Islam in Japan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The history of Islam in Japan is relatively brief in relation to the religion's longstanding presence in other nearby countries. Islam is one of the smallest minority faiths in Japan, having more adherents in the country than the Bahá'í faith, but fewer than Christianity. Japan's Muslim population consists mainly of Indonesians and other small expatriate communities, which represent less than 0.08% of the total population, while the estimated Japanese Muslims consist of less than 0.008% of the total population.

Early history[edit]

There are isolated records of contact between Islam and Japan before the opening of the country in 1853; some Muslims did arrive in earlier centuries.

Medieval records[edit]

The earliest Western records of Japan can be found in the works of the Muslim cartographer Ibn Khordadbeh, who clearly mentions Japan as the "lands of Waqwaq" twice: East of China are the lands of Waqwaq, which are so rich in gold that the inhabitants make the chains for their dogs and the collars for their monkeys of this metal. They manufacture tunics woven with gold. Excellent ebony wood is found there.” And: “Gold and ebony are exported from Waqwaq.[1] Mahmud Kashgari's 11th century atlas indicates the land routes of the Silk Road and Japan in the map's easternmost extent.

Yuan Dynasty's conflict with Japan[edit]

The samurai Suenaga facing Mongol arrows and bombs. Mōko Shūrai Ekotoba (蒙古襲来絵詞), circa 1293

Within Kublai's court, his most trusted governors and advisers appointed by meritocracy with the essence of multiculturalism were: Semu, Hui, Koreans and Chinese.[2][3] Because the Wokou extended support to the crumbling Song dynasty, Kublai Khan initiated the Mongol invasions of Japan.

The court of the Goryeo supplied Korean troops and an ocean-going naval force for the Mongol campaigns. Despite the opposition of some of his Confucian-trained advisers, Kublai decided to invade Japan, Burma, Vietnam, and Java, following the suggestions of some of his Mongol officials. He also attempted to subjugate peripheral lands such as Sakhalin, where its indigenous people eventually submitted to the Mongols by 1308, after Kublai's death.

Ming dynasty records[edit]

A Ryukyuan embassy (favorable to Ming dynasty, China) arrive in Edo.

During the 14th century, Hongwu Emperor of the Ming dynasty made Ryukyu Kingdom a tributary vassal, and ethnic Chinese settlers consolidated the islands for their ruler in Nanjing.

During that period there was contact between the Hui, general Lan Yu of the Ming dynasty and the swordsmiths of Japan. According to Chinese sources, Lan Yu owned 10,000 Katana, Hongwu Emperor was displeased with the general's links with Kyoto and more than 15,000 people were implicated for alleged treason and executed.[4][5]

By the 15th century Yongle Emperor's fleets perhaps reached Ryukyu Kingdom attempting to consolidate the strategic security of their vassals in the Japanese islands.[6] between 1416 and 1419.

Portuguese records[edit]

Early European accounts of Muslims and their contacts with Japan were maintained by Portuguese sailors who mention a passenger aboard their ship, an Arab who had preached Islam to the people of Japan. He had sailed to the islands in Malacca in 1555.[7][8]

Modern records[edit]

The first modern[clarification needed] Muslim contacts[clarification needed] were with Indonesians who served aboard British and Dutch ships in the late 19th century.[citation needed]

In the late 1870s, the biography of Muhammad was translated into Japanese. This helped Islam spread and reach the Japanese people, but only as a part of the history of cultures.[citation needed]

Another important contact was made in 1890 when the Ottoman Empire dispatched a naval vessel to Japan for the purpose of saluting the visit of Japanese Prince Komatsu Akihito to Constantinople several years earlier. This frigate was called the Ertugrul, and was destroyed in a storm along the coast of Wakayama Prefecture on September 16, 1890.[citation needed]

20th century[edit]

The first Japanese to go on the Hajj was Kotaro Yamaoka. He converted to Islam in 1909 in Bombay, after coming into contact with Russian-born writer, Abdürreşid İbrahim, whereupon he took the name Omar Yamaoka. Both were traveling with the support of nationalistic Japanese groups like the Black Dragon Society (Kokuryūkai), Yamaoka in fact had been with the intelligence service in Manchuria since the Russo-Japanese war. His official reason for travelling was to seek the Sultan's approval for building a mosque in Tokyo. This approval was granted in 1910, and the mosque was completed in 1938.

Another early Japanese convert was Bunpachiro Ariga, who about the same time went to India for trading purposes and converted to Islam under the influence of local Muslims there, and subsequently took the name Ahmed Ariga. Yamada Toajiro was from 1892 for almost twenty years the only resident Japanese trader in Constantinople.[9] During this time he served unofficially as consul. He converted to Islam, and took the name Abdul Khalil, and made a pilgrimage to Mecca on his way home.

The real Muslim community life however did not start until the arrival of several hundred Turko-Tatar Muslim refugees from Central Asia and Russia in the wake of the October Revolution. These Muslims, who were given asylum in Japan, settled in several main cities and formed small communities. They are estimated at less than 600 in 1938 for Japan proper, a few thousand on the continent. Some Japanese converted to Islam through contact with these Muslims.

The Kobe Mosque was built in 1935 with the support of the Turko-Tatar community of traders there. The Tokyo Mosque, planned since 1908 was finally completed in 1938, with generous financial support from the zaibatsu. Its first imams were Abdürreşid İbrahim (1857–1944), who had returned in 1938, and Abdulhay Qorbangali (1889–1972). Japanese Muslims played little role in building these mosques. To date there have been no Japanese who have become Imam of any of the mosques with the exception of Shaykh Ibrahim Sawada, Imam of the Ahlulbayt Islamic Centre in Tokyo.[10]

Some Shia Muslim families who were stationed in Tokyo in the 1960s established the first Azadari in Japan. It was mostly a family affair. In the 1970s, a Pakistani businessman, Syed Ashiq Ali Bukhari, initiated first and majlis were held in his and his friend Nazim Zaidi's residence on a small scale. They would host majlis in their home from the 7th Muharram till the 12th Muharram. Initially it was mostly audio tapes and later the video tapes were used. This continued till sometime late '70 s when Shia Pakistanis and Iranian workers started coming into Japan. Then with their help the Muharram / Majlis took a more organized Azadari form in Tokyo. From that time onwards each year during Muharram Azadari is performed.

The Greater Japan Muslim League (大日本回教協会 Dai Nihon Kaikyō Kyōkai?) founded in 1930, was the first official Islamic organisation in Japan. It had the support of imperialistic circles during World War II, and caused an "Islamic Studies Boom".[11] During this period, over 100 books and journals on Islam were published in Japan. While these organizations had their primary aim in intellectually equipping Japan's forces and intellectuals with better knowledge and understanding of the Islamic world, dismissing them as mere attempts to further Japan's aims for a "Greater Asia" does not reflect the nature of depth of these studies. Japanese and Muslim academia in their common aims of defeating Western colonialism had been forging ties since the early twentieth century, and with the destruction of the last remaining Muslim power, the Ottoman Empire, the advent of hostilities in World War II and the possibility of the same fate awaiting Japan, these academic and political exchanges and the alliances created reached a head. Therefore, they were extremely active in forging links with academia and Muslim leaders and revolutionaries, many of whom were invited to Japan.

Nationalistic organizations like the Ajia Gikai were instrumental in petitioning the Japanese government on matters such as officially recognizing Islam, along with Shintoism, Christianity and Buddhism as a religion in Japan, and in providing funding and training to Muslim resistance movements in Southeast Asia, such as the Hizbullah, a resistance group funded by Japan in the Dutch Indies.

Shūmei Ōkawa, by far the highest-placed and most prominent figure in both Japanese government and academia in the matter of Japanese-Islamic exchange and studies, managed to complete his translation of the Qur'an in prison, while being prosecuted as an alleged class-A war criminal by the victorious Allied forces for being an 'organ of propaganda'. Charges were dropped for his erratic behaviour officially; however historians have speculated that the weakness of the charges against him was more likely the true reason. While Okawa did display unusual behaviour during the trial such as rapping on the head of Hideki Tōjō, he also stated that the trial was a farce and unworthy of being called one.[citation needed]

He was transferred to a hospital on official claims of mental instability and then prison, and freed not long thereafter, dying a Muslim in 1957 after a quiet life where he continued lecturing, on his return to his home village and his wife, who survived him. He claimed to have seen visions of Muhammad in his sleep.[citation needed]

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established in 1935 in Japan.[12]

Chinese Muslims fought against Japan during World War II. The Hui Muslim Imam Da Pusheng 达浦生 toured the Middle East to confront Japanese propagandists in Arab countries and denounce their invasion to the Islamic world. He directly confronted Japanese agents in Arab countries and challenged them in public over their propaganda. He went to British India, Hejaz in Saudi Arabia and Cairo in Egypt. An anti-Japanese 8 month tour to spread awareness of the war in Muslim nations was undertaken by Muslim Shanghai Imam Da Pusheng.[13] Misinformation on the war was spread in the Islamic Middle Eastern nations by Japanese agents. In response, in the World Islamic Congress in Hejaz, Imam Du openly confronted fake Muslim Japanese agents and exposed them as non-Muslims. Japan's history of imperialism was explained by Du to his fellow Muslims. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the future founder of Pakistan, met with Imam Du. The anti Japanese war effort in China received a pledge of support from Jinnah.[14] Imam Du participated in Chengda.[15] The anti-Japanese tour took place in 1938 in the Middle East by Da.[16] From 1938 to 1948 Da served on China's National Military Council. In 1923 he completed his education at Al Azhar.[17] China's Four Great Imams counted him as one of their members.[18]

Post–World War II[edit]

In the 1970s, another "Islamic Boom" occurred, this time due to the "Arab Boom" after the 1973 oil crisis. After realizing the importance of the Middle East and its massive oil reserves for the Japanese economy, the Japanese mass media have since been giving big publicity to the Muslim World in general and the Arab World in particular.[citation needed]

The Turks have been the biggest Muslim community in Japan until recently.

The Japanese invasion of China and South East Asian regions during the Second World War brought the Japanese in contact with Muslims. Those who converted to Islam through them returned to Japan and established in 1953, the first Japanese Muslim organisation, the Japan Muslim Association under the leadership of Sadiq Imaizumi.

The second president of the association was the Umar Mita, who was typical of the old generation, learning Islam in the territories occupied by the Japanese Empire. He was working for the Manshu Railway Company, which virtually controlled the Japanese territory in the northeastern province of China at that time. Through his contacts with Chinese Muslims, he became a Muslim in Peking. When he returned to Japan after the war, he made the Hajj, the first Japanese in the post-war period to do so. He also made a Japanese translation of the Qur'an from a Muslim perspective for the first time. Aljazeera also made a documentary regarding Islam and Japan called "Road to Hajj – Japan".[19]

Though many Islamic organisations were established since the 1900s, each of them had only very few active members.[citation needed]

Muslim demographics[edit]

The Muslim community in Japan has a history of over 100 years, although some sources disagree.[20][21][22] Historian Caeser E. Farah documented that in 1909 Abdul-Rashid Ibrahim was the first Muslim who successfully converted the first ethnic Japanese, and in 1935 Kobe Mosque—Japan's first Islamic building—was constructed.[20][23] On 12 May 1938, a Mosque was dedicated in Tokyo.[24]

In 1941, one of the chief sponsers of the Tokyo Mosque asserted that the number of Muslims in Japan numbered 600, with just three or four being native Japanese.[24] Some sources state that in 1982 the Muslims numbered 30,000 (half were natives).[20] Some ethnic Japanese women during the economic boom of the 1980s converted when large numbers of immigrants from Asia came and mixed with the local population.[25] Most estimates of the Muslim population have been around 100,000 total.[20][26][27] Islam remains a minority religion in Japan, and there is no evidence as to whether its numbers are increasing. Conversion is more prominent among young ethnic Japanese married women, as claimed by the The Modern Religion as early as the 1990s.[25] The true size of the Muslim population in Japan remains a matter of speculation. Some Muslim organizations and media reports have put the number of Muslims in Japan at up to 100,000. The most serious work on this question has been done by Japanese scholars such as Hiroshi Kojima of the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research and Keiko Sakurai of Waseda University. Their estimates suggest a Muslim population of around 70,000, of which perhaps 90% are resident foreigners and about 10% native Japanese.[21][26]

(In Japan the government does not take religion into account as part of the demographic concern under religious freedom. As Michael Penn states, "The Japanese government does not keep any statistics on the number of Muslims in Japan. Neither foreign residents nor ethnic Japanese are ever asked about their religion by official government agencies."[26])

Mosques[edit]

According to japanfocus.org, as of 2009 there were 30 to 40 single-story mosques in Japan plus another 100 or more apartment rooms set aside for prayers in the absence of more suitable facilities.[28]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Saudi Aramco World: The Seas of Sindbad
  2. ^ 1001 Years of Missing Martial Arts
  3. ^ History of Yuan 『元史』 卷十二 本紀第十二 世祖九 至元十九年七月壬戌(August 9, 1282)「高麗国王請、自造船百五十艘、助征日本。」
  4. ^ (二十六年二月,錦衣衛指揮蔣瓛告玉謀反,下吏鞫訊。獄辭雲:「玉同景川侯曹震、鶴慶侯張翼、舳艫侯硃壽、東莞伯何榮及吏部尚書詹徽、戶部侍郎傅友文等謀為變,將伺帝出耤田舉事。」獄具,族誅之。列侯以下坐黨夷滅者不可勝數。手詔佈告天下,條列爰書為《逆臣錄》。至九月,乃下詔曰:「藍賊為亂,謀泄,族誅者萬五千人。自今胡黨、藍黨概赦不問。」胡謂丞相惟庸也。於是元功宿將相繼盡矣。凡列名《逆臣錄》者,一公、十三侯、二伯。葉升前坐事誅,胡玉等諸小侯皆別見。其曹震、張翼、張溫、陳桓、硃壽、曹興六侯,附著左方。)
  5. ^ Others implicated in the Lan Yu Case include: Han Xun (韓勛), Marquis of Dongping (東平侯); Cao Tai (曹泰), Marquis of Xuanning (宣寧侯); Cao Xing (曹興), Marquis of Huaiyuan (懷遠侯); Ye Sheng (葉升), Marquis of Jingning (靖寧侯); Cao Zhen (曹震), Marquis of Jingchuan (景川侯); Zhang Wen (張溫), Marquis of Huining (會寧侯); Chen Huan (陳桓), Marquis of Puding (普定侯); Zhang Yi (張翼), Marquis of Heqing (鶴慶侯); Zhu Shou (朱壽), Marquis of Zhulu (舳艫侯); Chahan (察罕), Marquis of Haixi (海西侯); Sun Ke (孫恪), Marquis of Quanning (全寧侯); He Rong (何榮), Count of Dongguan (東莞伯); Sang Jing (桑敬), Count of Huixian (徽先伯)
  6. ^ Joseph Needham, Colin A. Ronan. The Shorter Science and Civilisation in China:. Cambridge University Press, 1986. p. 131. ISBN 0521315603. 
  7. ^ "Islam In Japan". Islamic Japanese. Retrieved 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  8. ^ Asia in the Making of Europe, Volume I: The Century of Discovery. - Donald F. Lach - Google Books
  9. ^ His memoirs: Toruko Gakan, Tokyo 1911
  10. ^ "Alquran 10". Alquran2007.com. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  11. ^ Most of its produced literature is preserved in the Waseda University Library([1] Catalogue)
  12. ^ Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosques Around the World, p. 137
  13. ^ Zhufeng Luo (January 1991). Religion Under Socialism in China. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 50–. ISBN 978-0-87332-609-4. 
  14. ^ http://www.88dict.com/archives/485094/ http://archive. is/jDCDc
  15. ^ http://www.cairn.info/resume.php?ID_ARTICLE=EXTRO_033_0143
  16. ^ Archives de sciences sociales des religions. Centre national de la recherche scientifique (France). 2001. p. 29. 
  17. ^ Wolfgang Bartke (1 January 1997). Who was Who in the People's Republic of China: With more than 3100 Portraits. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 71–. ISBN 978-3-11-096823-1. 
  18. ^ Stephane A. Dudoignon; Komatsu Hisao; Kosugi Yasushi (27 September 2006). Intellectuals in the Modern Islamic World: Transmission, Transformation and Communication. Routledge. pp. 321–. ISBN 978-1-134-20597-4. 
  19. ^ "Road to Hajj — Japan - 26 Nov 09 - Pt 1". YouTube. 26 November 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  20. ^ a b c d E. Farah, Caesar (25 April approximately 600, 2003). Islam: Beliefs and Observations. Barron's Educational Series; 7th Revised edition. ISBN 978-0-7641-2226-2.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  21. ^ a b Yasunori, Kawakami; JapanFocus.org (May 30, 2007). "Local Mosques and the Lives of Muslims in Japan". JapanFocus.org. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  22. ^ "Islam in Japan". Mission Islam.com. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  23. ^ Penn, M., "Islam in Japan", Harvard Asia Quarterly Vol. 10, No. 1, Winter 2006. Retrieved February 26, 2007.
  24. ^ a b R&A No. 890 1943, p. 1
  25. ^ a b Y. Nakano, Lynne; Japan Times Newspaper (November 19, 1992). "Marriages lead women into Islam in Japan". Japan Times. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  26. ^ a b c Penn, Michael. "Islami in Japan". Harvard Asia Quarterly. Archived from the original on 2 February 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2008. 
  27. ^ International Religious Freedom Report 2008 - Saudi Arabia
  28. ^ "JapanFocus". JapanFocus. Archived from the original on February 19, 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 

References[edit]

  • Abu Bakr Morimoto, Islam in Japan: Its Past, Present and Future, Islamic Centre Japan, 1980
  • Arabia, Vol. 5, No. 54. February 1986/Jamad al-Awal 1406
  • Hiroshi Kojima, "Demographic Analysis of Muslims in Japan," The 13th KAMES and 5th AFMA International Symposium, Pusan, 2004
  • Michael Penn, "Islam in Japan: Adversity and Diversity," Harvard Asia Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 1, Winter 2006
  • Keiko Sakurai, Nihon no Musurimu Shakai (Japan's Muslim Society), Chikuma Shobo, 2003
  • Esenbel, Selcuk; Japanese Interest in the Ottoman Empire; in: Edstrom, Bert; The Japanese and Europe: Images and Perceptions; Surrey 2000
  • Esenbel, Selcuk; Inaba Chiharū; The Rising Sun and the Turkish Crescent; İstanbul 2003, ISBN 975-518-196-2
  • A fin-de-siecle Japanese Romantic in Istanbul: The life of Yamada Torajirō and his Turoko gakan; Bull SOAS, Vol. LIX-2 (1996), S 237-52....
  • Research and Analysis Branch (15 May 1943). "Japanese Infiltration Among the Muslims Throughout the World (R&A No. 890)" (PDF). Office of Strategic Services. U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Library. 

External links[edit]