The Newsletter 54 Summer 2010

Japan, the Jews, and divine election: Nakada Juji's Christian nationalism

Aike P. Rots

In late 19th and early 20th century Japan, several popular religious movements and ideologies emerged combining nationalist notions on the divine nature of the Japanese people and country with millenarian beliefs in the imminent replacement of the current world order by a perfect new world. ‘New religions’ such as Omoto and Soka Gakkai drew on existing Shinto and Buddhist notions, reinterpreting them in the context of modern Japanese society. Other movements and religious leaders at the time used millenarian and nationalist notions in their attempts to reconcile an imported Christian belief system with their Japanese identity. Aike Rots examines one of these leaders, the evangelist, theologian and missionary Nakada Juji (1870-1939).

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