JapanCAN

be a place where the Gospel thrives… Beauty is key

Finding Beauty in the Rubble of Japan’s Mega-Disaster: Documentary Marks 4th Anniversary

“A crown of beauty for ashes.”  Isaiah 61 “Finding Beauty in the Rubble” is a documentary film about Mrs. Fukuoka, a humble housewife whose home was washed away by the tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. Shot on location in northern Japan, our documentary will show how Mrs. Fukuoka has found hope and meaning by making beautiful jewelry out of debris from the tsunami. There are several reasons we are making this film: We want to encourage and bless […]

The “First Lady” of Japan Visits Church in Tokyo

Todd Fong, my friend and colleague on the 2 Criminals film project, posted on his blog that Akie Abe, the wife of Japan’s current Prime Minister, visited Biblical Church of Tokyo. Mrs. Abe was at the church to connect with volunteers at Wheelchairs of Hope (WOH), an NPO that uses space in the church building. Founded by World Venture missionary Mary Esther Penner, “Wheelchairs of Hope refurbishes used wheelchairs in Japan and distributes them throughout Asia, providing mobility, new life and hope.” I asked […]

Kenji Goto: Journalist, Jesus Follower, Humanitarian

On Sunday, Feb 1st Kenji Goto — a Japanese journalist known  for his courage and integrity — was brutally killed in Syria by ISIS. ISIS killed Kenji Goto for reasons only they could explain. However, it appears that ISIS was upset by financial aid that Japan had recently given to groups who oppose ISIS. Apparently, Goto became a pawn that ISIS used to intimidate the government of Japan. So, who was Goto? What was he really like? What does his […]

Reaching Japanese For Christ Conference, 2015

The Reaching Japanese for Christ (RJC) international conference is taking place February, 12-14, 2015 in California. Founded by retired Converge missionary Don Wright, RJC is currently led by Dennis Peters who was a missionary to Japan for many years with the Assembles of God. RJC is important to many of us who care about Japan. I’ve been to several of their conferences and have found all of them of value for networking and learning about effective ways to reach Japanese with the […]

2015 Goals for CAN Blog

One of my goals for 2014 was to post weekly on the CAN blog. I am pleased to report — with the exception of 1 week — I was able to meet that goal. I could not have done it without the faithful help of my wife Nancy who checks grammar, spelling, and gives feedback on content. Is the approximately one day a week I spend on this blog a wise investment of my time and energy? Is it worth […]

JapanCAN, Myanmar, & Worship Renewal

Ten years ago we were delighted when David Suum brought a group to Tokyo from Myanmar to attend a CAN Worship Seminar. We enjoyed David and we’ve kept in touch. Last year my wife Nancy reconnected with David in Florida where she attended an alumni course at the Institute for Worship Studies (IWS). It turns out that David and his wife Niaang had become students at IWS. Not long after meeting in Florida David invited Nancy to teach a session […]

Pray for the Future of Japan

“Every few hundred years in Western society there occurs a sharp transformation. Within a few short decades, society rearranges itself… We are currently living through such a transformation.” Peter Drucker As we transition into a new year, we tend to think about the future. Drucker believes that Western society is changing drastically… Is Japanese society also experiencing “a sharp transformation?” It seems that it is… Here are three “engines” driving change in Japan: Digital technology is changing, in fundamental ways, the […]

When Crises Strikes, How Do you Respond?

Terrorists Attack Paris Thousands Killed in Africa Earthquake, Tsunami, and Radiation Disaster Strikes Japan War in the Middle East There seems to be no end of headlines telling us of suffering and death while our “small” personal crises almost never make the news. As a young child I experienced crises when my family moved to a small town called Killam (I am not making that name up). It felt like the town was trying to kill us. However, it wasn’t […]

A Gift for JapanCAN

To Give Online: CLICK HERE, and follow the instructions.  Thanks very much for being part of the JapanCAN “blog community.” My wife Nancy and I have served in Japan for over 27 years as career missionaries with TEAM. I (Paul) write the posts for JapanCAN and Nancy edits them. Our vision is to provide valuable resources and information for those around the world who care about Japan and want to see the Gospel thrive here. One of our passions is contextualization of […]

Beauty from Ashes, Hope from Despair

“Beauty from Ashes, Hope from Despair” is the title of a recent blog post written by Todd Fong. Todd was part of the film crew that traveled six hours north of Tokyo to capture footage for “Finding Beauty in the Rubble” — a short film we plan to release next year. “Finding Beauty in the Rubble” will tell the story of Mrs. Fukuoka and how she found hope and healing after the huge tsunami in 2011 wiped out her neighborhood. […]

We Have Come to Worship Him: Advent Message by Nancy Nethercott

Two members of KBF — my home church in Tokyo — died recently. Pastor Gaius Berg remarked, “for 12 years we had no funerals, this year we have had three.” On December 7, 2014 my wife Nancy spoke at KBF. The death of church members and the hope of Christmas are woven into her message. I trust that Nancy’s Advent message “We Have Come to Worship Him” is an encouragement to many. Scripture Passage: Matthew 2:1-12 A few weeks ago, […]

Masamichi Imai: A Life Full of Burdens, Friendship, & Hope

Mr. Imai was an extraordinary Japanese man whose faith encouraged all those who knew him. I came to know Mr. Imai because he was part of Kurume Bible Fellowship, my church in Tokyo. I trust that you are encouraged by the beautiful story of Mr. Imai told by our mutual friend, Yoshitaka Satoh. ::::: Masamichi Imai: A Life Full of Burdens, Friendship, & Hope ::::: (Scroll down for a Japanese version of the story) At 3:15 a.m. on October 14, […]

Sadao Watanabe: Visualizer of Bible Stories from a Japanese Perspective

Sadao Watanabe was a skilled Japanese artist — and a follower of Jesus — who visualized Bible stories from a Japanese perspective. Watanabe’s art is original, authentically Japanese, and laden with emotion. I feel his love for the stories and the people that he depicted. In a nation where the vast majority of church related art is imported from the West, Watanabe’s visual depictions of Bible stories are vitally important to contextualizing the gospel in Japan. This is the 1st […]

Gospel Music is Impacting Japan: Alfie Silas Interview

“We really want to bring Christ’s hope and His love to the people of Japan.”  (Alfie Silas) When the Hollywood film Sister Act became a huge hit in Japan, I was surprised. When the film’s popularity resulted in Black Gospel music becoming wildly popular here in Japan, I was shocked. For many months I frequently saw Black Gospel on mainstream Japanese TV stations and heard it on the radio. Not satisfied with just listening to Gospel music many Japanese joined local Black […]

Celtic Advent: Creative Ways of Engaging with God

“Creative Ways of Engaging with God (and with each other)” is a Sunday School class I am leading this Fall at my home church in Tokyo (Kurume Bible Fellowship). My vision for this class is to get beyond the typical lecture approach to teaching. Lectures work OK for auditory learners but leave those of us who are visual and/or kinesthetic disengaged and often bored. The typical lecture approach is NOT very effective for many of us. Each class includes at […]

3 Barriers to the Gospel Thriving in Japan

Many times I have been asked, “Why are there so few followers of Jesus in Japan?” I really don’t know. No one does. The question is impossible to answer. What we can do is identify barriers to the Gospel thriving in Japan and ask ourselves, “what can I do about these barriers?” Three barriers to the Gospel thriving in Japan: At some level, we (the followers of Jesus in Japan and around the world) question whether the Gospel CAN thrive in […]

From Japan to Uganda: 1.8 Million Manga Bible Storybooks

Manga style Bible storybooks published by NEXT are making a big impact in Uganda. Several years ago NEXT sent 800,000 copies of MANGA MESSIAH — the first book in the series — to Uganda. The current project is to send a total of 1 million copies of THE MESSIAH to Uganda. So far, 600,000 copies of THE MESSIAH have been sent. What sets the NEXT Bible storybooks apart is the authentic illustrations by professional Japanese manga artists. This series of books is a […]

Christmas Resources for Bringing Hope to Japan

Christmas is an opportunity to winsomely share the Gospel with Japanese. This week’s post is a list of Christmas resources for outreach to Japanese that you can trust. If you need a gift for your neighbors, friends, or for a church event, consider one of the items on this list. If you have questions, please post them in the comment area at the bottom of this post. I will do my best to make sure that the appropriate publisher responds. […]

Tokyo’s SonRise Café Celebrates 5 Years

For 5 years SonRise Café has been a place in Tokyo — one of the world’s great cities — where people connect with each other and with God. A place of hospitality that offers good food, music, and friendship. Below is an interview with the leader of SonRise Café, veteran TEAM Japan missionary Owen Ames. JapanCAN: Tell us about SonRise. Ames: SonRise Café opened its doors to the public on October 17th 2009 in Oyama, Itabashi ku. Just 5 minutes by train from […]

Tokyo Godfathers: A Review by Frank Daugherity

This week’s post is a review of the animated film Tokyo Godfathers. Watching a mainstream film like Tokyo Godfathers is an effective way to gain insight into life in Japan. This is not a movie for children. If you can’t stand any offensive language or seeing aspects of the dark side of life, don’t watch it. The review is by Frank Daugherity. I’ve been in touch with Frank — on Facebook — since 2011 when he volunteered with CRASH Japan. About Frank: I was […]