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Scalfin



Joined: 18 May 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:40 am Reply with quote
I've also noticed that the Japanese tend to conceptualize Christianity through a Shinto-Buddhist lens, focusing on mundane ceremonies, day-to-day implications of the supernatural, and clerical activities. Christians, meanwhile, tend to view all religions in relation to death and the afterlife, cannon and faith, and formal hierarchy and affiliations.
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Animechic420



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:41 am Reply with quote
Not sure how they practice Christianity over there, but the way it's portrayed in anime/manga is somewhat ambiguous. Neutral
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Kadmos1



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:48 am Reply with quote
I am a bit of a paradox: A Republican non-denominational Christian who enjoys harem and fan-service series. That said, "Seikon no Qwaser" is 1 of those series where I may have considered dropping considered how out radical they portrayed Christianity (Russian Orthodox, in this case). Then again, my previous sentence could be applied to other series.
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Greed1914
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:55 am Reply with quote
Kadmos1 wrote:
I am a bit of a paradox: A Republican non-denominational Christian who enjoys harem and fan-service series. That said, "Seikon no Qwaser" is 1 of those series where I may have considered dropping considered how out radical they portrayed Christianity (Russian Orthodox, in this case). Then again, my previous sentence could be applied to other series.


I've had little problem reconciling Christian faith with enjoying harem shows. Though interestingly enough, spoiler[ it did take a while for me to deal with the part in DxD where it is revealed that God died. On the one hand, it's fiction and can do what it wants, but on the other hand, the concept seemed completely impossible to me.]
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jdnation



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:04 pm Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:
Kadmos1 wrote:
I am a bit of a paradox: A Republican non-denominational Christian who enjoys harem and fan-service series. That said, "Seikon no Qwaser" is 1 of those series where I may have considered dropping considered how out radical they portrayed Christianity (Russian Orthodox, in this case). Then again, my previous sentence could be applied to other series.


I've had little problem reconciling Christian faith with enjoying harem shows. Though interestingly enough, spoiler[ it did take a while for me to deal with the part in DxD where it is revealed that God died. On the one hand, it's fiction and can do what it wants, but on the other hand, the concept seemed completely impossible to me.]


It's mainly a case of lack of knowledge. The Japanese filter Christianity through their own culture and theology and thus apply their ideas about god or gods to Christianity when they appropriate it into their fiction.

So in a sense they are unintentional misconceptions of one foreign culture about another. Which at times can become offensive, but it's best to keep in mind that it's largely unintentional, so it's not done out of malice.

Also keep in mind that a lot of western media is critical of the Christian faith and many films/popular works denigrate it or focus on the more controversial aspects of corruption, religious wars etc. so naturally a Japanese person being exposed to these things will draw his ideas about it from media. But also the Japanese are aware of their own history and so Christianity in Japan in anime and manga in a historical perspective from Lone Wolf & Cub to Samurai Champloo are treated sympathetically.

Likewise, we may also possess strange or wrong ideas about Shinto or Buddhism as we're not familiar with it and all its intricacies. But we don't largely produce a lot of media that depicts Buddhism, nor would we try to merge Buddhism and Christianity together to form some kind of fantasy anime world. The closest I can think of is something like Avatar the Last Airbender, but there is no discussion about God or gods there, but rather just referring to the catch-al phrase of 'spirits'. Probably likely due to the culture it's aimed at which tries to keep such touchy subjects separate and largely would only appropriate aesthetics.
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Parsifal24



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:10 pm Reply with quote
The history of Christianity in Japan is interesting I know from a Missionary Society I support that Japanese converts do have to deal with sometimes extreme rejection by family or forms of subtle discrimination by employers. Also of note The LDS Church has a Temple (used for their members only religious rituals) in Tokyo and the Jehovah's Witnesses have a foot hold as well.

Not to mention the Missionary efforts of the Anglicans to Ainu people in the 1800s due in part to the ministry of John Batchelor who wrote some highly regarded Ainu language dictionaries and helped Ainu become a written language. As well as missionary efforts among Expatriates and Burakumin.
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CatSword



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:18 pm Reply with quote
The most positive depiction of Christianity I can think of in anime is in Kids on the Slope, when Kaoru discovers that Sentarō and Ritsuko are both Christians by seeing them in church together. He's a bit surprised, especially since Sentarō's personality doesn't seem stereotypically Christian. This part also makes a statement about not judging others based on stereotypes and what you see on the outside.
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eely225



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:57 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
While there aren't a TON of Christians in Japan, there are still quite a few. Most estimates place their numbers at 2-3 million people, which would comprise roughly 1% of the population.


Wouldn't that be over 2%? There definitely aren't 300 million people in Japan.
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Morry



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:58 pm Reply with quote
That prime minister number is actually pretty interesting. Is it just coincidence or do a lot of Japanese Christians feel compelled to get involved in politics?
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mangamuscle



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:17 pm Reply with quote
At least in anime, I would commend japanese for their open mindness, since they routinely include their own religion (buddhism and shinto) in animes and nobody protests. I can't see the same thing happening in the USA, the closest thing is the south park episode "Super Best Friends", but whole series equivalent to Blue Exorcist, Noragami, Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha or Gingitsune will never happen over here and don't get me started in series about pagan beliefs like Gugure! Kokkuri-san.
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katscradle



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:32 pm Reply with quote
The Christian denomination I was raised in began missionary work in Japan after WWII. I think the members across the country were in the several hundred thousand last I knew making up several thousand congregations. Japan was better than some other places though since there isn’t a good deal of oppression to be found if you were to compare other countries. And people are usually polite out of obligation.

I remember some horror stories of families torn apart since some of the beliefs were considered disrespectful to your ancestors. People giving up careers or things they loved too. I ended up leaving the denomination all together once I was old enough and on a path away from Christianity too. It makes me cringe at someone getting rid of a home shrine now. As long as something positively feeds your spirituality though, I suppose. Converting to a different religion can cause friction in any circumstance.
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Nagsura



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:35 pm Reply with quote
It's fun walking through places like Ikebukuro, Asakura or Yokohama and bumping into churches. Makes you wonder just how many people in those areas are christians or how many have to travel from nearby places just to attend mass.

It's also less fun when you bump into people and they try to recruit you or preach about their religion, more so when they're very adamant about it, though the majority of the times that happened to me they were preaching buddhism and not any sort of western religion.

eely225 wrote:
Quote:
While there aren't a TON of Christians in Japan, there are still quite a few. Most estimates place their numbers at 2-3 million people, which would comprise roughly 1% of the population.


Wouldn't that be over 2%? There definitely aren't 300 million people in Japan.

I was going to point just that, too. Might want to check the numbers again.
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Utsuro no Hako



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:13 pm Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:

I've had little problem reconciling Christian faith with enjoying harem shows. Though interestingly enough, spoiler[ it did take a while for me to deal with the part in DxD where it is revealed that God died. On the one hand, it's fiction and can do what it wants, but on the other hand, the concept seemed completely impossible to me.]


Now you know how the rest of the world feels when Hollywood makes movies set outside the United States.

mangamuscle wrote:
At least in anime, I would commend japanese for their open mindness, since they routinely include their own religion (buddhism and shinto) in animes and nobody protests. I can't see the same thing happening in the USA, the closest thing is the south park episode "Super Best Friends", but whole series equivalent to Blue Exorcist, Noragami, Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha or Gingitsune will never happen over here and don't get me started in series about pagan beliefs like Gugure! Kokkuri-san.


Try Supernatural, or the later seasons of Xena. Not to mention the wave or religious-based action-horror movies from the nineties: Prophecy, Fallen, Stigmata, End of Days, Dogma, etc.
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FloozyGod



Joined: 26 Oct 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:31 pm Reply with quote
mangamuscle wrote:
At least in anime, I would commend japanese for their open mindness, since they routinely include their own religion (buddhism and shinto) in animes and nobody protests. I can't see the same thing happening in the USA, the closest thing is the south park episode "Super Best Friends", but whole series equivalent to Blue Exorcist, Noragami, Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha or Gingitsune will never happen over here and don't get me started in series about pagan beliefs like Gugure! Kokkuri-san.


Are you joking? The Handmaid's Tale is entirely about shitting on Christianity. Christianity has been the punching bag of American citizens for years.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:41 pm Reply with quote
mangamuscle wrote:
At least in anime, I would commend japanese for their open mindness, since they routinely include their own religion (buddhism and shinto) in animes and nobody protests. I can't see the same thing happening in the USA, the closest thing is the south park episode "Super Best Friends", but whole series equivalent to Blue Exorcist, Noragami, Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha or Gingitsune will never happen over here and don't get me started in series about pagan beliefs like Gugure! Kokkuri-san.

You're just not looking. We have/had Davey and Goliath and Veggie Tales among others for kids, Touched by an Angel, Highway to Heaven and Joan of Arcadia on tv, and more theatrical movies than you can shake a fist at. Then there are all the series with clergy as the central characters, like Father Dowling Mysteries and 7th Heaven. There are countless other series like Little House on the Prairie that may not be about Christianity, but still include the characters' faith as a matter of course during the series, with them having crises of faith or going to church or other random elements of their beliefs thrown in. This doesn't even count the plethora of media produced specifically to proselytize by Christian media companies (like God is Dead 1 & 2, and all of Gen Fukunaga's Echolight productions).

I think the main thing stopping say, a tv series about Jesus on network tv is not secular backlash, but Christians themselves, who would probably freak out at whatever depiction of Jesus Hollywood came up with if it didn't match their own particular sect's image of him (I can just imagine the outcry if Saint Young Men were shown on tv here). Since there are so many versions of Jesus among Christians, pleasing them all would be impossible, so mostly they don't try. A one-shot movie like Gibson's Passion of the Christ is less risky (a lot of Christians didn't care for that either, though I guess the fundamentalists loved it).
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