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TOPIC: Russian Orthodox Christmas in Japan

Russian Orthodox Christmas in Japan 4 years 4 months ago #493

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Last year I was fortunate to visit Japan for a volunteering project. During my stay I got a chance to visit the main Russian Orthodox Church of Japan, temple “Of Jesus Christ Resurrection”, also known as Nikolaydo. So I would like to share my observations of Russian Orthodox religious flow in Japan.
With the blessing of the hierarchy, most of Japanese Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on the night from 24 to 25 December. The blessing was given for the following reason, since all Japannese people celebrate Christmas in December, so in order not to separate Orthodox Japannese from their families, all Japan celebrates Christmas in December. But in some Russian Orthodox churches our original tradition is still valid, and Christmas is celebtraed from 6th to 7th of January.
Japan is a big country. In some regions Christmas is white and snowy, however, in Tokyo andmore Sothern regions snow is of a rare occurrence Despite of, there are decorated Christmas trees everywhere.
After the World War Second Christmas became a national holiday. The whole Japan society prepares to this holiday: they buy presents, there are Christmas parties in many schools. Something like we had before revolution, is taking place there now. But anyway, Christmas is not a religious holiday for many Japanese people, but a merry winter holiday, when one gets a chance to gather with family and friends.

The holiday church service in Japan is the same as in Russia. The most favorite moment in the service is the image of the Star of Bethlehem, when three wise men bring gifts to the Infant Jesus. Many Japanese people, both men and women, wear national clothes, kimono, for the church service.
Japanese Orthodox Christians try to perceive religion mentally, and use intellect to think over religious dogmas, unlike Russian Christians, who more rely on emotions, and listen to their soul. Japanese try to find logical explanation to Evangelical events. What we perceive through the beauty of the liturgical service, Japanese Christians discuss.
Japanese society is very structured. If a japanese perosn happened to be left alone, he or she feels uncomfortable, and immediately tries to find a group to join to. So Japanese Christians go to church in groups.
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