I took this photo April 29 2004 on the Yamanote line platform at JR Shibuya station. Those familiar with Tokyo will know what I am talking about. For those who have no idea Shibuya is a VERY busy station, and the crossing at Hachiko exit appears in many movies. I don’t know how long the posters were displayed for but at any rate if it was even for one day thousands of people saw them.
I went to the movie of course. First of all I was very surprised it was even going to be shown here, secondly I was surprised there were other people in the theater, a lot of people. The showing I went to wasn’t full but maybe half full? When I left the theater there was even a line of people waiting to enter the exact screen that was showing The Passion. I couldn’t believe it. The movie was shown in the original languages plus subtitles in Japanese and English. Lots of people cried, heck I cried and I thought I wouldn’t! I went with a non Christian Japanese friend and after we both had no appetite and barely said anything to each other as we were both overwhelmed and were thinking about what we saw.
In the media the movie was even talked about on movie preview shows, and there were even trailers aired during regular commercials. According to this site which shows box office sales for the movie it made $10 million US here as much which as it made in Germany. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=intl&id=passionofthechrist.htm
I am still friends with the person I went to the movie with, and they have even been to mass with me, however, it`s up to them and God if they will become Catholic someday. They did stop smoking cold turkey several weeks later which is an interesting “coincidence.” The movie did make a convert, actually a revert, out of one of us though and that would be me. The movie was a real kick in the pants for me to really examine my life and the Hound of Heaven eventually got me back into the fold 😀