Saturday, March 07, 2009

Jesus

Out of 127 million people, Japan, known for its Zen religions of Buddhism and Shintoism, holds about 1-2 million Christian residents. Christianity (whose roots are evident during the holiday seasons when plastic waving Santas adorn lawns across the city), is certainly becoming more common, but is still a rare sight in most places.

Recently, though, I have found a couple of, well, interesting references to the good Lord in this seemingly unlikely country. The following two examples have stuck out to me the most, and are definitely worth a try for the oddity-of-the-year award...

#1. This month, Andrew Lloyd Weber's Jesus Christ Superstar is coming to Japan. I would pretend to be even a little bit excited about this, except that, of course, as in all Broadway shows here, the original cast has been replaced by Japanese equivalents who will not only speak in Japanese, but will sing the translated songs in Japanese. And on top of that, in this particular show, Jesus himself will evidently be played by Gene Simmons.


#2. The latest health craze in Japan:
The Jesus Body Diet. I am not even kidding for a second when I say that in seeing this, I was stopped in my tracks. I am also not sure how to comment on this without sounding incredibly offensive (more offensive than the box itself?). One can only wonder who in Hell (pardon the pun) decided to make Jesus the poster boy for this diet fad. I mean, really! Think about this! Is this even a little bit acceptable?


#3. Lastly, a more, well, iconic spot of Biblical proportions. On a recent trip to visit Jono in the northernmost uppers of Japan, a stop at Christ's tomb was a definite. We trekked up stairs and through snow to find the grave of Christ, which is, evidently and interestingly enough, located in Japan. Who would have thought!? We even took it half-seriously, until we read the sign...


I guess I can now finish this line, "You know you've left America when...".

Holy crap...

3 comments:

Carmen said...

Hilarious! I wonder what kind of a body, exactly, is promised? Your hands can now heal? Your feet now can walk on water? Or perhaps after 7 days of use your palms will suddenly begin to bleed as if nails were in them....

And really, we've commodified everything else in the world, including many sacred places and things...Jesus, You were just next.

Jen in Japan said...

Gene Simmons, for reals?

Mom said...

Too funny Wendy - I am sitting here at my desk laughing out loud as I read this - the Gene Simmons comment is priceless!!! You continue to amaze me with your incredible gift of writing - it is so much fun to read your blog.