Hi Zacharyさん, thank you so much for opening up a great conversation!
I would love everyone to jump in and share thoughts on this, and I will start with just a few thoughts from my experience.
One of the biggest challenges I face as a Japanese is the culture of shame. It is incredible how the Japanese people worry about how others are thinking of them. We have a reputation of being polite, but the politeness sometimes could be out of fear of offending people rather than genuine respect and love. Human relationship is always difficult when you make it into an idol in which you find your sense of worth, and it is devastating when bullied and isolated in the community.
This mentality influences Japanese people’s attitude towards faith in so many levels.
For Christians, for example, following Jesus Christ means that you are living a different life from others, but it is terrifying for many of them to be alienated from the rest. Because of the fear, some Japanese Christians won’t tell anyone that they are Christian, not to mention sharing the gospel.
For non-Christians, it is possible that they don’t have many opportunities to talk about faith or religion because no one is talking about it. This would make them difficult to explore religion in general, let alone Christianity.
That is why the good news that we are children of God and loved by God unconditionally no matter how people think of us seems to speak into the heart so vividly. That is so different from what the culture is telling us, and I think that is one of the most powerful messages we have as Christians.
These are my initial thoughts on the Japanese culture, and please feel free to share your thoughts, everyone:)