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!