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By Emi Mase-Hasegawa

This ground-breaking learn at the Roman Catholic, jap novelist Endo Shusaku (1923-1996) uniquely combines western and eastern non secular, theological and philosophical proposal. the writer translates Endo's vital works resembling Silence (1966), The Samurai (1980), and Deep River (1996), from a theological perspective as records of inculturation of Christianity in Japan. Analysing the social and spiritual context of Japan in a world point of view, the writer identifies a critical function for koshinto - a conventional jap ethos - in Endo's concept on inculturation. Endo's switch from a severe to a favorable popularity of the koshinto culture in part debts for his circulation from a pessimistic angle of Christian inculturation in his early years to the starting to be theocentric and pneumatic issues of his later years. crucial for Western readers.

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Extra info for Christ in Japanese Culture: Theological Themes in Shusaku Endo's Literary Works (Brill's Japanese Studies Library)

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In April 1900, Shrine-shinto was defined as non-religious. The home ministry split the offices of shaji-kyoku (Office of Temples and Shrines) into a jinja-kyoku (Office of Shrines) and shûkyô-kyoku (Office of Religions). The former was to take responsibilities for State-shinto and the latter for Christianity, Buddhism, and the various sects of Shinto. Shrine worship was declared non-religious and the patriotic reverence of the emperor and imperial ancestors was demanded, becoming obligatory 35 Christianity gained more freedom, but this was set in motion from outside by an occupation army after the nation’s first defeat ever in its long history.

The postcolumbian conquista, when the Kings of Spain and Portugal extended their power to establish political control overseas, povides a particular illustration of this. The expansion of western power and prestige, which the missionary enterprise accompanied, caused a negative reaction in Japan. ” Takenaka 1986: 6. introduction 15 a Roman Catholic Christian. He sensed the existence of a wide gap between Japan and the West. Endo’s usage of ‘the West’ and ‘western Christianity’ derives from his experience of this cultural conflict, and thus a marked personal dimension is added to the historical one.

3. They pose questions that remain unanswered. 4. The reader is left to draw their own spiritual conclusions. 35 I will not rely on hermeneutics based upon western philosophical and critical assumptions, even though Asian writers are often criticized as unsystematic or methodologically unsophisticated. I will examine Endo’s implicit theology of religions from my own perspective as an Asian feminist woman who has studied in the West. As stated earlier, I have a two-fold relationship to Endo. He is the object of my academic study of Christian inculturation.

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