Thursday, August 11, 2005

Hiroshima: a small dialogue

The following is an exchange of comments between Wilfried Decoo and myself in an LDS blog called "Times and Seasons."

Wilfried, I appreciate very much your posting this topic in an appropriate stance:

> this is not the day to analyze the chain of events that led to it nor to weigh reasons and responsibilities. Still I feel I must try to comprehend something essential, something that goes way beyond the facts and ties in with the Gospel and eternity.

> this is a day to ponder about the white doves flying over the Atomic Bomb Dome, the suffering on all sides, burned skin hanging from bodies, radiation, children, peace for tomorrow. But the scare of a future, similar to Hiroshima’s fate, is still with us, today more than yesterday.

I feel relieved to find most of the 20 comments tried to face this difficult theme sincerely.

– A Japanese member of the Church in Hiroshima.

Comment by NJWindow — 8/9/2005 : 7:04 am

It certainly was a surprise to receive this comment from a Church member in Hiroshima. Thank you so much. Also thank you for your generosity and kindness, because some of the previous comments were perhaps somewhat hurtful and unnecessary in this thread. But, indeed, the overall tone of the participants is one of sober commemoration and of gratitude for the Spirit that binds us all, whatever our nationality and whatever the past of our countries. We greet you, Hiroshima. And, appropriately, we add Nagasaki today in our thoughts.

Comment by Wilfried — 8/9/2005 : 11:40 am

Friday, March 11, 2005

100 Years of Japan Mission

Events Highlight
100 Years
of Japan Mission
by Jiro Numano (Mormon History Association Newsletter, Oct. 2001)

A symposium was recently held in Japan to commemorate the centennial of the Japan Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tokyo on
September 8, 2001. A small but interested group of people attended the meeting held at Shinagawa Hoken Center under the sponsorship of Jiro Numano, a faculty member of Sociology at Hiroshima Kokusai Gakuin University and a member of MHA.
Numano spoke about "The Reception and Indigenization of Christianity in Japan," and showed that LDS Church did not lose much time in following the first group of Christians who came to Japan in 1859 and others thereafter. Then, in view of the very low percentage of Christians in current Japan, he presented types of reception and indigenization of Christianity: one, sinking down under the Japanese mental framework and lifestyle; two, isolation from Japanese society by sticking to Western service modes and religious lifestyle, discarding Japanese way of thinking; three, confrontation against old Japanese values that contradict Christian teachings and; four, grafting Christianity onto positive Japanese values. Numano suggested that LDS Church now seems to turn to the last type as revealed in some reports issued by the Church.
Yutaka Inaba of the Church Education System next presented a summary on "The Growth, Establishment and Recent State of the Church in Japan." After reviewing statistical data, he noted the remarkable role of the baby-boomer generation born in the late 1940s who converted to the Church and constituted the important core of the membership here. "We may be close to the stage of maturity," he said, "but we should anticipate somewhat difficult future ahead as Japanese population will stop increasing in the 21st century."
Kazuo Takemura of Rissho University in Tokyo reported from his Ph.D. dissertation, "A Geographical Study on the Proselytizing and Reception of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Japanese Provincial Cities." He demonstrated the remarkable difference of motives of conversion and retention ratios according to the geographical regions which have different Buddhist backgrounds. His introduction of "life history" interviews with those converts interested audience. As Mr. Takemura was an invited speaker from outside the Church, he attracted attention and was asked many questions from those who attended the symposium.

October 13: “A Centennial Celebration: The History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Japan, 1901-2001,” a day-long academic conference focusing on the history of the Church in Japan and the largest Japanese mission reunion ever will be held this Saturday at Brigham Young University. See on the Internet or contact chair Reid L. Neilson at

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Passing of Hugh Nibley

The name Hugh Nibley has been and will always be very familiar to me as I attended his religion classes at Brigham Young University in 1970's. It is a good old memory that I was given an A grade when I submitted a paper imitating his dialogue form. I think I greatly owe what I am today to his influence.

Jiro Numano
Professor of English as a Foreign Language
Hiroshima Kokusai Gakuin University
Hiroshima, Japan

Saturday, January 01, 2005

A voice against DU shells

I saw a documentary film “Investigation of DU shell victims” by a German doctor Gunter on TV on 4th of January. It prompted me to post this entry. I have been deeply concerned about the issue since an Iraqi boy was brought to Nagoya, Japan, to be treated his leukemia. Later his doctor in Iraq came to Hiroshima University to learn the latest medical treatment of cancer.

The use of weaponry made of Depleted Uranium is strongly suspected to be THE cause of gravely tragic cases of radioactivity-related diseases and births of malformed children. Many reports by doctors and studies by scientists substantiate the cause-effect relations. We can say a serious inhuman crime is being committed. I join many sincere voices in condemning the evil deeds.

Jiro Numano who was in the human letters “NO WAR NO DU!” in Hiroshima in March, 2003

Returned Time's "Man of the Year" issue

Last month, I returned the Time's "Man of the Year" issue to the sender because it featured George W. Bush as the person. The subscriber was so displeased at the selection that he couldn't but send it back. Actually, he is thinking of replacing the magazine by a British publication.