Japan, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part I: Any Witness?

By COGwriter

Japan has been one of the world's most influential countries in the past several decades. Its industrial progress has long been the envy of many nations. It was probably the first Asian country to be considered to be "a first-world country" (with Singapore and Hong Kong other early contenders).

Where did the people of Japan come from? Does the Bible give any mention of those who are Japanese or what might affect many of the Japanese in the future? Do Japanese or Chinese history in any way support the early Biblical narratives? Was there ever any Church of God influence in Japan itself?

This series of articles will attempt to provide some answers to these questions.

Where do the Japanese Come From?

The Bible teaches that all peoples descended from Adam and Eve:

And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20, NKJV throughout unless otherwise noted).

This would include those now considered to be Japanese, as well as all other groups and races of humans. Interestingly, Japanese mythology teaches that the gods made a male (Izanagi) and a female (Izanami), from whom others on the earth descended.

Noah had three sons. And one of them, Japheth, is believed to be the father of the oriental races, which would include the Japanese. The Bible teaches:

The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations (Genesis 10:2-5).

Here is one researcher's view (bolding mine):

In China, along the coast, there was a people called Three Han by the early Chinese writers. Han may be a derivative of Javan or Yahan...The three were Ma-Han, Shon-Han and the Pien-Ha. There is, as Bishop writes, a very close relationship between them and the people who settled Japan. No doubt they were the the very ones who settled Japan later...

Of further interest is the statement in a Japanese document compiled in 720 A.D., the Nihon shoki (Chronicles of Japan), that Ninigi, a forefather of their race, had four sons. This may have been Javen who also had four sons...

Where does the name Japan come from?

Very likely from Javan. From one son descended the Japanese emperor Jemmu Tenno. This son was named Po-wori which means "FireBender" and may be compared to Tarshish which means smelter or refiner (In Search of...The Origin of Nations. History Research Projects. 2003, pp. 164-165).

Some within Church of God circles have also speculated that the Japanese may have descended from Ashkenaz, a son of Gomer (e.g. Generations of Japheth. Church of God News. Chicago District, 1965) or Togarmah, another of Gomer's son; the old Plain Truth magazine stated, "Japan is Tarshish of Asia in Bible prophecy (Plache RF, Lexander GL. Japan's New Role in Asia. Plain Truth, April 1968, p. 27). Protestants commentators tend to accept that the oriental peoples descended from Japheth, but normally do not consider that Magog's descendants are Japanese.

The Catholic Encyclopedia seems to believe that Magog might be identified with Lydia, but its older scholars were less sure where the Japanese originally came from:

Japan, called in the language of the country Nihon or Nippon (Land of the Rising Sun), and Dai Nihon or Dai Nippon (Great Japan), is situated north-west of the Pacific Ocean and east of the Asiatic Continent...

Much obscurity surrounds the origin of the Japanese people. The primitive population, besides being very sparse, appears to have belonged wholly to the people called Ainos. Beyond a doubt these came from the Asiatic continent by way of the North. They were conquered by other immigrants more powerful than themselves who came from the South. The best of these Ainos seemed to have accepted the civilization of their masters and became united with them, and from the fusion of these two races are descended the Japanese of today (Japan, 1910).

Irrespective of which son or grandson of Noah the Japanese peoples descended from and precisely what route they took to get to their current location, the Bible specifically teaches that all peoples were together and of the same language until after the tower of Babel:

Now the whole earth had one language and one speech...

And the LORD said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:1,6-9).

Thus, until God confused human language and scattered people abroad, all humans were together and spoke the same language.

If the Bible is true (and I believe that it certainly is) then we would expect that perhaps somewhere the Japanese may have preserved some knowledge of some of the events recorded in the Bible prior to this scattering.

Possible Clues in Japanese Worship

The Shinto religion is one of most popular in Japan.

Altogether, there are 80,000 Shinto shrines in Japan ranging from jingu to simple shrines in rural neighborhoods.

Shinto, like Japan itself, originated in the mists of mythology. Two ancient texts record those myths, but Shinto has no sacred scripture, no Judeo-Christian Bible or Muslim Koran (With a boost from the Internet, Shinto makes comeback in Japan. Washington Times - May 17, 2007).

The lack of a sacred text suggests that its practices would have somehow been passed on orally.

Notice the following report:

Homage to the Land of the Rising Sun Goddess...

Ise is the most venerated shrine in Japan, representing the indigenous religion, Shinto, and the mythical origins of the Japanese people. Literally "the way of the gods", the fundamental belief of Shinto is that spirits (kami) pervade the natural world...

The sacred mirror is kept at Ise, wrapped in a bag, stored in a dark casket on a raised platform, and protected by four surrounding barriers. Inaccessible to the human eye, only 'divine' emperors are permitted to view the relic. When the bag decays over time, it is simply placed in new bag, to avoid defilement. Clues to the origin of the Japanese people may be inscribed on the back of the mysterious mirror.

Dubious individuals, who claim to have seen the mirror, agree that the horizontal writing on the bronze back is distinctly un-Japanese in style and resembles ancient Hebrew or Aramaic, spawning theories that connect the Japanese people to the ancient nomadic Jewish tribes who vanished from history after the Assyrian conquest in 722 BC.

Scholars have found similarities in ancient Hebrew and Japanese ceremonies, priest apparel, the structure and layout of shrines, language used in ancient texts, and the three imperial regalia having been used as tokens of authority. It has also been argued that the Ise Shrine symbol, carved into the stone lamps surrounding the complex, is the Star of David. http://www.theforeigner-japan.com/archives/200405/amaterasu.htm

There appear to basically about four reasons that there could be similarities in ancient Hebrew and Japanese ceremonies:

  1. Only a coincidence, hence irrelevant
  2. Someone traveled to or from the Middle East to or from Japan thousands of years ago.
  3. Part of a "lost tribe" of Israel ended up in Japan.
  4. The Japanese and Hebrew peoples had direct contact because they were with each other until the Tower of Babel .

While the first three are options, biblically we know that the fourth reason is somewhat true (though that does not eliminate the other three). However, since the priesthood was not established in Israel until the time of Moses, some contact after the Moses (who was after the tower of Babel) would have needed to take place for real similarities between their priesthoods to occur (unless somehow God revealed this outside of, and before them the biblical record of priesthood--as the Melchizedek priesthood predated Moses--see Hebrews 7:1-3). How that occurred is not clear, though.

Perhaps it should be mentioned that in Japan there has long been a small Caucasian group who has been there for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is possible that they had some contact with the Middle East and brought that knowledge with them when they end up in Japan.

It also needs to be realized that many in Japan do not believe in any God and still are looking for proof of His existence (two articles of possible interest may include Is God's Existence Logical? and Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God's Existence Logical? Part II).

Chinese Characters May Also Provide a Clue

Chinese characters are essentially the symbolic representation of words. It is my understanding that both the Chinese and Japanese languages share some of the same characters, and though they pronounce the words differently, thus a few of the characters have the same meaning in Japanese as they do in Chinese. There are over 600 symbols Chinese characters, and although some were changed in the 20th century, most still are essentially the same as they were thousands of years ago. (Now since I do not read Chinese, or Japanese, I am relying exclusively on the works of others--quite heavily from Kees Noorlander from http://www.morgenster.org/signs.htm from which this portion of this paper is indebted to, plus a little bit from Babel Fish by Alta Vista, and quite a bit from http://www.zhongwen.com/ and from the book The Discovery of Genesis).

Anyway, since the characters had to start from somewhere (and biblically they would have started sometime after the construction of the tower of Babel), some have suggested that perhaps these characters help demonstrate that the Chinese characters (and Japanese for that matter) demonstrate that they were familiar with some of the events recorded in the first chapters of the Book of Genesis.

Wikipedia confirms that the basis of even modern Japanese writing comes from Chinese characters. Notice from its article titled Japanese writing system:

Modern Japanese uses three main scripts:

Kanji (漢字) are used for:

The Japanese term kanji (漢字) literally means "Han characters".

Since I am interested in what the Japanese may have known about thousands of years ago, the fact that kanji has basis in ancient Chinese writings shows that Chinese characters do help demonstrate that the Japanese people may have had some early witness to certain events recorded in the Bible. And while it is not clear when the Japanese began using those characters, I suspect that it is much earlier than some think. And even if it was a late as the fourth century (as one Wikipedia source indicated), I suspect that the Japanese had through other traditions, knowledge of what the Chinese characters seem to represent.

Anyway, let's look at something that, the Book of Genesis records:

The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden...The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden...Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. (Genesis 2:8,9, 10).

The term English term garden can be represented by the Chinese word tièn (also spelled tián) which is the symbol shown below:


The Chinese symbol is four irrigation channels within an area of land. Or it possibly may be the four rivers with a type of tree in the middle of it.

Was that symbol influenced by the events recorded in the Bible or is this a coincidence?

It is difficult to know for certain as there are other Chinese symbols that can be used instead for garden.

However, there are several other characters to explore.

There were two famous trees in the Garden of Eden:

The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9).

Recall that God gave Adam one command after placing him in the garden:

Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Gen 2:15-17).

It is of interest to note that a Chinese symbol for Prohibition is the combination of the symbols for two trees (mù) and command:

jìnjin líng sji
To Prohibit
= Tree + (Divine) Command

It should be noted that God, while He originally prohibited one tree, later prohibited access to the second tree (see Genesis 3:22-24).

In Genesis Eve stated:

We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden (Genesis 3:2).

It is also of interest to note that the Chinese symbol for Fruit is the combination of the symbols for tree and garden:

guo moe tièn
Fruit = Tree + Garden

While Adam and Eve were in the garden, the devil decided to implement his plan to alienate humans from God. His plan was to suggest that God withheld secret information for the humans in the garden.

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' " Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:1-5).

Notice that the Chinese symbol for Devil is composed of the characters for secret, person, and garden:

gui si eer tièn
Devil = Secret + Person + Garden

Sadly, Eve seemed to believe the devil as she desired to benefit from the fruit of the tree that was prohibited:

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate (Genesis 3:6).

God decided later to prohibit the second tree lest Eve and others desired it so much that they would go for it as well (see Genesis 3:22-24).

Notice the symbol for the Chinese word lán for desire or greed is a combination of the symbols for woman and two trees:

lá nu líng
= Woman + Trees

After succumbing to temptation, humans noticed that they were naked:

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. (Genesis 3:7).

Notice that the Chinese symbol for being naked has to do with clothing, one tree (the one that Adam and Eve were originally told not to eat from perhaps), and a garden with four irrigation canals:

loor ie moe tièn
Naked = Clothing + Tree + Garden

After Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden they had children. On of their sons was Abel, who raised and sacrificed sheep:

Now Abel was a keeper of sheep...Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering (Genesis 4:2,4).

Notice what a Chinese character meaning righteous is made of:

ie jang so kur
Righteous(ness) = Sheep + Hand + Lance

Interestingly, the New Testament account of Abel refers to:

...the blood of righteous Abel (Matthew 23:35).

Notice how the Chinese symbol agrees with the New Testament account that essentially the sacrifice of sheep (by Abel, for example) was righteous.

Since Christ was our Passover lamb sacrificed us, and that through Him we attain righteousness at least one has speculated that perhaps that is why the following symbol for righteousness was somehow chosen (since the combination of the symbol for hand and lance can mean us):

ie jang wò
Righteous(ness) = Sheep + I, Us

And while it is NOT likely that this was determined by the Chinese or Japanese after Jesus' crucifixion, it is a fact that Abel and Noah, who the Bible calls righteous, sacrificed clean animals such as sheep.

Many know that Chinese history contains an account of some type of worldwide flood. There may be a couple of aspects of it preserved in its characters.

Notice a couple of statements in the Bible concerning the flood:

Then the LORD said to Noah, "Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. (Genesis 7:1).

...in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water (1 Peter 3:20).

A Chinese word chuán for a type of boat is:

chuán ba kou tso
Boat = 8 + Mouth + Little Boat,

It may be of interest to note that one of the Chinese symbols for flood (chong) is a combination of an inverted symbol meaning "first Earthly branch" and eight (the term for eight may instead mean "person remaining""--that of itself is interesting as that the symbol for eight and "person remaining" look about the same--recall that on the ark there were only eight persons remaining alive).

Now while some do not believe that the Japanese have evidence of a great flood in their mythology, this is not quite the case. Actually, they have a legend that the first people arrived the world did not have land (the Bible shows in Genesis 1:9 that at first there was no land and also that there was none during the flood, Genesis 7:17-19). Japanese mythology also records that their children were sent out floating on water and that initially the 8 major islands of Japan formed--hence they tie some type of covered earth, with some type of boat, with a beginning of 8.

Wikipedia reports:

The first gods summoned two divine beings into existence, the male Izanagi and the female Izanami, and charged them with creating the first land...Eventually they wished to mate, so they built a pillar called Amenomihashira around which they built a palace called Yahirodono (the hall whose area is 8 arms' length squared). Izanagi and Izanami circled the pillar in opposite directions, and when they met on the other side Izanami, the female deity, spoke first in greeting. Izanagi didn't think that this was proper, but they mated anyway. They had two children, Hiruko (watery child) and Awashima (pale island) but they were badly-formed and are not considered deities.

They put the children into a boat and set them out to sea, and then petitioned the other gods for an answer as to what they had done wrong. They were told that the male deity should have spoken first in greeting during the ceremony. So Izanagi and Izanami went around the pillar again, and this time when they met Izanagi spoke first and their union was successful.

From their union were born the Ōyashima, or the eight great islands of Japan (Japanese Mythology. Wikipedia. 5/20/07).

It is also of interest to note that the Bible shows that Adam and Eve and problems with their first two children (Cain killed Abel, Genesis 4:8), Japanese mythology claims that the first two children were a problem and were sent away (in the biblical account Abel is dead, but Cain is sent away, Genesis 4:8-15). Hence there seems to be some distant ties to Genesis in some Japanese mythology.

The Bible records that after the flood, humans stayed together and built a tower:

Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." (Genesis 11:1-4).

But God did not care for this:

But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." (Genesis 11:5-7).

It is highly likely that when people saw others speaking foreign languages, that they thought that somehow something at this tower affected their mouths. Notice the following Chinese symbol of a tower.

tga tsan toe dzjen ie kou
Tower = Grass + Clay + Mankind + 1 + Mouth

The tower of Babel was built with bricks (grass and clay) and humans originally had one language (or mouth). It is possible that this symbol is showing that the ancient Chinese recognized a connection to the biblical tower of Babel.

The Bible shows that after God confused the languages in Babel that He scattered humans all over:

So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth (Genesis 11:8-9).

The Bible also mentions:

To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother's name was Joktan (Genesis 10:25).

Now whether it was just the scattering of humans that occurred in Peleg's time, or that the earth had continental divisions at that time is not completely clear. What is clear, however, is that humans did separate essentially by language and ethnicity thousands of years ago.

Chinese Characters Predate Moses

While researching this paper I came across a quote that perhaps should be placed here:

...the ancient Chinese people were quite familiar with the same record which the Hebrew Moses is popularly given credit for writing some 700 to 1,000 years later. Imagine this information being stored in special characters that were in use hundreds of years before the first page of the Bible was written! (Kang C.H., Nelson E.R. The Discovery of Genesis: How the Truths of Genesis Were Found Hidden in the Chinese Language. Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1979, p. 5)

Notice that the development of Chinese characters predates the writing of the Book of Genesis. Thus, the Chinese characters seem to provide an 'independent' account that verifies portions of the accounts in Genesis. This seems also to be the case for Japanese characters.

Continuing, the authors of the previous citation go so far as to state:

Moreover we believe that the Chinese actually employed this historical knowledge as one small facet in the process of building their written language. The significance of this claim is broad. But most important, it appears to us to give support and added acceptance of the much slandered account of Biblical Genesis (Ibid).

Thus, the existence of these characters should be a comfort to the Chinese and Japanese that their ancestors did have some type of biblical witness, as well as the modern believers that even in a land as removed as it is from the Middle East, the Chinese did know about various portions of the Genesis account. And since their characters were developed prior to Moses writing Genesis, their very existence provides additional verification that the events were known for many thousands of years.

Comments Concerning the 20th Century and Beyond for the Japanese

Related to the Church of God, Seventh Day:

1922: Activity Expands...Some 150 letters were sent to prospective ministers in foreign fields...China, Africa, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Japan, Philippines, western and eastern India, South America, and other places...These were Sabbath-keeping ministers...(Nickels R.C. History of the Seventh Day Church of God. 1988, pp. 98-99)

So, there were Sabbath-keeping ministers and presumably members in Japan in the early portion of the 20th century.

In the latter portion of the 20th century, those in the Church of God had many contacts with those in Japan. The Plain Truth magazine of February 1963 proclaimed that Japan was to be a future super-power, which it economically did become. However the Plain Truth magazine of February 1989 warned that Japan's growth was not unstoppable and that it would be expected to have problems. The proclamations in both of those articles was correct.

During the 20th century, the founder of the Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong, had many contacts with the leadership in Japan. He personally met many of Japan's prime ministers and also knew many in the Japanese Diet (the Japanese version of Congress). And while none of them converted, they deeply respected Herbert Armstrong and his work. Through his personal contacts, Herbert Armstrong attempted to get out the message of the coming kingdom of God to as much of the leadership in Japan as possible.

Prince Mikasa and Herbert W. Armstrong

Herbert W. Armstrong with then Prince Mikasa

Prime Minister Nakasone

Herbert W. Armstrong with then Prime Minister Nakasone

Here is some of what Herbert Armstrong wrote about one of those many trips to Japan in his February 25, 1982 Brethren/Co-Worker Letter:

“I have just returned from a very busy trip to Honolulu, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Thailand, Manila, Philippines, and Tokyo, and am writing in flight to Big Sandy, Texas, to speak before the college and Church there...

“In Tokyo I also was guest speaker at a prestigious banquet of some 400 leading Japanese, including Prince Mikasa, brother of the Emperor, and his wife Princess Mikasa, several congressmen of the Japanese Diet who call themselves my ‘Japanese sons,’ 21 ambassadors from 21 other nations and many leading citizens. Some of these speeches will be telecast on my weekly TV program in some three or four weeks..."

He also wrote:

In this Work of the living God, the new Foundation (the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation -- AICF) is making a sensational start. Several prominent Members of the Japanese Diet (their Congress) are coming to Pasadena for an important meeting here next Wednesday night. I shall be leaving the next morning for Tokyo, for a meeting there, to be followed by meetings in Bangkok and Munich, West Germany.

Wednesday, August 27, 1975: Morning news on radio and television -- too late for morning papers -- Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is dead. Nothing more than that announced so far. No one knows where he has been held, except a few top officials of the new military government which overthrew his government about a year ago, taking the Emperor captive. He was just eight days older than I...

Tonight is a big night here on campus. There will be a concert in the new Ambassador Auditorium, and dinner welcoming the Honorable Bunsei Sato and the Honorable Toshio Yamaguchi of Japan, (two of my "Japanese sons"), Members of the Japanese Diet, and the Honorable Keiichi Tachibana, Consul General of Japan (Los Angeles).

Then, early tomorrow I leave for Tokyo ....

December 24, 1976...

I think over, in my mind, about many I have known, some closely and intimately -- now gone! One was Prime Minister Eisaku Sato of Japan ....Before he died last year, he received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Below is a photograph of Herbert Armstrong in Japan taken when he was granted an award from the Emperor of Japan:

Order of the Sacred Treasure

Currently, there are few, if any, Church of God members in Japan.

In the Continuing Church of God we have made certain strides in reaching people in Asia, including Japan. Thousands of articles at our websites (which also include www.cogwriter.com and www.ccog.asia) have been viewed by people in Japan, and our YouTube channels (ContinuingCOG channel and Bible News Prophecy channel) are available to be watched from those in Japan (but our statistics program does not tell us how many are watched by country).

Although we currently do not have literature in the Japanese language, until around June 2013, we had none in Mandarin Chinese, and now, because of a volunteer, we have many articles, as well as our magazine in Mandarin Chinese. Perhaps something like that will open up in Japanese, too, if God moves someone's heart with such talents to support the final phase of the work before (Matthew 24:14; Daniel 11:32) the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord.

The Japanese are a proud people and God is not calling a lot of "important people," from a worldly perspective, now. Notice what the Apostle Paul taught:

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence (1 Cor 1:26-29).

This does not mean that those who are Japanese are lost as God has a plan to offer all who ever lived salvation (nor does it mean that God is not calling any Japanese now). While relatively few Japanese are being called now, all will ultimately be called.

This is discussed in the articles Universal Salvation? There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis and Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants. As well as the next part of this article, which is titled Japan, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: Prophecy.

The Japanese are also a fairly stressed people. And they have an emptiness that many try to fill with worldly pursuits such as shopping (the Japanese put more emphasis on shopping than perhaps any other people in the world). Both their children (due to schooling) and their adults work longer than nearly any other people on earth. Like many peoples on the planet (please see the article The Bible and tradition), the Japanese are also affected heavily by their traditions. Traditions that seem to prevent most in Japan from looking into the plan of God or the biblical meaning of life. However, after the resurrection, I believe that the Japanese will realize that God's way of life offers much that their traditions do not (this is not to say that there is never any value to the traditions of Japanese or other cultures, only that traditions should not be used to not follow God's way of life as revealed in the Bible).

Currently, Japanese who wish to learn more about the plan of God and God's truth have access to the internet, some receive literature from various Church of God groups, and some have sometimes visited church services (outside of Japan). That witness is still now available, but additional and more direct witness will be made to the Japanese people in the future.

Concluding Thoughts on Japan

It is possible that some of the ceremonies used in Shinto worship were adaptations of certain Hebrew practices. But this is difficult to know for a fact.

It also is difficult to be absolutely certain when or why the Chinese characters described in this paper were developed. Some, however, do have cross-over into the ancient Japanese characters.

However, it seems reasonable to conclude that these symbols do provide evidence that the biblical accounts of the garden of Eden, the flood, and the tower of Babel--and this did involve peoples, like the Japanese, who do not now live in the Middle East.

Hence, it appears likely that from the beginning of the Japanese peoples, that the ancestors of the modern Japanese may have had some limited understanding of God and some of how He had intervened in the affairs of humankind. They have had some witness, even in modern times, but almost none have had enough of a witness to be called in this age.

But God has much more in mind for the Japanese peoples The Japanese will have additional witnesses, and nearly all Japanese who ever lived will be called and converted. Some of this is discussed in part II of this article titled Japan, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: Prophecy.

Articles of possibly related interest may include:

Japan, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: Prophecy What is prophesied for Japan. Will God save the Japanese?
Universal Salvation? There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants How the COGs differ from mainstream Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a COG background.
Islands and Bible Prophecy What's ahead for islands? What does the Bible prophesy about them?
Is God's Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God's Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what 'pseudo-scientists' refuse to acknowledge.
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know?
The Bible: Fact or Fiction? This is a booklet written by Douglas Winnail that answers if the Bible is just a collection of myths and legends or the inspired word of God.

Back to home page

Thiel B., Ph.D. Japan, Its Biblical Past and Future: Part I: Any Witness?. www.cogwriter,com/japan.htm (c) 2007/2009/2010/2012/2013/2014 0703