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After Nicholas: Self-realisation of the Japanese Orthodox Church 1912-1956

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During Japan’s Meiji period (1868-1912) of rapid Westernization, the propagation of Orthodox Christianity enjoyed remarkable success in this country. Under the leadership of Archbishop Nicholas (Kasatkin), Orthodoxy in Japan outstripped the growth of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in terms of missionary-to-convert ratio.

After Nicholas pioneers the study of the Japanese Orthodox Church after its initial boom, tracing the evolution of this community into the first independent indigenous East Asian Orthodox Christian body between 1912 and 1956.

Set in the wider contexts of Russo-Japanese relations, Christianity in Japan, as well as Orthodox mission, this book shows the Japanese Orthodox case to be an intriguing exception in each of these three fields. It was a unique instance of an irreducibly Russo-Japanese community which survived the tumult of Russo-Japanese relations in the era of the World Wars. This group also defied the usual typologies of “foreign” (Protestant) and “native” (new religion) Japanese Christianity. Finally, it was the sole case of a new mission-originated local Orthodox Church emerging at the time when other similar initiatives disintegrated worldwide.

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The Unseen Face of Japan

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In Japan, the word omote means ‘face’. But it also means ‘mask’ – something that a person uses to hide an inner reality.

Face-value questions – ‘Are the Japanese religious?’ ‘What do they believe?’ – produce face-value answers. We need to delve deeper. This book explores the motivations behind why Japanese people act in a ‘religious’ way, based on what ordinary people say about their attitudes and experiences. In the process it also uncovers core values within Japanese culture. By understanding these motivations and values, we discover that the Son of Man came not to destroy Japanese culture but to fulfil it.

This fully revised and updated edition includes data from the latest surveys of Japanese attitudes, church statistics, and the most recent research into Japanese society and religion.

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Developing a Contextualized Church As a Bridge to Christianity in Japan

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What would a truly Japanese church look like—a church contextualized to Japanese needs, that sought to answer Japanese questions from a Japanese worldview? To find out, we first need to find out what those Japanese questions are and to understand how the Japanese worldview works!

This study unpacks the social and religious assumptions that make up the Japanese way of seeing the world, and examines the cycle of rituals that make up a Japanese religious life. It then brings these views and assumptions into dialogue with the ecclesiology of the Apostle Paul and of contemporary Western theologians, producing new images of Church which resonate with a Japanese heart, and suggests new rituals which redeem and transform Japanese religious symbols.

“A breadth of research... based on careful missiological study... could hold an important key to the advance of the Kingdom of God in the land of the rising sun.” - C. Peter Wagner

Belong, Experience, Believe: Pentecostal Mission Strategies for Japan

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Why don’t Japanese people become Christians? Miyake brings a pastor’s heart and a researcher’s mind to a question that has been asked many times in Christian mission.

After reviewing Japanese social and religious life and evaluating the history of mission strategies so far, he highlights two key ways that Japanese people relate to religion: first, they look for a sense of belonging to a community, and second they receive religious truth through first-hand experience rather than through abstract doctrine.

From this basis he develops a new strategy for churches to reach out into Japanese community.

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