Occult in Japan

30 10 2007

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states in 2116 and 2117 


2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

Of course all of the things the Church mentions as things to avoid are present and even widespread here.  Horoscopes are a big part of the morning news on several stations with their own short segment like the weather and traffic have.  Fortune tellers such as palm readers set up a small chair and table on sidewalks in busy areas of Tokyo in the evening.  At Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples people purchase fortunes called omikuji  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omikuji

At temples and shrines people may also purchase charms or amulets called omamori  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omamori

Children may play with the Japanese version of a ouija board which is called kokkuri san here.  There also appears to be a movie with kokkuri san as the title.  Much less common I would think but still exists is Japanese voodoo.  This guy even managed to order a kit and took photos http://www.juergenspecht.com/truestories/?number=8&storypage=2

There is also a type of fortune telling based on blood type.  One thing it does is try to put people into categories based on how their personality should be according to blood type.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_blood_type_theory_of_personality

The main message I want to convey in this post is to be careful if you are a Catholic who values your faith.  For example shopping at shrines and temples for little good luck charms or such trinkets as souvenirs isn’t a good idea.  They are charms and as innocent as they seem don’t bother. 


John Paul II’s Funeral

28 10 2007

When Pope John Paul II passed away I was able to watch the funeral live in the evening Japan time on CNN.  It was unforgettable to me for many good reasons but there was one little thing that got to me.  In attendance were queens, kings, presidents both current and former, prime ministers, princes and so on.  Basically almost everyone sent their highest ranking people to attend, to honor a great man.  Japan did not (and Bangladesh.)  Japan sent an ex foreign minister (as the news stated here,) or as stated on wikipedia adviser to the pm.  I have no idea what the job of advisor to the pm is but it doesn’t sound that great for representing one’s country at a Papal funeral  I think the prime minister or at least the deputy pm should have been the one to attend.

I wonder if the officials here realized what they did upon seeing footage of the dignitaries at the funeral.  I hope a few officials were embarrassed after that because at least they would have noticed, albeit too late, that they should have done better.  What would be more of concern to me is that no one was embarrassed because they saw no problem with a low status dignitary.  Rant over and yes I do feel a bit better.

If interested there is a list of dignitaries on wikipedia


Christian Moment on TV show

26 10 2007

This is a clip I came across on Youtube from a popular long running t.v show called Sazae san.  I have seen a handful of episodes so am not an expert but as far as I’m aware the family is portrayed as being very stereotypically Japanese, so it amazes me how this little scene was added.  The boy crosses himself and prays for Saturday to hurry up and come for some reason. 

Our Father in Japanese

23 10 2007

Shu no Inori

Ten ni orareru watashi-tachi no Chichi yo,

minna ga sei tosaremasu yo ni.

Mi kuni ga kimasu yo ni.

Mi kokoro ga ten ni okona wareru tori chi ni mo okonawaremasu yo ni.

Watashitachi no hi goto no kate o kyo mo oatae kudasai.

Watashitachi no tsumi o yurushi kudasai.

Watashitachi mo hito o yurushimasu.

Watashitachi o yuwaku ni ochi irasezu, aku kara o sukui kudasai.



Hail Mary in Japanese

23 10 2007

Seibo Maria e no Inori

Megumi afureru sei Maria, Shu wa anatatachi to tomo ni oraremasu.

Shu wa anata o erabi, shukufukushi, anata no ko Iesu mo shukufuku saremashita.

Kami no Haha, sei Maria, tsumifukai watashitachi no tameni,

ima mo, shi o mukaeru toki mo inotte kudasai.


今も、死を迎える時も祈って下さい。 アーメン。


21 10 2007

As the Catholic church is throughout the whole world so are cell phones, and in particular cell phones that ring during inopportune times.  Precisely some ring during consecration as happened this Sunday!  The priest had just finished saying “do this in memory of me” and was elevating the host while the alter server was ringing the bells and someones cell phone rang right then.  It was quite audible but mingled with the bells.  Too bad their ring-tone wasn’t bells instead of whatever Jpop song they had.  

I don’t embarrass easily but the one thing that would really embarrass me would be my cell ringing in mass!  Which is why I either leave it at home or double check its on manner mode.  So unfortunately yes bad cell phone manners are global.

My Late Reply

18 10 2007

A reader, Matt, commented on my post way back on Sept 24 and since I’m so late with my reply I will post it as a new post and promise to be much faster with my replies in the future.  The post and comment were about the Latin mass in Japan.

 My reply
Sorry for the late reply.  I googled Latin mas in Tokyo and came up with the vague info that yes the SSPX does have one somewhere but I have no intention of seeking them out.  I had heard about them a little before but as you wrote they are schismatic and I don’t want to get involved with that. 

The Japanese masses Ive been to are fairly conservative, no guitars for one thing, just an organ, and definitely no dance.   Some women even cover their heads with lace mantillas which stunned me the first time I saw that because I had no knowledge of that custom.  I am not sure how receptive Japanese would be to a Latin mass although the head covering ladies would likely be all for it.  The English mass I attend which is run by the Filipino community also have no idea how open they would be to it since they appear to be more casual. 

I really like a reverential mass but interestingly the casual English mass has a very reverential priest and the conservative Japanese mass some of the priests are seemingly in a hurry or bored.

I would love to go to Italy but the yen euro exchange rate right now is not helping.