In lieu of an abstract, below is the essay's first paragraph.
"Shusaku Endo was a Japanese author born in Tokyo in 1923. He was raised by his single mother who became a fervent believer in Christianity. With her influence, Endo himself was baptized by the age of twelve. Having grown up in Japan, Endo was obviously very knowledgeable about Japanese religion and customs and most especially Japanese ideals. He claimed that “the Japanese have a traditional saying to the effect that the four most dreadful things on the earth are fire, earthquakes, thunderbolts, and fathers” (4). Obviously, as this quote illustrates, the image of a strict father is not very appealing to the Japanese; instead, according to Endo, the Japanese prefer the image of a maternal figure. This is precisely why, Endo argues, that the Christian religion is such a minority in Japan. Because God has always been depicted as a stern father in western cultures, Christianity has never caught on in Japan. So to help his Japanese audience better understand his beloved religion, Shusaku Endo wrote the novel called A Life of Jesus. To accomplish this purpose, Endo depicted God and Jesus in a very different way from which western readers are used to seeing. Because the Japanese identify more with the maternal side of things and are more “responsive to one who „suffers with [them]‟”, Endo decided to depict God as a caring maternal figure and Jesus as a man who had such great love that he was willing to die even for those who did not yet believe (1). In this way Endo is able to greatly bring out the humanity of Jesus. When A Life of Jesus is read with this perspective in mind, it makes a lot more sense in terms of the arguments made, the type of soft language used, and the tear jerking metaphors presented. Overall, this book serves its purpose, which is to present and in a way to “sell” Christianity to a Japanese based audience who know very little, if anything, about Jesus."
"Who is Jesus? Reflections on S. Endo's "A Life of Jesus","
Verbum: Vol. 7
, Article 9.
Available at: http://fisherpub.sjfc.edu/verbum/vol7/iss2/9