This week, I wanted to share a video with you. This video was made by Daniel Kikawa, a Japanese American Cultural Researcher who is a Christian, in partnership with Aloha Ke Akua Ministries. The video is nearly 14 years old now, but I think it contains many interesting points of similarity between Japanese culture and the notion of a creator God, even the notion of a trinitarian God. He definitely knows a whole lot more about Japanese culture than I do, so let me get out of the way so you can watch it for yourself.
Daniel Kikawa brings up a lot of ideas and references in this video, and I’m certainly not learned enough to comment on it all at a competently academic level, but I think there are a lot of interesting things from the video worth talking about. The most interesting point for me is the similarities in the creation accounts in both the Kojiki and the Bible, most notably the three divine beings theme. In a few conversations with other Christians, they have shared that the idea of calling the Christian God by the name Amenominakanushi feels quite strange, although I wonder what non-Christian Japanese think of the idea. Of course, I have heard and admit that Shinto itself is not necessarily one neatly organized religion, the way that the major world religions are, and that consequently not all of Shintoism is necessarily in unity on this. But I think it’s worth noting that there is evidence of a creator God in the Shinto religion. And the Bible says that that the Christian God is the Creator God.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20
I think that this verse is very interesting. Just as we can find out things about an artist through his or her work, we can find out about the Creator God through the things He has created, which includes us!
One last comment on this video, but I thought it was really cool how Buddhists helped protect and shelter hidden Christians during the Edo period when Christians were being persecuted! Even though they were Buddhist, I think that what they did was Christ-like and full of love. I want to love like that!
8 thoughts on “God’s Fingerprints in Japan 1”
Deep insight thank you!
Thank you for reading, lalelani! I’m happy you thought so 🙂
I just discovered your blog. God has been putting the Japanese people on my heart for close to a year now and figuring out how to mesh the Gospel with Japanese culture is one of the main things I want to figure out, so I am excited to see your future posts. I thought that video and the proceeding one were very interesting. The three gods bit made me think of _The Legend of Zelda_. Aside from the whole triforce concept, I believe the games depict a creation by three goddesses. I think calling God Amenominakanushi in Japan could be a good idea. The only thing that feels strange to me is that is I find it to be a mouthful, but it probably isn’t so much to a native Japanese speaker. I feel like it might be possible to use it like a bridge like how Paul used the alter “to an unknown god” in Acts 17. This wasn’t discussed in the videos, but I read something once about the origin of some of the kanji being possibly related to the True God. I had trouble picking out the exact article I read before, but some of the links on this page talk about it: https://creation.com/linguistics-questions-and-answers
Always happy to hear about God putting the Japanese on people’s hearts. Jesus said that the harvest is ripe and he never took those words back! But the laborers are indeed few here. And yes, I totally played the Legend of Zelda too, and I remember that same thing about it! Regarding kanji, there are definitely some kanji that have same crazy connections to Bible stories and Bible culture, and I’m hoping to write about that too sometime in the future. Thank you so much for reading along!
I do hope I can be one of those laborers one day. I don’t know what it will look like yet. For now I’m studying Japanese and getting involved in an international church.
This might be a dumb question, but is there a way to “follow” this blog, so I’ll know when there is a new post? I just don’t want to miss anything since I don’t know anyone where I am who is passionate about making the Gospel accessible to the Japanese.
Hey Anne! Hoping to make a follow feature soon! I will let you know when it is available!
Thanks, Mitchell Yocum for takaratreasurehunters.com