The triumphant second coming of Endo's 'Silence'

Books Jan 21, 2017

The triumphant second coming of Endo's 'Silence'

by Damian Flanagan

Martin Scorsese's adaptation of "Silence," Shusaku Endo's tale of Catholic missionaries suffering brutal repression in 17th-century Japan, has met with mixed reviews. Some have found it ponderously overlong and, for those unfamiliar with Japanese history, baffling in context. It is, in fact, not a ...

'Silence': A test of faith — and of patience

Film / Reviews Jan 18, 2017

'Silence': A test of faith — and of patience

by James Hadfield

After spending nearly 30 years shepherding his adaptation of Shusaku Endo's "Silence" to the screen, Martin Scorsese may be starting to feel as forsaken as the book's Jesuit protagonist, abandoned by an uncommunicative and apparently uncaring God. The movie has been roundly ignored by ...

Japan's first Christmas

Lifestyle Dec 24, 2016

Japan's first Christmas

by Joji Sakurai

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, ...

Jesus Christ, the Nobel Prize and Shusaku Endo

Books Sep 12, 2015

Jesus Christ, the Nobel Prize and Shusaku Endo

by Damian Flanagan

In 1994, on the day when Kenzaburo Oe was announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature — the second Japanese writer to receive the award — eminent literary scholar Donald Keene received a long-distance call from Peter Owen, publisher of novelist ...

Deep River

Books / Reviews | ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES Dec 13, 2014

Deep River

by Iain Maloney

In "Deep River" a group of elderly Japanese tourists and a couple join a tour of holy Buddhist sites in India. Motivated by different forms of grief and guilt, each is searching for healing. The narrative involves four main characters: Isobe, recently widowed, Kiguchi, ...