It is the Christmas season in Japan this year too.
I have been wondering why Japanese people celebrate Christmas day although most of them aren’t Christian.
I had wondered about that ever since my childhood.
I have asked many people for advice so far, but their answers were not really satisfactory.
However, I finally arrived at a conclusion.
To be more precise, I have drawn too general a conclusion over the years.
Why didn’t I pick up on such a simple conclusion?
I’d like to express my opinion.
Though I’m not a Christian, I have a Bible.
The other day, I re-read the Bible after several years, and I realized an important fact at that time.
Modern Japanese people’s moral framework is strongly affected by Christian philanthropy even though most of them aren’t Christian.
Japan is the country of Shinto and Buddhism. So, Japanese people visit Shinto shrines on occasions, and they conduct Buddhist funerals.
However, those religious acts are only a formality, and they are superficial representations.
The majority of modern Japanese people don’t take any religions seriously, but their morals accept Christian philanthropy unconsciously.
Modernization meant Westernization for Japan.
Western culture is closely tied to Christianity.
However, I think that only the practical side of Christianity was accepted by Japanese people as a part of Western culture.
Rational Western culture almost forcibly urged Japanese people to adopt Western values or lifestyles.
But, they didn’t always directly embrace Christianity.
This is because they assumed that they had no religions.
It is a characteristic of the Japanese religious view even to this day.
So, I think that Christian philanthropy is a rational morality for Japanese people to live in peace in Westernized Japan.
Therefore, Christmas day is a practical and gorgeous Western-style event for Japanese people.
So, Christmas day is a day to enjoy as much as possible with their loved ones.
By the way, having a Western-style wedding is very popular among Japanese people.
Its underlying reason is the same as celebrating Christmas day.
An unidentified Western man, who dressed as a pastor or a priest, marries a Japanese couple in a room that resembles a church.
It looks like an extraordinary event. However, no one cares.
As long as they can enjoy the Christian-style atmosphere, they are satisfied.