Monday, August 20, 2018

September 9 meeting Kate Wildman Nakai, on 1932 confrontation of Church and Shrine, Oct 14 Unitarians in the Philippines

Dear friends and members of the Unitarian Fellowship,

   I trust your summer was good despite the terrible heat and humidity for most of the time here in Tokyo.

Personally I am looking forward to having a lot more energy in a cooler September.

Please bring a friend or encourage an acquaintance to come this Fall. 

Date: Sunday September 9

International House of Japan

(see their website for bilingual directions/ free parking available/near Roppongi or Azabu Juban stations)

3:00 to 5:00   

(Please join some of us if you can  for a light dinner in the International House cafe to continue the discussion afterwards)

Our speaker will be Kate Wildman Nakai, professor emerita long at Jochi/Sophia University, and  specializing in Japanese intellectual history especially of the Edo and  modern periods.  

She will focus on the big confrontation in 1932 between the government and Sophia University over the Church's prohibition of Catholics participating in shinto events especially at Yasukuni (Yasukuni sanpai). Her topic grows  out of her research on different stages  in the interaction of Catholic institutions (often  in background and agenda unlike that of  Protestant missionaries with Anglophone "progressive" ideas) and the Japanese state and society  after the  mid 19th century Meiji restoration.  The evolving catholic response to shinto provides a different perspective on the nature of "State Shinto" which is usually examined  thru government policy and promulgation imposed from above rather than its reception and people's response.

Yasukuni shrine is as ever in the news, recently about politicians non-attendance at ceremonies and the Heisei Emperor's  comments marking  the August end of  WWII. Yasukuni  should prove  stimulating  for discussion. 

How have people in the recent past aligned their religious and ethical beliefs to the legal and group demands of their community? Where do each of us stand on important  issues today?

Please join us  and spread the word to others who might be interested.

Peggy Kanada, moderator


As our October 14 UFT speaker we have invited the Rev. Tet Gallardo, from the only Unitarian church in the capital Manila of the Philippines.  Your moderator met this  young and energetic  woman at the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists conference in Kathmandu in February.

In a conservative (even repressive) society what happens to Unitarian progressive ideas?  How do Unitarian values offer something to people  when the religious environment was traditionally Catholic but is  increasingly fundamentalist evangelical  -- especially values about human dignity and rights  for all, including women and those of different sexual orientations?

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