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). For this reason, it is difficult for Japanese people who live outside of their country in places like South Korea.
Though the culture is somewhat similar in South Korea, Japanese people must adjust to someone else's culture. To make matters harder, from 1910-45, Japan held Korea as it's colony. Their colonial rule was brutal and merciless. There are still many Koreans who hold this against the Japanese.
What are their lives like? Most Japanese in South Korea are working in the realm of business. With South Korean businesses emerging, this is one more area where there is potential hostility and rivalry between Koreans and Japanese.
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: ancestor worship; a belief in religious continuity of the family; a close tie between the nation and religion; a free exchange of ideas among religious systems; and religious practices centered on the use of prayer meditation, amulets, and purification.
What are their needs? Many Japanese are indifferent and skeptical of established religion. On the outside, they 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 * There are many strong believers in South Korea. Pray that they will reach out as Christ's ambassadors to the Japanese in their midst.
* 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 South Korea.
* Pray that Christian businessmen will have open doors to share the gospel with the Japanese in South Korea.
* Pray that Christian radio and television broadcasts will be effective in reaching the Japanese. Commonly Japanese housewives stay at home feeling bored and lonely. They need the good news to come to them in the form of radio and TV broadcasts.