Just a quick few thoughts this morning:
- One of the big problems I had in my BA dissertation was reconciling Japan’s consensus culture with its hierarchical structure.
- You’ll be hard pushed to find “leadership” (as exercised elsewhere) within Japanese society or history. Autocratic leadership is disparaged. (see the word ワンマン)
- Instead the exercise of power in Japan is incredibly diffuse. (van Wolferen)
- People’s lives are determined less by externally imposed leadership structures than by complex webs of relationships. (Nakane)
So I mentioned that church is on the whole passive. And myself and others have mentioned that we want to look at a different way of doing church - Simple Church, House Church, whatever you want to call it - which is more participatory. But what does more participatory church look like? Last year I went to a training session on a simple church methodology coming out of Japan, which I’ll call “Upwards, Outwards, Inwards”, and what they do there could well work over here as well. Read more about Upwards, Outwards, Inwards: Simple church from Japan
The mission section of this site isn’t totally up and running yet, but I do want to draw your attention to the deputation resources section which will appear properly at some later date. Every time we go and do a speaker meeting somewhere - and that’s normally once or twice a week these days - we try to come up with some new way of communicating with people about Japan, about the church out there, or about mission in general. Read more about Deputation material for missionaries to Japan
The good news is that God is calling lots of people to become missionaries in Japan. I’m almost falling over them these days. Something is definitely moving.
The bad news is, they want to talk to me about it, and I’m cynical. So when I get asked about how to lead a Bible study for Japanese, I’m getting to the point where the answer is: don’t. Read more about The answer is: don't
I'm still reflecting on my experience working in a Japanese church. I've written before about the sense of expectations I've felt put on by myself, and by my church in the UK (or at least my perception of what they expect) but I didn't really think before about the expectations of my local congregation, the church I was working for. Perhaps at the time I was too close to the action.
So with the news that Geert Wilders has been denied entry to the UK, and the passage of time, it's time to tell you about an email I got a month or so ago, asking me if I'd help to translate “Fitna” into Japanese.
I’m looking through “Mentoring Like Barnabas”, by Mitsuo Fukuda, which I think is something that every missionary to Japan should read. Well, that’s sort of why I’m translating it. Anyway, I came up with this nugget: Read more about The temptation to show off
So through a tortuous chain of yak-shaving, I ended up trying to find out some more about the song ã«ã¼ã¸ã¥ã®ä¼è¨, which is used in the titles to Kiki's Delivery Service. And Youtube provided me with its original music video. This is, I warn you, a crime against good taste.
Warning: This does get a bit graphic.
So yesterday and today I have mainly been assisting at Nagahama’s first Latin American funeral. This was the first Christian funeral I attended in Japan - you can read about my Buddhist funeral experience - and I get the impression it was fairly typical of the genre, despite the Latin cultural influence. Read more about More funeralia