Japanese Publisher Prepping for 2nd Christian Light Novel Competition
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Last year, Kirishin, Japan's oldest Christian publishing company, launched a label for Christian light novels. The publisher claimed it was the "world's first" to do so and held a contest to find the label's inaugural work.
The winner was 17-Sai no Bokushidakedo Nani ka Shitsumon Aru? (Yeah I'm a 17-year-old pastor, Any Questions?) by Isaku Takayama. The romantic comedy novel follows Yehoshua Satō, the world's youngest pastor, as he travels through Japan as a missionary after the death of his parents, who were pastors at an isolated Protestant church. Yehoshua hasn't read all of the Bible but he discovers there are a lot of girls at church and everyone seems to adore him.
The novel is published in in Kirishin newspapers. Now the publisher is opening submissions for its second Christian light novel with promise of this time publishing it within its Ministry magazine. The contest also is very lax on its rules for content. The contest website's FAQ lays out that submissions need only be a single chapter with a theme of deepening readers' understanding of the Bible, church, and Christianity. Submissions are allowed to critique Christianity and Christ; the FAQ states that Christ is not such a petty god that he'd get angry over a light novel. Stories can even take the point of view of Satan or include Buddha. Overall, Kirishin is looking for novels that are entertaining to read.
The author is not required to be Christian to submit a work and submissions are open until January 10, 2019. Results will be announced in Ministry magazine's 40th issue in February 2019.
Kirishin launched in Japan at the end of World War II, in 1946. The company has continued to publish religious literature for the last 70 years, including manga.
Christian denominations were previously anthropomorphisized in Kirishin's Christ Weekly paper with the star "Puritan."