Is there ways to preach to the people of Japan and learn the language at the same time?

I am one who is highly interested in sharing the word of God to the people of japan, and learn the language. What are some ways to do this? I thought about doing snail-mail penal, someone who I can learn the language and learn the culture. But I am interested in hearing what you have to say, especially if you have preaching experience.

The Japanese culture and people are very unique. I have spent time in both Tokyo and a more remote area and have attended Mass in totally Japanese services. The language is quite intimidating to a westerner. Sincere and heartfelt wishes for you in your desire to share with the people of this wonderful country. I would encourage you to find a way to work through the Church or one of its missions in reaching out to the Japanese people. Although I find the Japanese friendly, I also find the society somewhat “closed”. In addition, this is a time of great trouble for the country with the recent catastrophes and a difficult economy. Again, working through missions might be the best way to reach them. Let your actions speak loudly.

I hope not. Poor Japanese! But why not write to a Japanese Church and ask for a pen or e-pal? But learn first, then preach if there is still time left in your life!

THe language is intimidating to the Japanese! :wink:

It’s true; many of them have trouble with the written form. To the OP, I share an interest in Japan and speak, ohh, about fifteen words. Look up St. Francis Xavier if you want the history of Catholicism in Japan. He was enthusiastically received, and many of the Japanese stayed faithful in secret throughout the years.

There are iphone apps that have basic Japanese language tutorials. Good luck and God bless.

Hi Link,

I see you are coming from a Baptist background. I would throw out that it is not really in the Catholic tradition for private people to do that sort of specialized mission work without Church authorization. We are, of course, to share our Faith, but going out to people who do not share our culture, as any sort of independent thing- not advisable. It would be too easy for someone to make blunders and do more harm than good. I know I couldn’t do any such thing myself. Supporting established mission work can be extremely fruitful, however.

God Bless,

I have found from practical experience that you cannot truly express yourself in a foreign language until you can write a love letter in that language. Once you can do that, then you are truly fluent and comfortable in the language to the point that you can relay your thoughts on conceptual things. Then you can learn cultural idioms that are hard to grasp.

Best of luck.

Actually, most Japanese people understand understand written English very well.

A majority of the population study written English in school for many years.

Speaking English is quite difficult for them, as some of the language is quite challenging.

The key to understanding the language, which is quite complex, is to understand the writing and speaking of Romanji.

Once you learn to pronounce the vowels, it is a good start.

Romanji is written by using the English alphabet, which is helpful’

For example:

Watashi-wa Nihongo-o wakarimasen = I Japanese language do not understand, or I do not understand the Japanese language.

By saying Watashi-wa Nihongo-ga wakari-masu means I do understand the Japanese language.

It takes a lot of time and effort, and unless you are using it in conversation daily, it is must more difficult.

I hope that this helps!


Pronouncing Japanese is easy! That’s the good news!

Learning kana, hm, not so easy. But possible.

Learning kanji, whoah. There are close to two thousand of them.

What a great desire you have!

It is totally possible. I have lived overseas in an Asian country for more than 10 years, have learned the language and been able to share my faith with many people.

Maybe a short term language program in Japan, for a semester or so to start out. Learning an Asian language is a long term process. It is very important to begin to learn the culture and the language to share your faith with them.

What about teaching English for a year or so? You can learn the language in your spare time although not as well as if you do a language program, but you will have more relationships with your students, etc.

Pray. God will surely lead you. His heart is for all peoples to hear the Gospel , not just people of our own culture.

Don’t believe that it isn’t a “Catholic” thing to share your faith with others overseas because you are just a layperson. As a Catholic you have even more to share with them, devotion to the Blessed Virgin, the rosary, different types of prayer, the eucharist. Often people will want to come to Mass with you, they have just never thought of it because they have no christian friends or anyone inviting them.

You have to persevere, God bless you.

Please PM me. I may have a never used Pimsler Japanese language casette tape set somewhere in the office.

I have actually never used it!

J Heath

Hi to all,

I’m seeing most of the posts as encouraging the OP. I would say is that if what he wants to do is go live and work in Japan, learn the language and culture, and then use that as a way to form friendships and bring people into the Faith in that country, I have no objections. This could be a very fruitful thing if Link is good at forming solid relationships and interacting with people in this way.

Still, the word “preach” did raise my eyebrows a bit, since for someone to go from the USA to Japan and try to proselyize with only a limited knowledge of the language and culture could do harm. In the Catholic tradition, I believe, the word is pretty much associatied with the priesthood or diaconate anyway (though again, the OP is from a Baptist background).

There are quite a few Christians who are Japanese, so it would seem to me that the best way to evangelize would be to support native efforts at spreading the Faith by means of native people. If one could help support a local radio station or publishing house, for instance. If some non-Japanese person wants to go to Japan for missionary work, they should do so under the authority of some sort of good leadership, to ensure a positive experience.

God Bless,

The Catholic Church has for 1970 or so years used First Apostles, then Expert knowledgeable Priests and Sisters to Bring Christ/The Church to Every Nation, literally. Apostles brough Christ, Tyhe Church to now Turkey, France, Spain, Middle East. The Apostle annouinted to Replace Judas: Matthias went to India a few years after Our Lord’s Crucificsion, and The Eastern Rite Church he began there is Still Very active, and Always In Union with The Pope/Rome. The Japanese still have strong Catholic Churches in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, converted by Missionary Priest St Francis Xavier 500 years ago. Jesuit Missianaries Converted pagan Austria a few hundred years after Christ, St Patrick wild warrior Celts in Ireland, etc., Etc. The Lay evangelizing organization of 2 Million, also Every Country, is the [SIGN]Legion of Mary[/SIGN]. We Are the Outreach of The Church, Parish to our neighbors, door-to-door. See my Legion Of Mary Thread. But one has to be Knowing Catholic First, Easter Vigil Initiated Into the Church formally, by Receiving Our Sacraments. If you take RCIA. It’s the Most beautiful thing Many have found in life: Becoming Full Catholic, starting To Live The Bible Fully. :bible1::highprayer: We laymen don’t “Preach”; Only Priests and Deacons and sometimes Sisters can. We laymen Teacgh the Truths person to person, never arguing, just Respectfully Correcting errors others have. Evangelizingm, without upsetting people, is our Catholic mission, not just going to Mass, The Sacraments.

Aren’t there some people on this forum who already live in Japan? Maybe they would help.

Kana is not all that complex. I learned it in the course of one semester (so about 3 months). Kanji is the real stumbling block. There are 2,136 jouyou kanji - those that are considered to be common use and are taught in primary/secondary school. You need to know somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 to be able to read a newspaper, and there are something like 10,000 (50-100,000 by some estimates) total kanji in the language as a whole. The good news here is that a lot of the “uncommon” kanji are things like people’s names and what have you. Since they are recognized as being uncommon, you’ll typically get furigana (small kana to show you how to read them) to go with each kanji.

The short version is that there are “only” 2-3,000 kanji that you would be expected to know. Still an uphill battle, but it is made significantly easier if you’re in country. I found that the daily exposure did more for my retention than any amount of study time I could ever put in.


Bet my unique Hungarian tougher; only Finnish has any similarity; but then we were converted as strange barbarians in the first centuries, and stayed Very Catholic/Byzantine throughout Communism. :signofcross::byzsoc:
At least we use Western scipt, although English Language, wording is supposed to be Most Complex on Earth, because of our spellink, and numerous word meaninks. It’s my satanic, cheap keyboard, not me (Better not believe it…:whistle: Servus.

Japanese penal prisoners can write or have contact only with their family, lawyer, or consul. They’re not allowed to write or have visits from friends. The Japanese penal system has come under intense scrutiny in recent years for harshness and draconian policies.

I don’t think this would be very fertile ground for you.

What on earth are you talking about? Did you even read the OP? Where did he say anything about a prison ministry?

Sounds to me like you’re just interested in bashing the Japanese. Where’s the proof in your ‘claims?’ :twocents:

To the OP: DO IT. All these people throwing up roadblocks should not stop you. Teaching English in Japan is a good way to make money and contacts there.

Please note the bold part.

You need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and really read what the OP and I wrote.

My mother is Japanese, I was born in Japan, hence my screen name—honors my mom and my own heritage. I am half-japanese. I wouldn’t dishonor my mom, and my own heritage by bashing the Japanese.

I have no earthly idea where you got bashing the Japanese out of what I wrote.:shrug:

Mea culpa, but can you provide proof for your serious allegation re the prison system of Japan?

From the Embassy of the United States, Tokyo, Japan.

Please read “Inmate Rights Abuses”, Amnesty International

There is more, story after story of personal experience—google Japanese prison system

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