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Scorsese’s “Silence” Grapples With Questions of Faith in Seventeenth-Century Japan

Director Martin Scorsese first learned of the novel Silence in 1988. Deeply moved by its exploration of faith among “hidden Christians” in seventeenth-century Japan, he resolved to film the work. More than a quarter of a century later, this passion project is complete.
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Japan to Recommend Southern Isles, Christian Sites as World Heritage (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 19 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government on Thursday decided to recommend that islands in the southern prefectures of Kagoshima and Okinawa be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list for natural assets. At a meeting of related ministries and agencies, the government also decided to recommend the addition of Christian sites in the southwestern prefectures of Nagasaki and Kumamoto to t…
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Saint Francis Xavier and the Roots of Christianity in Japan

Arriving in Japan in 1549, Jesuit priest Francis Xavier played a key role in the early spread of Christianity in the country. His missionary work included preaching in Hirado in the northwest of present-day Nagasaki Prefecture, where Christianity took root most firmly and “hidden Christians” preserved the faith during centuries of prohibition. Today Hirado is home to numerous historic churches, testifying to the enduring influence of Spanish and Portuguese missionaries.
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Japan’s Religious Ambivalence: The Shaping and Dismantling of a National PolityShimazono Susumu

Religion is often regarded as playing a comparatively minor role in Japanese society, but is this really true? Religious scholar Shimazono Susumu examines the historical evolution of religion as a social force in Japan.
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Rereading “Shūyō” by Nitobe InazōWang Zhongchen

After discovering that Central Compilation and Translation Press in Beijing had published a Chinese translation of Shūyō (Cultivating the Mind) by Nitobe Inazō (1862–1933), I decided to reread that book. I was keen to see how the translators, Wang Cheng and Chen Yu, had rendered it into modern Chinese. On the sleeve of the book, which was published in May 2009, there is a promotional blurb that…
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