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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Imitation Church

Imitation Church
Originally uploaded by timtak.
Apparently "Wedding Chapels" exist in the US too but I confess to have been rather shocked when I first saw them in Japan. In Britain, churches are churches, and thus sacred houses of God. In Japan fake "wedding chapels" are built beside hotels so that couples can enjoy the atmosphere of a Christian style wedding, complete with a foreign priest who is usually a theatrically gifted English conversation teacher.

The company that employs these priests in the Fukuoka Area is however run by fairly serious Christians who insist that the sermon be carried out according to full Christian tradition complete with Christian vows, and readings from the bible. When real churches are used, then real priests often use the opportunity to preach to their heathen audience who otherwise very rarely come to church. For many Japanese, while they enjoy consumerism and a visit to a short stay hotel at Christmas, wedding ceremonies are the only time they enter a church.

This imitation church is an example of an authenticopy, a copy of something that is felt to be quite satisfactory in surving its purpose, and identical in that sense to that which it copies, because it looks like the real thing.

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.