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Joji Sakurai

For Joji Sakurai's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Japan's first Christmas

Dec 24, 2016

Japan's first Christmas

In a letter home to Portuguese brethren, Jesuit missionary Pedro de Alcacova writes of singing a Mass to Japanese believers in 1552: "Our voices weren't good," he recalls, "still the Christian believers rejoiced." It was Christmas Eve in Yamaguchi, and the patience, if not faith, ...

Mar 29, 2011

Season of special poignancy

The cherry trees will soon blossom in Japan. It will be a particularly poignant sight. Even in normal times, the "sakura" flowers are a cause for rejoicing tinged with sadness, because they fall at the moment of their greatest beauty. They are the embodiment of ...