JapanCAN

be a place where the Gospel thrives… Beauty is key

BROKEN: 傷ついた世界 (Art Festival in Tokyo)

BROKEN: 傷ついた世界

音楽、ダンス、パフォーマンス、トーク、アートギャラリー、短編フィルム、演劇、ディスカッションなど!
Speaker presentations, music performances, dance, drama, short films, gallery exhibits, small group discussions, and more!

Can Beauty Communicate God’s Love for Japan?

“Beauty is the hard-to-define essence that draws people to the gospel.” (David Taylor) “No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening – still all is Beauty!” (John Muir) “We do not want merely to see beauty… we want something else which can hardly be put into words- to be united with the beauty we see, […]

Departures: A “Must See” Film Reviewed by Alecia Tallent

As a means of gaining insight into Japanese culture, I highly recommend Departures. For anyone who cares about Japan this is a “must see” film. (Paul Nethercott) Recently, I (Alecia Tallent) had the privilege of watching Yojiro Takita’s movie, Departures. Winner of the 2009 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, as well as Best Film, Actor, Director, Sound, Screenplay, and Cinematography at the 2009 Japanese Academy Awards. This simple yet powerful film follows the life of cellist Daigo Kobayashi who is newly married […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Japanese Style Icon of the Archangel Michael by Daniel Mitsui

My friend Paul Neeley’s blog Global Christian Worship features a great variety of music, art, and articles from many countries. Neeley recently found an icon by Daniel Mitsui that depicts the Archangel Michael as a samurai warrior. Daniel Mitsui’s icon is a fascinating blend of elements from Eastern and Western iconography. There are Christian theologians who reject/condemn icons and those who accept them. I grew up viewing them with great suspicion, which was shaped by my Protestant background (Baptist). So, why have I come […]

Why Are So Many Christians Afraid of Hollywood Bible Movies?

This year two Hollywood films — “Noah” and “Exodus:Gods and Kings” — will expose millions of people around the world to stories inspired by the Bible. How will we respond?  What do you think about Cole Nesmith’s perspective as expressed in his article, “Why Are So Many Christians Afraid of Hollywood Bible Movies?” Please post your comments! Related post:3 REASONS JAPANESE SHOULD SEE ARONOFSKY’S “NOAH”

Awareness of Of Our Brokenness Leads to Creativity

“The most-celebrated musical composition, the most-noted painting and sculpture, and the most-read books are often direct expressions of the human awareness of brokenness.” Henry Nouwen From the book “Life of the Beloved” Why do we have such a hard time admitting that we are broken, needy people? How can we learn to embrace our brokenness?

Makoto Fujimura: Finding God Through Art (Beauty)

“I realized that I didn’t have a place, a shelf in my heart, to hold that beauty,”  are a few of the wonderful words that Makoto Fujimura speaks in the video embedded below, “Finding God Through Art.” Fujimura is both an outstanding artist and a theologian. He is articulate about what he does as well as why he does it, which makes Mako a very important spokesperson for artists who identify themselves as Christians. I encourage you to watch this video. […]

Is it contradictory to be Japanese and a Follower of Jesus?

I’m at the Reaching Japanese for Christ conference in Seattle, WA. Dr. Daniel Kikawa is presenting on “Why is Culture So Important To People Accepting the Gospel?” Kikawa is an activist scholar from Hawaii passionate about contextualizing the gospel for unreached people groups. A fourth generation Japanese/American, Kikawa is particularly interested in Japan. He produced “God’s Fingerprints in Japan” — an excellent documentary that addresses the question, “Is it contradictory to be Japanese and a Follower of Jesus? Kikawa has repeatedly […]

A DVD of Innovative Visual Stories for Outreach to Japanese

Visual story is a powerful way to touch people’s hearts. Paper Flower & Junction Film Series DVD is a valuable visual story resource for outreach in Japan. A collection of seven short films that address current social issues in Japanese society, all of the films on this DVD are original narrative films shot on location in Japan. Paper Flower is the longest short on the DVD. This film by has been screened at many film festivals and won numerous awards. The trailer is […]

Organs and Choirs? Aren’t They A Thing of the Past?

Yes, choirs and organs are from the past. And, there is much from the past that is full of wonder. Last week I attended the worship service at Hollywood Presbyterian Church. The old fashioned choir and organ at this historic church in LA spoke to me. I felt that there was something transcendent about both the choir and the organ. I can’t explain it.   The organ was played with incredible skill but there was also a great deal of […]