Introduction / History
In 1884 264 Japanese citizens lived in Japan. The majority were professionals and students. In an effort to modernize Japan students were also sent to the United Kingdom to study. Throughout World War II some Japanese migrated to the United Kingdom. In the 1960's a larger wave of Japanese migrated to Britain. The main reason for this migration was business. Lower airfares have also attracted more Japanese students to attend universities.
Where are they located?
Japanese businessmen can be found throughout the UK. Japanese students can be found on university campuses such as Cambridge and Oxford. Most live in either homes or dormitories in or around school or work.
What are their lives like?
Around 12,000 of the Japanese residents of Britain speak primarily Japanese. The Japanese assimilate into culture well, but remain proud of their culture. Since most are businessmen or students their lives are filled with work or study. Leisure time is spent experiencing the local culture.
What are their beliefs?
Most Japanese are Buddhist and Shinto by tradition. There is also a strong lean toward materialism. Japanese will celebrate the Buddhist and Shinto holidays and participate in Buddhist or Shinto ceremonies. Everyday practice is driven by materialism or superstition. The oldest son inherits the family shrine and it is placed somewhere in the Japanese home. Various gods and idols may be worshipped depending upon the person. Materialism and happiness in this life motivate the Japanese, while religion is an opportunity to keep in touch with tradition. There is also a small population of Japanese Christians, many of who become Christians when they study or work abroad.
What are their needs?
Japanese businessmen and students are away from home. Among the greatest needs of Japanese living in Japan are friendships in the new culture.
Japanese businessmen may work abroad while their families stay behind in Japan. Strong communication is needed to keep the family unit intact.
* Pray that God would bring strong Christian friendships into Japanese businessmen and students lives.
* Pray for the Japanese businessmen who work away from their families.
* Pray that communication would remain strong with their families in Japan.
* Pray that the Japanese businessmen and students would have the opportunity to hear and see the Gospel lived out in everyday life.
* Pray that the Japanese businessmen and students would have open hearts to receive the Gospel.
Text source: Rachel Routt