JapanCAN

be a place where the Gospel thrives… Beauty is key

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

6 Ways to Contextualize Worship to Japan

“Worship is the heart and pulse of the Christian church. In worship we celebrate together God’s gracious gifts of creation and salvation, and are strengthened to live in response to God’s grace. Worship always involves actions, not merely words. To consider worship is to consider music, art, and architecture, as well as liturgy and preaching. The reality that Christian worship is always celebrated in a given local cultural setting draws our attention to the dynamics between worship and the world’s many […]

Does it Matter What Churches Look Like?

Sitting in the sanctuary of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, IN last Sunday I thought, “The leadership of this church values art and creative people and they understand that people are deeply affected by their physical surroundings.” What prompted that thought? Redeemer meets in a historic (1902) cathedral style building that has beautiful forms and textures. The exterior is covered in what I assume is genuine handcrafted stone. From the inside I was amazed by the gorgeous stained glass windows (I […]