Holy Anime!

Japan's View of Christianity

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Patrick Drazen
  • Lanham, MD: 
    Rowman & Littlefield
    , July
     204 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Susan Napier forthcoming.


Christianity has been in Japan for five centuries, but embraced by less than one percent of the population. It’s a complicated relationship, given the sudden appearance in Japan of Renaissance Catholicism which was utterly unlike the historic faiths of Shinto and Buddhism; Japan had to invent a word for “religion” since Japan did not share the west’s reliance on faith in a personal God. Japan’s views of this “outsider” religion resemble America’s view of the “outsider” Islamic faith. Understanding this through the book Orientalism by Edward Said, Patrick Drazen samples depictions of Christianity in the popular Japanese media of comics and cartoons. The book begins with the work of postwar comics master Tezuka Osamu, with results that range from the comic to the revisionist to the blasphemous and obscene.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Patrick Drazen was taught to read before going to kindergarten. Writing took longer to master; his first book, Anime Explosion!, was published in 2002 when he was fifty; A Gathering of Spirits: Japan’s Ghost Story Tradition followed in 2011. In between he was, among other careers, a chauffeur, a legal secretary, and an announcer at Public Radio station WSIU in Carbondale, Illinois.


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