Understanding Japan Through the Eyes of Christian Faith (Fifth Edition, 2015)

by Samuel Lee Books

About the Book

In Understanding Japan through the Eyes of Christian Faith Samuel Lee skillfully examines various facets of the Japanese society and culture in relation to Christianity. The author elaborates the historical background of Christianity in Japan and describes the socio-cultural condition of the nation. Understanding Japan through the Eyes of Christian Faith is a handbook for missionaries, mission organizations, churches, Christian universities/colleges, seminaries and every Christian who is interested in reaching the Japanese people.

About the Author

Samuel Lee holds Ph.D. in Intercultural Theology (Free University Amsterdam) and M.A. degree in Sociology of Non Western Societies (Leiden University). His research areas are Japanese culture & society, Christianity in Japan, sociology of religion and contextual theology. Lee is member of Japan Evangelical Missionary Association (JEMA) and member of Netherlands Association of Japanese Studies. He is also the author of The Japanese & Christianity: Why is Christianity Not Widely Believed in Japan? (2014). Lee is president of Foundation University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

What Others Say?

In 1597, the blood of martyrs was shed on the hills of Nagasaki. This incident is very impressive. Before being executed with 25 other Christians, Ludvico Ibaragi, a 12 year old boy, told an officer who begged him to recant his faith, ‘Sir, it would be better if you yourself became a Christian and could go to heaven where I am going. Sir, which is my cross?’ I can sense through this book that Dr. Samuel Lee has a deep concern for Japan and the Japanese people that springs from God’s love. He does not have a stereotyped view of Japan. He acknowledges the elements in Japanese culture that hinder Japanese believers from sharing the gospel with others. He indicates that gumi consisted of five or more households and that members were obligated to report any hidden Christians to the authorities as part of the organized persecution of Christians in the Tokugawa period.His analysis regarding the Japanese cultural strongholds of theconcepts of honne/tatemae and uchi/soto that hinder churches from growing is very insightful and provides us with key strategies for reaching Japan with the gospel. He reveals sociocultural disorders such as the high suicide rate, hikikomori, and freeter and the challenges facing churches in Japan to acknowledge them and provide means for overcoming these problems.Samuel Lee challenges us to provide biblical and ethical solutions for Japanese men and women who are experiencing radical social, economical, and cultural changes and who are searching for new answers. After reading this book, I could not help but resolve to rededicate myself to give them the answer by showing them the living and loving Father, for whom Ludvico Ibaragi gave his life. I pray that this book will be a great stimulus to Japanese churches to break down cultural strongholds and reach suffering people with the gospel as never before.

Pastor Hiroko Ayabe, Founder of Japan Revival Ministries, Tama Gospel Center

“I highly recommend this insightful new book from Samuel Lee. He accurately assesses the major cultural and historical barriers to Christianity that have been built into Japanese society, and offers thoughtful strategies for breaking those barriers down. This book will be an asset to anyone who has a heart for Japan and longs to see it transformed.”

Rev. Ron Sawka, President, Christian International Asia, Tochigi, Japan

“Japan is a nation ready for the gospel. However, for decades there has been a missing piece to the missiological puzzle. Samuel Lee’s profound book is a giant step toward revealing that missing piece. Once it is uncovered and applied, Japan will experience the bountiful spiritual harvest we have been waiting for!”

 Dr. C. Peter Wagner, Chancellor, Wagner Leadership Institute

 “Dr. Samuel Lee presents a thorough treatment of Japanese history and society from a Christian perspective. His analysis is helpful for Western Christians who are interested in investigating the factors hindering their effective witness in Japan.”

Rev. Mike Wilson, Asian Access, Okinawa, Japan

 “Samuel Lee has combined brilliant research and deep spiritual insights to produce a landmark work of scholarship on the spiritual forces that have shaped the nation of Japan. He has made a valuable contribution to the missions’ community by unlocking the secrets of a society that has been closed to the rest of the world for centuries. This book provides the global church with a valuable key to opening and reaching Japan with the gospel.”

James Lee Grady, Director of Mordecai Project

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