Why Japanese?

The Largest Unreached People Group (Joshua Project, 2005)

Only 0.04% Christians!

Annual Suicide Rate: >30,000

100-300 new religion registered each year (Operation World, 2000)

The battle is fierce, Time is SHORT! Please RESPONSE, Please PRAY!!!



Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hikikomori, Individualism and Christianity ?


I am reading this book, "Shutting Out The Sun", by Michael Zielenziger. I don't really agree with all that he says, but here is one interesting quotation from the book.

~~~While young Japanese glean superficial images of what they believe to be "individualism" from the Western movies and TV shows they watch, they don't grasp the deeper Western sense of individual responsibility that accompanies such freedom, Kawai told me. "Their appreciation of individualism remains quite shallow," he said. "In your country, individualism is at first really based on Christianity. Even though you do what you like, you never forget about your God. God is looking down, like an ego, judging you. But in Japan, there is no God but ie," and no one to judge but the group. "Westerner have a long history of becoming individuals, and you have established how to create relations with others. But we don't share that experience in Japan... I often think that our challenge now as Japanese is to come up with a new way to become individuals without relying on Christianity." ~~ the comment was made by Hayao Kawai (Clinical Psychologist) -pg 69-70.

Matthias thinks that individualism can as well lead to very ugly things (as seen as well in the west) and he doubts that people in the west these days have, generally speaking, a great sense of "god who is looking down"......

Joe O. thinks that "individualism" is more of a philosophy of the French Enlightenment or maybe Greek philosophy.

All these are interesting points. However, reading the comment of Kawai, I was excited somehow. Wouldn't people be curious to know more about Christianity rather than seeing it from afar in such shallowness? Why didn't Kawai think that the Japanese can rely on Christianity too? ......

I know this is hard...... It is difficult to tell the Japanese to embrace Christianity, when the believe prohibits them to Matsuri, shrines and temples that had been heavily as a part of their lives.

I pray that God will reveal to them the Good News! Pray for wisdom to those who are ploughing on His field. Pray that they will be able to speak life into their neighbours' hearts. Blessed are those who poor in spirit. Mat5:3

2 comments:

Joe Ozawa said...

Very interesting. However, I don't know if "individualism" either way is a
Biblical concept. I am not familiar with either God nor Christ instructing,
even encouraging us, to become individuals. I think that is a philosophy of
the French Enlightenment or maybe Greek philosophy? Not sure.

Peace,
Dr. Ozawa

Matthias said...

dear roseline

thank you so much for your mail. it was great to hear from you! i don't
know hayao kawai but his comment is in deed very interesting. probably
he is quite right. but, as it seems to me, one should not forget that
individualism can as well lead to very ugly things (as seen as well in
the west) and i doubt that people in the west these days have, generally
speaking, a great sense of "god who is looking down"...

without this "god who is looking down" both individuelime or group
centred societies are both lost for a clear reference to who they are
and what they should do... they are both lost - just in a little
different way but because of the same reason...

with lots of greetings

matthias