Man steals from churches & convents

29 02 2008

Homeless man arrested for stealing from Kyushu churches, convents

NAGASAKI — A homeless man faces charges for stealing over 1 million yen from 19 churches and convents across Kyushu, police said.

Junji Koyama, 55, an unemployed man of no fixed address, admitted to the allegations during questioning. “I sneaked into churches and convents when it was quiet. It was easy to escape from the convents, because there were only women there,” he was quoted as telling investigators.

Koyama was arrested and subsequently indicted for sneaking into a convent in Hirado, Nagasaki Prefecture, on the early morning of Jan. 24, and stealing 10,000 yen.

Police later referred him to prosecutors, accusing Koyama of sneaking into 18 other Christian churches and convents in five Kyushu prefectures, including Fukuoka and Miyazaki, between October last year and January this year, stealing over 1 million yen.

My two yen.  Homeless people in Japan are known for not bothering anyone, even collecting recyclables to make a small profit.  They do not beg or annoy passers by, at least in Tokyo, so I am a bit surprised by the story and the fact that he targeted churches and convents.  Churches in Japan are the rare groups that actually work with the homeless to provide food and such.  Was it a bad experience with someone from a church that made these places his target?  While I think what he did was terrible I also think there but for the grace of God go I.


Yamaguchi Catholic Church – tent of light!?

29 02 2008

Home page of the church

The church meant to honour St Francis Xavier is now described on their website, on the main page look for the link on the right that says tent of light, as follows “The church is almost triangular in shape and symbolizes God’s tent among us, as portrayed in Holy Scripture.” Um oook where does it say that in scripture? Also where in scripture does it say to have a bell tower of ugliness and an interior of sterility?

John Paul II in Japan

26 02 2008

I have talked about his visit in an earlier post but am not sure I posted these photos I came across on the CBCJ site.

The third photo down is his Holiness meeting Brother Zeno whom I also wrote about in an earlier post.  Further down are photos of John Paul II meeting the now deceased emperor Showa, and of his time in Nagasaki which I think I mentioned before.

St Ignatius Tokyo

19 02 2008

I attended mass and confession on a weekday evening at St Ignatius in Tokyo and took two blurry photos. The sacrament of reconciliation is available between 5-7pm Mon-Fri in the main church. There was a line when I was there so in all it took about one hour, after which I stayed for the 6pm mass in Japanese. The mass is only 30 minutes long.

I found it very similar to Kobe Chuo church I visited before in several ways. It has the same round shape, the same stations of the cross hidden in offset stained glass windows, and the same flying Jesus on the wall instead of Christ crucified on a cross. On the other hand the confession was good.  Also you will notice in one photo a woman has her head covered something I had never witnessed until I came to Japan. The church holds 800 and for a weekday evening I was surprised there were quite a few people there. The photos were taken after mass had ended and people had started to leave.

Here is the church website

Statue Thief

13 02 2008

This is quite the story as this man stole 61 religious statues.  Yes even a few of Mary.

Here is a dailymotion video of a news report in Japanese about it.

Kanda Catholic Church

12 02 2008

St Joseph’s Church Tsukiji

12 02 2008

Tsukiji is a huge fish market and hugely popular with tourists. As much as I like fish though I have never been there. If you are a tourist, however, it would be easy for you to fit in a mass with a an early morning visit to the market since that is the popular time to go. Popular for one because I guess people want to see the tuna auction.

Here is their website

A page of photos from the Japanese site