Tokyo (東京, Tōkyō) is Japan’s capital and the world’s most populous metropolis with a population of approximately 32,450,000.
Today, about one to two million Japanese are Christians (about 1% of Japan’s population). Many of them live in Western Japan where the missionaries’ activities were greatest during the 16th century. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2298.html
One of the world’s most exciting cities, TOKYO is a fuel-injected adrenaline rush into a neon-bright future. But for all its cutting edge modernity, this ceaseless metropolis remains fiercely proud of its ancient heritage. Lively neighbourhood festivals are held virtually every day of the year, people regularly visit their local shrine or temple and scrupulously observe the passing seasons in lovingly tended gardens. And at this hyperactive city’s centre lies the serene and mysterious Imperial Palace – the inviolate home of the emperor and a tangible link to the past.
But at first glance the city’s beauty and traditions are not readily apparent. Filled with eyeball-searing neon and messy overhead cables, plagued by incessant noise, its freeways often clogged with bumper-to-bumper traffic, this concrete-and-steel sardine can – the heart of which is home to at least eight million people – can come across as the stereotypical urban nightmare. Yet step back from the frenetic main roads and chances are you’ll find yourself in a world of tranquil backstreets, where dinky wooden houses are fronted by neatly clipped bonsai trees; wander beyond the hi-tech emporia, and you’ll discover temples and shrines where the trappings of contemporary Japan dissolve in wisps of smoking incense.
Tokyo’s reputation as an expensive city is ill-deserved and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how affordable many things are. The metro is a bargain, and tickets for a sumo tournament or a Kabuki play can be bought inexpensively. Many of the city’s highlights are free; among these you can choose from a stroll through Asakusa and the major Buddhist temple, Sensō-ji; a visit to the tranquil wooded grounds of Tokyo’s premier shrine Meiji-Jingū and the adjacent fashion Mecca of Harajuku; the frenetic fish market at Tsukiji; or the crackling, neon-saturated atmosphere of Shinjuku or Shibuya. Simply walking the streets of this hyperactive city can be an energizing experience. Source
Most Japanese people do not exclusively identify themselves as adherents of a single religion; rather, they incorporate elements of various religions in a syncretic fashion known as Shinbutsu shūgō (amalgamation of kami and buddhas?). Shinbutsu Shūgō officially ended with the Shinto and Buddhism Separation Order of 1886, but continues in practice. Shinto and Japanese Buddhism are therefore best understood not as two completely separate and competing faiths, but rather as a single, rather complex religious system.
Japan grants full religious freedom, allowing minority religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism to be practiced. Figures that state 84% to 96% of Japanese adhere to Shinto and Buddhism are not based on self-identification but come primarily from birth records, following a longstanding practice of officially associating a family line with a local Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine. About 70 percent of Japanese profess no religious membership, according to Johnstone (1993:323), 84% of the Japanese claim no personal religion. In census questionnaires, less than 15 percent reported any formal religious affiliation by 2000. And according to Demerath (2001:138), 64% do not believe in God, and 55% do not believe in Buddha. According to Edwin Reischauer, and Marius Jansen, some 70 to 80 percent of the Japanese regularly tell pollsters they do not consider themselves believers in any religion. Japanese streets are decorated on Tanabata, Obon and Christmas.
Will you pray that God would send laborers to Tokyo, Japan. Vision has two missionaries preparing to head that way, Will Hill and Jonathan Marks.
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