Nine months ago, I started this blog. If it were a baby, it would be due. And strangely enough, after wandering in the desert for 40 blog posts, I’m starting to feel ready to draw some conclusions from this project.
I started this blog with a question: How did living in Japan turn me from an atheist into a Catholic? I explored this question from different angles, pondering the virtues I witnessed in Japan and researching Japan’s religion, history, and relationship with Christianity. I interviewed ordinary Japanese people and consulted with Catholic nuns.
And after all that, the conclusions I’m being led to are startlingly simple. Japanese society is united by a “dream” of its origin and destiny, perhaps based on the Kojiki and never fully renounced, even after WWII. In pursuit of this dream, the Japanese people choose to live virtuous lives.
And ultimately, it is the witness of a life lived with humility and love that changes people’s hearts.
At first, I simply felt a desire to assimilate into Japanese culture. Strangely enough, it was the Japanese themselves who pointed me in the direction of Christianity.
This is where you come from, they told me. This is where you belong. Christendom is beautiful–we think it’s beautiful, too. The spirit that inspired General MacArthur to have mercy on Japan was beautiful. Why don’t you live it?