My local supermarket plays Christmas music. Yours probably does too. My neighbors have Christmas trees. So do yours, no doubt. At this time of year, in the major cities if not nationwide, you might almost think you were in a Christian country.
You're not, of course. The trappings are deceptive — decorative, rather. Santa Claus is a jolly old fellow, and Christmas trees are nice. Why not enjoy them? 'Tis the season!
But Christian missionaries find Japan a tough nut to crack. They always have, ever since the first of them, St. Francis Xavier, landed in Kyushu in 1549. His first impression, based on an initially friendly reception, was, "In my opinion no people superior to the Japanese will be found among the unbelievers." Two years later, he left disheartened, calling Japanese Buddhism "an invention of the devil."