haven't figured out, Elpidophoros, why your posts are such linguistic lessons.

English translation:...that Japan has a strong Vajrayana ("Tantric" is the more common English term) since the Heian Period (End of the Classical Japanese Period, 794-1185), why a Japanese person has....

Btw, on Trantric Buddhism and menstrual blood:
http://books.google.com/books?id=zOuxJqF2l9AC&pg=PA149&lpg=PA149&dq=tantric+blood&source=bl&ots=Ux3P9m6dau&sig=1RFaR1xkrEHIs0oH_IUP2P3jggQ&hl=en&ei=-auVSpOyEoiwswPfspGBBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5#v=onepage&q=tantric%20blood&f=false
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline GregoryLA

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2009, 06:09:23 PM »
From what I've heard, Japan has become an extremely materialistic society.

I've also read that many of the traditionally Christian religious symbols, such as blood (communion) and the Lamb are viewed as either repulsive, ridiculous, or humiliating. I was told that some Protestant churches in Japan rarely celebrate communion, because the concept of blood, even if only symbolic, is totally repulsive to a Japanese person. Therefore I wonder how it is approached in an Orthodox Church. Would receiving communion be a problem/offensive?

Growing up in Protestantism in the United States, it's my experience that many Protestants don't celebrate communion that frequently regardless of country. 

As for here in Japan, I've never encountered anyone who was repulsed by communion, etc. Before becoming interested in Orthodoxy I attended a Lutheran church here in which communion was served every month and no one seemed bothered by it. At the Orthodox church here, in which it's taught that the bread and wine are the Body and Blood of Christ, the Eucharist is served at every service- with no negative reactions from anyone. 

How a non-christian Japanese person that you were to meet on the street were to react, I don't know.  I've actually never even thought about it before, but I'd be interested to know.  I just wouldn't really know how to breech the subject.

Offline GregoryLA

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2009, 06:12:23 PM »
I was told that some Protestant churches in Japan rarely celebrate communion, because the concept of blood, even if only symbolic, is totally repulsive to a Japanese person. Therefore I wonder how it is approached in an Orthodox Church. Would receiving communion be a problem/offensive?

We should not forget that Nihon has a strong vajrayana tradition since 平安朝,why nipongin have no problem with the tantratic blood-drinking rite and gods/godesses?

I still haven't figured out, Elpidophoros, why your posts are such linguistic lessons.

English translation:...that Japan has a strong Vajrayana ("Tantric" is the more common English term) since the Heian Period (End of the Classical Japanese Period, 794-1185), why a Japanese person has....

Btw, on Trantric Buddhism and menstrual blood:
http://books.google.com/books?id=zOuxJqF2l9AC&pg=PA149&lpg=PA149&dq=tantric+blood&source=bl&ots=Ux3P9m6dau&sig=1RFaR1xkrEHIs0oH_IUP2P3jggQ&hl=en&ei=-auVSpOyEoiwswPfspGBBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5#v=onepage&q=tantric%20blood&f=false

this is the first I've ever heard of this.

Offline Shlomlokh

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2009, 08:21:27 PM »
I am studying Japanese right now in school and I absolutely love the language and culture. God willing, I'd like to study abroad for a semester in Japan. I've even looked up the Japanese liturgical texts and different things like that. Does anyone have a recording of the Divine Liturgy in Japanese? If so, I would love to hear it.

Gregory, in which part of Japan are you? My professor is from Kyoto.

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Offline Eugenio

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2009, 05:20:30 PM »
In regard to the notion posted in an earlier quote that "at one time Orthodoxy was the predominate form of Christianity in Japan", that is not my understanding.

I believe most Christians in Japan were Catholic, owing to the activities of Portuguese missionaries in Japan dating from the 1500s. The city with the largest Catholic presence was Nagasaki.

Source:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10667c.htm

"Nagasaki is the seat of a Roman Catholic Archdiocese led by Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagasaki

I could remark on the irony of the U.S. nuking the most Christian city in Japan, but I'll just post these instead:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nagasaki_Urakami_Cathedral_M5727.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:UrakamiTenshudoJan1946.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urakami_Cathedral

Offline Eugenio

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2009, 05:26:41 PM »
What Orthodox there are in Japan are based on the island of Hokkaido, as this northernmost island had extensive contact with Russia. Here's a couple of other things I found on the web:

http://web-japan.org/atlas/architecture/arc01.html

http://www.yunphoto.net/en/photobase/yp4143.html


Offline Pilgrim

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2009, 08:41:48 PM »
Are Christians doing anything to combat the use of Judeo-Christian symbols as magical signs in Japan? As a manga reader nothing annoys me more than the misuse and misunderstanding of Christian symbols and doctrine. Just as an example

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« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 08:42:19 PM by Pilgrim »
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Offline samkim

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2009, 12:01:58 PM »
Manga is WEIRD yo.
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2009, 05:22:29 PM »
I'm American but have lived in Japan now for a little over 3 years.
Welcome to the forum. At the high school where I teach, one of our English teachers taught in Japan for five years. He has had nothing but good things to say about it.
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Offline Pilgrim

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2009, 07:05:45 PM »
Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth help us to walk the way of Life, which is Christ Jesus.

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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2009, 08:46:29 PM »
That's great that you have Liturgy in the vernacular.
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Offline Elpidophoros

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2009, 04:42:24 PM »
And one cold asteio:

non-orthodox Japanese: Do you orthodox guys celebrate new year every week?
orthodox Japanese: No!!!We do not!!!What made you think so?
non-orthodox Japanese: You have かがみもち in your church every sunday don't you?
orthodox Japanese: Orz........

かがみもち:


what we actually have in our church every sunday:

Offline Pilgrim

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2009, 10:58:58 PM »
lol what are kagamimochi?
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Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2009, 08:47:10 AM »
""Pride is not the opposite of shame, but it's source. True humility is the only antidote to shame.""
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Offline Elpidophoros

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2009, 11:35:28 AM »
lol what are kagamimochi?
Kagami mochi (鏡餅):literally mirror rice cake, is a traditional Japanese New Year decoration.

Offline Ebor

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #33 on: September 15, 2009, 02:03:40 PM »
Interestingly though, I've heard that at one point Orthodoxy was the predominate form of Christianity in Japan.

Based on my studies of Christianity in Japan, I would say that this is absolutely false.  Orthodoxy has virtually no presence in Japan in comparison with everything else going on there.  The only figure I have seen is that there are about 9,000 Orthodox Christians in Japan.

Now Orthodoxy is definitely in the minority.  In the article on the Japanese Orthodox Church wikipedia reports an estimation of only 25,000 Orthodox in Japan.  However, on the article on Christianity in Japan, it says only 9000.  My girlfriend read somewhere that at one point in Japanese history, I believe through the work of St. Nicolai of Japan, that Orthodoxy was the predominate form of Christianity.  I'll have to ask her where she read that see if she can find the link but I'm sure it will be in Japanese.  She could, however, have been mistaken.

There was an EO presence on Hokkaido due to Russians there.  There was not supposed to be any attempt to convert any Japanese. However St. Nicholas of Japan wanted to learn the language and succeeded in doing so as well as gaining a small number of converts.  As I recall (though I will consult my books if you like) there was some resentment of this, but he managed to avoid being killed.  He eventually went to Tokyo.

If you are interested I can give some more information and a book title or two on the subject of Christianity in Japan.  The first conversions were in the mid 16th century via the Portuguese and for some time there were thousands and thousands of Christians.  This continued for some decades with sometimes support and sometimes banning (such as by Toyatomi Hideyoshi) until it was finally outlawed by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1614. 

Ebor
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2009, 02:07:30 PM »
I was told that some Protestant churches in Japan rarely celebrate communion, because the concept of blood, even if only symbolic, is totally repulsive to a Japanese person. Therefore I wonder how it is approached in an Orthodox Church. Would receiving communion be a problem/offensive?

We should not forget that Nihon has a strong vajrayana tradition since 平安朝,why nipongin have no problem with the tantratic blood-drinking rite and gods/godesses?

 ???  I have never come across anything like this at all. May I ask what your source is for this assertion? 

Shinto is not an offshoot of Buddhism and in Shinto contact with blood would make an person or object impure. 

And, I'm sorry, but I find your supposed "dialogue" regarding the New Year's rice cakes and prosphora bread to be quite peculiar.  Are you saying that such an exchange actually took place that you know of or is it supposition? 

With respect

Ebor
« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 02:10:11 PM by Ebor »
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2009, 02:12:06 PM »
Manga is WEIRD yo.

Depends on the manga...  :) 

Some can be quite good and some of the anime is wonderful.  I will admit that I am a fan of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.   ;)

Ebor
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Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #36 on: September 20, 2009, 10:23:03 PM »
Manga is WEIRD yo.

Depends on the manga...  :) 

Some can be quite good and some of the anime is wonderful.  I will admit that I am a fan of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.   ;)

Ebor

I would go so far to say that there is a hidden wisdom in such comic books..  :)
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2009, 08:01:16 AM »
Manga is WEIRD yo.

Depends on the manga...  :) 

Some can be quite good and some of the anime is wonderful.  I will admit that I am a fan of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.   ;)

Ebor

I would go so far to say that there is a hidden wisdom in such comic books..  :)

In some of them at least.  :)
"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

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Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #38 on: September 21, 2009, 08:13:03 AM »
Manga is WEIRD yo.

Depends on the manga...  :) 

Some can be quite good and some of the anime is wonderful.  I will admit that I am a fan of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.   ;)

Ebor

I would go so far to say that there is a hidden wisdom in such comic books..  :)

In some of them at least.  :)

Have you read Fruits Basket and Yakitate Japan?  :D Learned a lot of life's lesson from the former, and cooking and baking from the latter..  ;D
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #39 on: September 21, 2009, 08:20:05 AM »
I haven't seen Yakitate Japan yet.  I'll keep an eye out.  I do have one that has an eccentric chef that is meant to teach English/Japanese terms.

Thanks for the title  :)
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Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #40 on: September 21, 2009, 08:32:20 AM »
I haven't seen Yakitate Japan yet.  I'll keep an eye out.  I do have one that has an eccentric chef that is meant to teach English/Japanese terms.

Thanks for the title  :)

Your welcome!.. Who would have thought that Wasabe would taste good in bread? Lol.  :laugh: Yakitate has a lot of weird stuff in it.. But they said its based in real life. Don't know how true though.
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Offline GregoryLA

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2010, 04:40:59 AM »
Photos from the past year....

Cathedral of the Resurrection (St. Nicholai Cathedral) in Tokyo...





Pascha in Kagoshima...
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 04:44:06 AM by GregoryLA »

Offline ag_vn

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2010, 05:11:30 AM »
Very interesting... Do you know whether the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognize the Church of Japan? I've read that once the Ecumenical Patriarchate claimed jurisdiction over Japan through its Metropolis of New Zealand and later through the Metropolis of Korea.

Offline GregoryLA

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2010, 05:38:04 AM »
Very interesting... Do you know whether the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognize the Church of Japan? I've read that once the Ecumenical Patriarchate claimed jurisdiction over Japan through its Metropolis of New Zealand and later through the Metropolis of Korea.

I'm not sure what you mean by recognize.  I'm new to Orthodoxy, but I've never heard of His All Holiness claiming any jurisdiction in Japan.  We're under the omophorion of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Edit: I just looked at wikipedia and it says our autonomy is not universally recognized.  Perhaps that's what you're talking about?
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 05:39:24 AM by GregoryLA »

Offline Elpidophoros

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #44 on: June 03, 2010, 08:49:26 AM »
Very interesting... Do you know whether the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognize the Church of Japan? I've read that once the Ecumenical Patriarchate claimed jurisdiction over Japan through its Metropolis of New Zealand and later through the Metropolis of Korea.
I've never heard of His All Holiness claiming any jurisdiction in Japan. 
See:
http://www.patriarchate.org/greek/hierarchs/show.php?lang=gr&id=166
The title of metropolitan of Korea is : Μητροπολίτης Κορέας, ὑπέρτιμος καί Ἐξαρχος Ἰαπωνίας (Metropolitan of Korea and exarch of Japan).


Offline ag_vn

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #45 on: June 03, 2010, 10:06:45 AM »
Very interesting... Do you know whether the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognize the Church of Japan? I've read that once the Ecumenical Patriarchate claimed jurisdiction over Japan through its Metropolis of New Zealand and later through the Metropolis of Korea.

I'm not sure what you mean by recognize.  I'm new to Orthodoxy, but I've never heard of His All Holiness claiming any jurisdiction in Japan.  We're under the omophorion of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Edit: I just looked at wikipedia and it says our autonomy is not universally recognized.  Perhaps that's what you're talking about?

Yes, that's what I meant, whether the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognizes the autonomous status of the Church of Japan.

I've never heard of His All Holiness claiming any jurisdiction in Japan.  
See:
http://www.patriarchate.org/greek/hierarchs/show.php?lang=gr&id=166
The title of metropolitan of Korea is : Μητροπολίτης Κορέας, ὑπέρτιμος καί Ἐξαρχος Ἰαπωνίας (Metropolitan of Korea and exarch of Japan).

Thank you both.

Are there actually Greek churches/parishes/missions in Japan?
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 10:15:00 AM by ag_vn »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #46 on: June 03, 2010, 12:03:56 PM »
Very interesting... Do you know whether the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognize the Church of Japan? I've read that once the Ecumenical Patriarchate claimed jurisdiction over Japan through its Metropolis of New Zealand and later through the Metropolis of Korea.

I'm not sure what you mean by recognize.  I'm new to Orthodoxy, but I've never heard of His All Holiness claiming any jurisdiction in Japan.  We're under the omophorion of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Edit: I just looked at wikipedia and it says our autonomy is not universally recognized.  Perhaps that's what you're talking about?

Yes. Of course, the Phanar claims all the "Barbarian Lands," and sees Japan as a barbarian land, which I am sure, knowing something of the Japanese world view, the Japanese should find interesting.

Quote
Yes, that's what I meant, whether the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognizes the autonomous status of the Church of Japan.

It doesn't recognize the Russian jurisdiction just as it doesn't recognize the Russian jurisdiction of the Mother Mission in North America (in many ways the Japanese mission was the daughter of the mission to North America), hence it does not recognize the Orthodox Church of Japan, its history, jurisdiction, autonomy or existence.

I've never heard of His All Holiness claiming any jurisdiction in Japan.  
See:
http://www.patriarchate.org/greek/hierarchs/show.php?lang=gr&id=166
The title of metropolitan of Korea is : Μητροπολίτης Κορέας, ὑπέρτιμος καί Ἐξαρχος Ἰαπωνίας (Metropolitan of Korea and exarch of Japan).

Thank you both.

Are there actually Greek churches/parishes/missions in Japan?
LOL. You will notice that the title he gives is neither in Korean nor Japanese.

I think that something was set up for the Greek expat community for Japan: God forbid that they should mix with the locals, or worship in an Orthodox Church that they didn't control, and was placed under the Greek bishop of New Zealand.  That may have gone defunct, and revived when the Metropolis of Hong Kong and real mission work by the Greeks began.

Btw, the title of the real canonical primate of Japan is 全日本の府主教、及び東京大主教 "Archbishop of Tokyo and Metropolitan of All Japan," HB Daniel . And after the repose of Pat. Alexei of blessed memory, at the PoM's web site on the vote for Patriarch, Met. Daniel pulled out first, as the only bishop in the PoM without a Soviet past.
http://jbpress.ismedia.jp/articles/-/466
In Japanese, but you can google translate.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 12:05:45 PM by ialmisry »
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #47 on: June 06, 2010, 10:17:46 AM »

Yes. Of course, the Phanar claims all the "Barbarian Lands," and sees Japan as a barbarian land, which I am sure, knowing something of the Japanese world view, the Japanese should find interesting.


"interesting" is one word for it.  ;)
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Offline samkim

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #48 on: June 15, 2010, 01:14:21 PM »
Of course they're barbarians. :)
주 예수 그리스도 하느님의 아들이시여 저 이 죄인을 불쌍히 여기소서.

Offline Sauron

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #49 on: April 02, 2011, 06:14:45 PM »
To be a good Japanese nationalist, one should pay a visit to the local Shinto shrine occasionally and help to pacify the spirits of the dead soldiers, and to petition the kami (gods).  Also, 'Shinto' as a category divorced from Buddhism is a recent development in Japan, so in a sense categorical 'Shinto' religion is rather new on the scene, but most of the practices are in fact the ancient indigenous religion of the people.

I am sorry to resurrect the thread, but I thought I would be remiss if I did not respond.

Shinto predates Buddhism in Japan. Buddhism is an Indian import by way of China, while Shinto is the indigenous animist religion. History notes some conflict between Buddhism and Shinto upon the former's arrival to Japan. Shinbutsu bunri (神仏分離) was not the birth of Shinto as a Buddhist offshoot.

The practices you describe of soldiers' spirits and Japanese nationalism describe State Shinto, a practice that arose in the late 19th century. Shinto itself is much more a system of practices regarding purity and cleanliness than a system of beliefs and dogma. The vast majority of Japanese would describe themselves as doing Shinto things rather than practicing Shinto. For example, I used to live rather close to Ise Shrine (one of Shinto's holiest) and now visit there with my beautiful young Japanese wife every year. It holds no religious significance to her or most of the other Japanese visitors who are there with us. Think of a nominal member of a religion who does religious things like weddings and funerals but does not practice their religion's precepts.

(You may find it surprising, but most Japanese do not wish to be a "good Japanese nationalist". Nationalism in Japan is associated with extreme right-wing political fanaticism. In the larger cities, one occasionally encounters a van or truck decked out with loud speakers while a nationalist shouts a diatribe. He is invariably regarded as nothing more than a curiosity to be watched for a minute before going about one's business.)

I think that "god" is not the best translation of "kami" (神), although while "spirit" is closer, it still misses the mark. Perhaps something like "spiritual essence", although that still feels clumsy. The rock has a kami, the wind, and the grass, but no one worships the wind or a pebble. Still, ritual is followed to (ostensibly) gain favor, although for most, again, I think it is going through the motions. I wash my hands before entering the shrine out of respect for the local practice, not because I wish to curry spiritual favor, and I am confident that most other visitors are of similar mindset.

As coincidence would have it, the first place I lived in Japan was Hakodate, St. Nicholas's first post in Japan. The Russian influence in the city remains to this day. I am only recently an orthodox inquirer, so I unfortunately did not make better use of my time in Hakodate. I will remedy that during my next visit to Hakodate.

Offline Ebor

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Re: Orthodoxy in Japan
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2011, 09:19:21 AM »
Welcome to the forum, Sauron.  :)

From my studies I would say that Shinto, as opposed to "State Shinto" (and how that developed during the Meiji years is interesting in itself particularly as it contributed to a concept of "nationalism") is made up of many large (sort of "national" or of historical/cultural significance like the Grand Shrine of Ise or Atsuta) and smaller local shrines and there is no one unifying mechanism or organization. 

There was a lot of overlap, interaction and, as Sauron wrote, sometimes conflict between the local beliefs and practices and Buddhism.  If you read some of the diaries and works from the Heian period there are descriptions of Shinto, Buddhist and Taoist practices being followed by people according to the situation and custom.

Ebor
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