Introduction / History Racially, culturally, and ethnically, the Japanese are one of the most homogenous people groups in the world. They identify themselves in terms of biological heritage, birth in Japan, a shared culture, and a common language (Japanese).
In the 1920s, Japanese traders and their families began to migrate to Hamburg and Berlin. After WW2 Japan had a huge demand for machinery and heavy industry products, and Düsseldorf had the ability to provide these. Japanese began to come to Düsseldorf in 1952, led by Mitsubishi, a large Japanese corporation which arrived three years later.
Today there are nearly 400 Japanese corporations based there. Düsseldorf is also home to a large Japanese club and a Japanese school for children to learn the ways of their parent's homeland. Every May or June there is a Japan Day where the Japanese can share their culture with the Germans. Düsseldorf is now home for one of the largest Japanese communities in Europe.
Where are they located? Düsseldorf is the "number one city in Germany" for the Japanese who live in Germany, though there are also some Japanese in Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Munich.
What are their lives like? In recent years, the Japanese have become known as great soccer players on Germany's World Cup level teams. However, the Japanese in Germany are better known for their work in business, banking, telecommunications, and other high-level areas of employment.
What are their beliefs? Shintoism is the native religion of Japan. It is rooted in animism (belief that non-living objects have spirits). Its many gods or spirits are known as kami. Buddhism was introduced to Japan in the sixth century. Today, most Japanese claim to be both Shintoist and Buddhist.
Traditions of Shintoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism have all contributed to Japanese religious principles. Many Japanese are indifferent and skeptical of established religion. Many do not see it as offering any help in today's world.
What are their needs? On the outside, the Japanese in Germany seem to have few needs. However, many of them have become obsessed with materialistic pleasures, careers, and possessions. Their greatest need is to be introduced to the Father through His Son, Jesus.
Prayer Points * Pray that German Christian businessmen will have open doors to share the gospel with the Japanese.
* Pray that Christian resources will be effective in reaching the Japanese in Germany.
* Pray that God will raise up teams of intercessors to stand in the gap for these precious people.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Japanese in Germany that will spread to Japan and beyond.