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History Japan

Xavier's Legacies

Catholicism in Modern Japanese Culture

edited by Kevin M. Doak

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2011
Japan, History, Growth, Sociology of Religion, Missions
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2011
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2012
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2011
    List Price

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Japan has had three Catholic prime ministers, and its current empress was raised and educated in the faith. How did a non-Christian nation come to foster more Catholic leaders than the United States, particularly when Protestantism is said to define Christianity in Japan and Catholicism is believed to be but a fleeting element of Japan’s so-called Christian century? This volume reveals that, far from being a relic of the past – something brought to Japan by missionaries and then forgotten – Catholicism offered, and continues to provide, an authentic and alternative way for Japanese believers to maintain “tradition” and negotiate modernity.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Kevin M. Doak is the Nippon Foundation Chair in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Georgetown University. He is co-editor of the Journal of Japanese Studies and sits on the executive board of the Society for Japanese Studies.


Contributors: James R. Bartholomew, Kevin M. Doak, Ann M. Harrington, Mariko Ikehara, Mark R. Mullins, Toshiko Sunami, Mark Williams, Yoshihisa Yamamoto, and Yoshimitsu Yoshihiko (with Charles C. Campbell)

Editorial Reviews

Makes a much-needed contribution to the study of Christianity in Japan...Xavier's Legacies is a critical contribution and a must-read for serious students ofAsian social and religious studies in the modem period.


At the end, we have been helped to better understand how Japan, after a long and bitter war, managed to enter the community of democratic nations harmoniously...The vast amount of data gathered together in these pages and the thoughtful commentary make this book a most useful resource.

Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 67, No. 1