About CAN

The vision of Japan CAN (Christians in the Arts Network) is to build the church in Japan through culturally appropriate projects while equipping and encouraging arts specialists to impact the world for Christ.JapanCAN Logo

Twenty years ago Paul and Nancy Nethercott started CAN in their home in Tokyo. In the beginning it was a small group of artist friends gathering regularly in our home for mutual encouragement. We had no idea it would be more than a casual gathering of friends.

Several years later CAN became our full-time work. We tried many different approaches and learned a great deal through the process. During this period of growth and experimentation we organized a series of Worship Seminars, released a CD of original Japanese music featuring songs and artists found by audition, established a training center (CLTC), produced concerts, published blog and magazine articles, and we mobilized several dozen cross-cultural arts specialists. Perhaps most importantly we established a significant network of like-minded people that spans the globe. Nancy got her Doctorate in Worship Studies and Paul started making films.

On March 11, 2011 disaster struck Japan and changed everything. Paul went to work full-time for the disaster relief NPO CRASH Japan as head of Public Relations. He gained valuable experience in leadership, producing media, and fundraising. Since leaving CRASH in November of 2012 Paul has focused on filmmaking.

Currently we have two projects (Alleluia! Seminars & Studio Re: Films) and a residency program for missionary artists called Tokyo AiR.

Alleluia! Seminars

Under the Alleluia! Seminars banner Dr. Nancy Nethercott and Mika Takana
conduct worship renewal seminars for local churches and for organizations such as Japan CPI (Church Planting Institute). We have a strong emphasis on the theology and practice of worship, both in life and in the context of corporate worship in local churches. To book a worship seminar use the contact form on this site.


Studio Re: Films

Led by Producer Paul Nethercott the vision of Studio Re: Films is to impact Japan through redemptive films. Paul has been part of producing numerous videos and over a dozen short films including Jitensha (Bicycle). Paul-Persimmon-ShotMade in collaboration with Biola University, Jitensha is an award-winning film that has been screened at prominent film festivals around the world. Written by Yu Shibuya and directed by Dean Yamada, Jitensha is a compelling narrative film about a lost young man who finds hope.

Jitensha has been shown by many churches and small groups as a means of connecting with people and starting conversations. Jitensha is an example of a high quality missional film that has gained a mainstream audience. This is the type of film we want to make more of.

Our current project is 2 Criminals. A feature-length film based on the lives of two men Paul Nethercott met while doing disaster relief work for CRASH Japan, we aim to have 2 Criminals done by March of 2016 (the five year anniversary of the great disaster).

Paul Nethercott’s Vimeo Channel.

Tokyo AiR (Artist-in-Residence) is an opportunity for select artists to utilize their gifts and abilities in Japan to build up the church and engage not-yet-Christians with the Gospel. AiR positions are very limited. Familiarity with life in Japan and a relevant degree and professional experience is required. To find out more please go to: About Tokyo AiR (Artist-in-Residence).

To inquire about Tokyo AiR, please use the contact form on this site.

CAN Board Members

  • Owen Ames (TEAM Japan missionary, member TEAM Japan’s leadership team)
  • Stephen Baughn (TEAM Japan missionary, TEAM Japan’s Ministry Area Leader)
  • Paul Nethercott (ex-officio member)
  • Tim Selander (TEAM Japan missionary)

CAN Advisory Board Members

  • Rev. Tadashi Inoue / 井上 義: Pastor of Todoroki Church, Lecturer at Evangelical Covenant Seminary, Chair of the Worship & Church Music Committee of Domei Kyodan.
  • Karen Covell: Movie Producer, Founding Director of Hollywood Prayer Network
  • Bob Holmes: United Airlines executive (retired)
  • Dr. Leland Eliason: Provost (retired) at Bethel Seminary St. Paul, MN
  • Mark Joseph: Producer/Author/Promoter, President of MJM Entertainment Group
  • Ken Taylor: World Venture missionary/musician/director of Halleluia Gospel Family
  • Byron Spradlin: Founder & Executive Director of ACT, Senior Associate for the ARTS The Lausanne Movement
  • Makoto Fujimura, IAM Director, Painter, Former Member of the National Council of the Arts (USA)
  • Daniel Kikawa, B.S., Ph.M., Ph.D., President of Aloha Ke Akua Ministries 

JapanCAN is a ministry of TEAM