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Useful Notes / Japanese Christian

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A fumi-e stone. 17th-century Japanese Christians (or suspects of being Christian) were forced to trample them to abjure their faith or prove they were not Christians.

Shirou: So what the hell is a big-ass church doing all the way out here? Isn’t only like two percent of Japan Christian anyway?
Rin: Yes, and it just so happens that he and I each make up a percent. Well, three percent if you count Saber. So hell if I know where he gets his money from.
Fate/stay night Abridged

Christianity is rare enough in Japan that a character being explicitly labeled as such is rather unusualnote . This was not always the case. Christianism arrived in the Japanese islands during their first decades of sea trade with the Kingdoms of Portugal's and Spain, producing a fairly substantial Christian base. The first Jesuit mission to Japan started evangelizing the region in 1548, and by 1589, when Spain and Portugal became a dynastic union under Philip II, there were about 200,000 Japanese Christians (amongst a total population of no more than twenty-four million). This was probably the largest overseas Christian community (yes, even more than China or Latin America, despite the substantially higher monetary investment and slight head-start in the latter region) and was unique in that it was mostly staffed and run by ethnic Japanese. Initially, this evangelization effort was allowed and even endorsed by Oda Nobunaga (in a bid to neutralize/strip away the Buddhist temples' influence and opposition to his conquests—not helped by these temples' ties to his daimyo opponents—in a form of Realpolitik).

This was partly because of pre-Tridentine Catholic practice, which was lax and didn't care much for orthodoxy (the priority was on conversion), and Japan's cultural-religious tradition. Like Taoism or Hinduism, Shinto is a polytheistic system of belief without set doctrines or leadership, and is home to several different schools of both. Buddhism, for instance, was almost seamlessly integrated into Shinto within just a century or two of its arrival in the Japanese Islands (at least partly because Orthodox, Chinese-style Buddhism was regarded with suspicion and semi-exterminated). Today, many Buddhist temples coexist with Shinto shrines, and many Japanese people practice both Shinto and Buddhist rituals. The phenomenon of Japanese "martial" Shinto-Buddhism is quite notable in comparison to the pacifistic Indo-Chinese strains of Buddhism. The former arguably — fused with a twisted form of neo-Bushido doctrine — saw something of an apotheosis in the Tokubetsu Kogeki/"Special Attack" units of the final, desperate months of the military's period in power.

Christianity, however, was increasingly seen as a threat to the existing social order. This was exacerbated by the Protestant Dutch, who hoped to undermine their trade rivals by spreading rumors of Spain' and Portugal's previous conquests, driving the paranoia and laying the groundwork for anti-Christian prejudice. It didn't help that diplomatic tension rose between the Iberian ambassadors and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who were initially friendly enough to each other to entertain a joint invasion of China. When the thing proved unfeasable from the Spanish and Portuguese side, Hideyoshi rumoredly considered attacking the Spanish Philippines to forcefully obtaining their help in his upcoming invasion of Korea, which quickly soured the relationships, leading the Iberians to consider an alliance with China against Japan in turn (the rapidly growing commerce between China and Spain, frowned upon by the Japanese and constantly threatened by Japanese piracy, was another point of contempt). The destruction of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples by overzealous missionaries was only the icing on the cake.

Thus, with the ascent of Tokugawa Ieyasu and his devout Buddhist family line (not to mention retainers), Catholic Christians were harshly persecuted during the Edo period (the early 1600s) and driven underground out of fear that Japanese peasants and samurai would feel more loyal to a foreign Pope than their own lord. What followed was a bloodbath, with all priests (Portuguese or otherwise) being expelled or crucified (and yes, they did do that on purpose). Converts were hunted (one practice being that soldiers would go to villages and demand they stomp on a fumi-e, a picture of Jesus or Mary — any which showed hesitation were branded Christians) and sent to Nagasaki to be tortured. If they refused to recant, they were also crucified.

The surviving underground religion became greatly influenced by Buddhism, Taoism, and Shinto. In modern days, with the advent of globalization and the reopening of Japan, it's no surprise that most major Christian sects have a presence (if small) in Japan, although in times of political turmoil they are still often subjected to distrust and persecution, especially churches like the Anglicans and Baptists with ties to foreign countries. This was particularly the case during late Imperial Japan, when the Japanese government tried to nationalize the country's Protestant sects into a single church, the United Church of Christ in Japan (Nihon Kirisuto Kyōdan). Those priests and their followers who refused to cooperate were imprisoned by the government during World War II. Allied bombings further devastated the community, destroying much of the country's churches and cathedrals.

After the war, the Kyōdan allowed other Protestant sects to break off and reform their prewar organizations, and apologized for and disavowed its role in their persecution. It still remains the largest Protestant sect in Japan with 200,000 followers, although groups like the Anglican Episcopal Church in Japan (Nippon Sei Ko Kai) and the Japan Baptist Convention (Nippon Baputesuto Renmei) retain respectable congregations. Even so, Catholics remain by far the largest Christian group with an estimated 440,000 followers in 2014. Today, although Japanese Christians are still very much in the minority, the religion is generally more tolerated than has traditionally been the case.

Nowadays, if a Japanese Christian does appear in anime and manga or even Western media, they will typically be from Kyushu, especially Nagasaki, which has a historically significant Catholic population, or occasionally another area like Tokyo.

Note: This page is for actual Christianity and its followers in Japan. No Fantasy Counterpart Culture, no Crystal Dragon Jesus. For the sake of keeping things simple, Mormons count as Christians on this page. The same goes with other Abrahamic religions like Judaism and Islam.

Related tropes:

  • Anime Catholicism — The fact that Christianity is both unfamiliar and exotic in Japan means that Japanese portrayals of the Roman Catholic Church (and, rarely, other churches; see "Christianity Is Catholic" below) often contain reflections of Japan's own native religions or otherwise distort aspects of Christian beliefs and practices in ways that Western cultures wouldn't.
  • Christmas in Japan — Almost always secular (except when this trope comes into play), and with some different traditions. One of which is that Christmas is considered a couples' holiday, the family holiday being New Year's.
  • Christianity is Catholic — Since Roman Catholicism was the only denomination to ever seriously take root in Japan, it makes sense that most of their portrayals of Christianity as a whole would be influenced to some degree by Roman Catholic practice.
  • Church Militant — These get their own page, so don't list them here unless they have something more to contribute.
  • Faux Symbolism — Christian symbols simply being used for their exotic factor, much like Eastern religious symbols being used in the West for that purpose.
  • Nuns Are Mikos — Because of the mixing of traditions, lack of information, etc. nuns in Japanese fiction are more likely to act as though they were shrine maidens than actual nuns.
  • Weddings in Japan — Conspicuous by being done in the Christian style. Whatever religion they follow, most Japanese aren't strict enough to mind doing another faith's tradition, and Christian weddings are comparably inexpensive and pretty. The usual adage about the Japanese's tendency to mash up religious practices is: "Born Shinto, marry Christian, die Buddhist".note 

Here's The Other Wiki's page on the matter. See also the Sengoku Period.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Amakusa 1637: Action Girl Natsuki Hayami, her boyfriend Masaki Miyamoto and their friends are students from a Catholic school who get Trapped in the Past... and arrive to the Nagasaki of few before the tragic rebellion by Shiro Amakusa. Natsuki, being a bifauxnen and Amakusa's genderflipped Identical Stranger, sets out alongside her friends to change history and avert the massacre. They sort-of succeed.
  • 20th Century Boys: Father Nitani helps out La Résistance from his Church in Kabuki. He's also a close personal friend of The Pope.
  • Akuma na Eros: Miu Sakurai and Shion Amamiya attend a Catholic school and are Japanese Christians. The manga starts with Miu praying in the school chapel, and then Amamiya walks in and talks to her. There's a major subversion, though: Amamiya is actually an angel under the disguise of a Christian boy.
  • Blade of the Immortal: There is a half-Portuguese underground Christian character, Isaku Yasonokami.
  • Blood: The Last Vampire: Saya's teacher is a Christian and wears a cross necklace, which pisses off Saya because crosses and references to Jesus are either her weakness or they draw in the bigger, more beastly-looking vampires she's trying to fight.
  • Blue Exorcist: It is implied that the two main brothers Rin and Yukio Okumura are Christians considering their adoptive father was a priest and raised them in a monastery. And many other exorcists are presumed to be Christian, though many are not, such as Rin's classmates who are clearly Buddhist. Also, there is an irony to Rin being Christian considering he is also the son of Satan, though he isn't happy about that.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Kaori uses how Christianity in Japan had to go underground and blend with the dominant religions in Japan as justification for why she (a Christian) is able to fight an archangel.
    • The Amakusa Catholics (named for Amakusa Shiro) also show up. Kaori used to belong to them, before striking out on her own.
  • Cyborg 009: Joe Shimamura is raised in an orphanage run by a priest, in the 2001 anime adaptation. It never is specified if Joe himself identifies as Christian, although the priest himself would fit.
  • D4DJ: The DJ unit Lyrical Lily consists of four students from Arisugawa Academy, a private all-girls Christian academy that prohibits its students from engaging in activities deemed hedonistic, heretical, or not traditionally feminine, which causes trouble when the nuns catch wind of the unit's secret parties until the headmistress of the academy (who had donated old DJ equipment in memory of her late brother who owned it in hopes that it would see use again; it then discovered by the unit and put to use like she hoped) pardons all four members, encouraging them to go beyond the old customs of the academy if it means their activities will bring happiness to others.
  • Descendants of Darkness: We're introduced to Muraki in Nagasaki's famous Oura Catholic church (which Tsuzuki ran into while chasing a vampire). Later, while dragging Tsuzuki around town after kidnapping Tsuzuki's partner, Hisoka, Muraki mentions ways the persecuted Japanese Christians would disguise their worship (i.e using statues of Kannon to represent the Virgin Mary). This has lead to the idea of Muraki being raised Catholic becoming minor fanon.
  • The Makimuras in DEVILMAN crybaby are portrayed as Christians, given the abundance of Biblical imagery in the show.
  • Fresh Pretty Cure!: Inori "Buki" Yamabuki goes into a Christian private middle school which apparently has its own chapel.
  • Father Karasu in Ghost Sweeper Mikami. Even though he was excommunicated from the church (for unauthorized practice of exorcisms) he seems to retain his faith.
  • Kaitou Saint Tail has many Catholics, and that means every single character, including one-shot ones. The only characters who may be non-Christians are one-shot characters who come from out of town (even if one of them, being American, is most probably a Protestant Christian). The series, whose author Megumi Tachikawa actually is Catholic, is mostly accurate, aside for assuming some things about nuns that are only true of miko (Tachikawa found out late in the series and admitted it).
  • Kids on the Slope is fairly accurate in its portrayal of Christians living in 60s Japan. Both Sentaro and Ritsuko are explicitly shown as practicing Christians (probably Catholic), and they are seen in church together, Ritsuko with her head covered, while singing the hymn "Jesus Paid It All" in Japanese. Sentaro wears a rosary around his neck, which is acknowledged to not be the correct use, but according to Ritsuko their priest allows him to do so as an exception - we see in a flashback that when Sentaro first received it he didn't know the purpose of a rosary and assumed it was a necklace. Ritsuko also owns a rosary, and uses it in the traditional manner.
  • Knight Hunters: Ken was raised Catholic, even spending a period of time in a Church orphanage, and it shows. In later canon, Aya also shows interest in the faith — it's arguable whether or not he actually practices it, and in any case he doesn't hold with its doctrine of forgiveness, but a conversation with a nun in Fight Fire With Fire reveals that he's worn out a Bible reading it every night before he sleeps.
  • The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service: The protagonist is a student at a Buddhist university, but one of his friends catches him absentmindedly making the sign of the cross when making a Shinto prayer. Then again, given that the premise of the series is fulfilling the unspoken last wishes of the recently dead, they may have a broader approach to religion.
  • Love Live!: Eli Ayase is an Orthodox Christian as her School Idol Diary says she goes to church on Sundays.
    • In Love Live! Sunshine!!, the protagonists attend to a Catholic high school, so it's possible that they may be this. Ruby herself wore a crucifix necklace in episode 7, and Riko mentioned her believing Aqours coming together as an act of God in Love Live! School Idol Festival.
  • Lone Wolf and Cub: One of the stories deals with the persecution and martyrdom of Christians during the Tokugawa era.
  • Lucky Star: Kagami and Tsukasa sing in a Church at Christmas time and play "Joy to the World" on their recorders. Their comment is that they were taught to be respectful to all gods. (Shinto is about animism. Why not!) Although, they and their two older sisters wonder whether it's all right for them to marry in a Western wedding dress.
  • Maria Watches Over Us: It appears that most of the cast are Catholic. The subject of the actual faith of the characters is only brought up a few times, surprisingly. One character (Shiori) wants to become a nun, and another is revealed to be both Christian and belongs to a Buddhist family (Shimako). Also, many of the characters can be seen praying before the Virgin Mary statue. There's also the school trip to Rome, where the characters visit the Vatican. Finally, most of the students are seen in Church, praying and singing. Although, it's mentioned outright at one point that one does not have to be a Christian to attend Lillian. There's only one character so far that is mentioned to not be Christian.
  • Metropolis (2001): Shunsaku is a Christian and hails from Japan. This is an interesting contrast from the people of Metropolis who seem to be polytheistic.
  • Midnight Secretary: Japanese vampires are specifically said to be weak against the piety of Christians. Luckily for him Japan is pretty secular, even on Christmas, but at one point Kyouhei is at a business dinner held by a Japanese family who were devout Christians and it made Kyouhei very sick.
  • My Hero Academia: Ibara Shiozaki of Class 1-B is heavily implied to be one. Her first choice for hero name was "Maria" (as in Virgin Mary), her hero costume clearly evokes the Virgin in a White Dress image, and her attacks' names have religious connotations ("Via Dolorosa" or "Crucifixion"). Even her hair evokes somewhat Jesus' crown of thorns, and she's often seen in a Prayer Pose when not in action.
  • My-HiME: Fuka Academy has its own small church, staffed by a priest with a Western name and a Japanese nun. Like just about everything about the school, both are not what they seem.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: That cross pendant she wears is at least a strong hint that Misato was a Christian. This, however, may not actually be the case considering: 1) the cross is a keepsake from her father who died saving her life, and thus she wears it in his memory rather than for any specific religious reasons and 2) this is a series that is infamously heavy on Christian Faux Symbolism, especially Creepy Crosses.
  • Ouran High School Host Club: A few characters are seen wearing crosses (in the manga, anyway). While it's doubtful they are Christian, there's a possibility that Tamaki is: he was born and raised in France until he was fourteen before being shipped off to Japan. Chances are his French mother Anne-Sophie is Christian, but it's not really relevant to the story and therefore never brought up.
  • There's a bit of fanon about Choutarou Ohtori from The Prince of Tennis being a Japanese Christian or at least raised Catholic, based on his silvery cross pendant. In canon, Ohtori says that he sometimes sneaks into a local chapel since he feels at peace there, but is not exactly a believer.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • The character Kyouko Sakura is one, given that her father was a preacher. (Likely a Protestant minister, for obvious reasons.) On the other hand she no longer seems to be practicing the religion in any fashion. It's appropriate, since the story has numerous references to Faust... and Kyouko made a Deal with the Devil that went very wrong and finished in a Pater Familicide.
    • Additionally, the witch Elsa Maria has a bit of Christian symbolism to her. She might have been a Japanese Christian when she was human.. Some fans speculate that she either was Kyoko's little sister Momo or a member of the Sakura family's cult.
    • Homura mentioned having gone to a Catholic school prior to transferring though it's left vague if she is Catholic herself.
  • Ranma ˝: A fairly surprising amount of fanon in the fanfic community grew from one single (non-story) image of Kasumi Tendo wearing a cross on a chain. However this probably reflects nothing more than Takahashi's habit of creating promotional images depicting her characters wearing whatever happened to be fashionable at the time. Rumiko Takahashi actually did put out some manga based around Japanese Christianity. One Pound Gospel featured a boxer named Kousaku... who was attracted to a beautiful nun named Angela. She initially was trying to befriending him to break his gluttony.
  • Ronin Warriors: Suzunagi and her parents, which is why they were killed.
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • One of Kenshin Himura's strongest opponents was Shougo Mutou aka Amakusa, a Christian Religious Bruiser trying to end the persecution of his fellow believers by helping a "holy man" overthrow the Japanese government, and basically an expy of Amakusa Shiro. Kenshin essentially ended up fighting Samurai Jesus. And winning.
    • Not only that, but Shougo and his younger sister Sayo were the leaders of a small Japanese Christian colony hiding in Shimabara, a rural area near to Nagasaki. And several years before, they barely managed to survive a major massacre in the same Shimabara area, in which their parents and everyone in their Doomed Hometown were killed for their beliefs.
  • Sailor Moon: Rei (Sailor Mars) attends a Catholic school (modeled after a very high-class Real Life Catholic school), and in the live-action adaptation her mother Risa is buried in a Catholic cemetery. She's also a Miko at a Shinto shrine, which could just be an example of how the Japanese don't mind mixing religions.
  • Saint Seiya: Cygnus Hyoga. He inherited it from his mother Natasha (and only parent he got to know), who was Russian; he owned a rosary as a Tragic Keepsake from his Missing Mom which saved his life at some point, and in one of the movies his friends asked him about Christianity in itself since they're dealing with Lucifer. Especially weird in that, like all characters in the story, he acknowledges Athena, and the other Greek gods, and even follows her as a Warrior Monk of sorts. Maybe another example of how the Japanese are fine with mixing religions, this time with two foreign ones?
  • Samurai Champloo: The persecution of Christians is part of the background, which is touched upon in the episode showing the Dutch East India Company, as well as one revolving around a supposed descendant of Francis Xavier who's manipulating Japanese Christians. Japanese Christians ultimately are part of a reveal at the end of the series, namely that Fuu's Disappeared Dad (the "Samurai who smells from Sunflowers") was one, and he left the family to prevent their persecution.
  • School-Live!: Sensei-chan Megu-nee is heavily implied to be Christian. In the manga there was a minor background character during Miki's backstory who was a Christian senior. In the anime she received a slightly bigger role as Taroumaru's owner and is related to Megu-nee, which only supports Megu-nee being Christian more.
  • Superbook is about a Japanese family who travel to important Biblical moments.
  • Sword Art Online: Yuuki is heavily implied to be a Christian. Her ALO avatar may be darkness-aligned, but she has a cheerful personality. It later turns out that she got her faith from her mother, who remained fairly devout in the face of the entire family being infected with HIV. While Yuuki initially wished her mother would talk to her with her own words, not the Bible's, Yuuki took her mother's words to heart.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Amon Kotarou was raised in a Catholic orphanage, and continues to wear a crucifix as a Tragic Keepsake. Whether he's remained religious or not is never addressed, though his memories of his childhood show him to have been very devout.
  • Tokyo Godfathers: At the start, Gin and Hana attend a Christian church service just so they can get a free handout of some food. Hana at least seems to be a believer, to some degree, at least enough so that she muses about how, if God could impregnate a virgin woman, He could almost certainly get a transsexual such as herself with child.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew: Zakuro Fujiwara is a practicing Christian in the original anime, going to church regularly and using a cross as the handle for her weapon. (Unusually for a Japanese Christian, she appears to be a Protestant.) This was Bowdlerised in the dub; all crosses were changed to sticks without sides, leading to the fandom joke that Renee venerates toothpicks.
  • Wandering Son:
    • Early into the series, Saori Chiba converts to Christianity. Whether she does this out of true conviction or out of some misplaced feeling of guilt is not quite clear. In any case, she's not very diligent in attending Church.
    • She met a boy, Fumiya, at Church. He seems rather casual about being Christian though, even smoking in church (he seemed around eleven to thirteen too).
  • Welcome to the NHK: Misaki's aunt is one and forces Misaki to attend church groups as a condition of taking her in.
  • X/1999: Karen Kasumi. Her mother converted both of them to it, though it seems that it was only to hide from cults who wanted to use Karen's fire powers for their own ends.
  • Zombie Loan: The first zombie we see getting killed is a nun at the school that Shito, Chika and Michiru attend, and they all wear crosses somewhere on their uniforms.

    Comic Books 
  • Usagi Yojimbo takes place in Tokugawa-era Japan, Christianity has come up in a few arcs.
    • In one arc, a sect of secret Christians heroically sacrifice their lives for a single crucifix.
    • Usagi learns of Christianity's existence in the 2018 arc "The Hidden" when the shogunate attempts to root them out of a town. He's not particularly impressed by what he hears, especially as he learns that they worship an executed criminal, but his friend Inspector Ishida is investigating the murder of a samurai who wore a cross under his kimono. And the final page shows to the reader that Ishida is himself Christian.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In the Cardcaptor Sakura Continuation Fic Shadow of the Dragon, Sakura mentions at one point that Tomoeda has a larger Christian population than is normal for Japan and that she herself was baptized, though she identifies more as Shinto.
  • Children of an Elder God: Asuka is of Japanese descent and Christian. When she finds out that some people worship her and her fellow pilots, she states that there's only one true God, and she isn't Him.
  • Doing It Right This Time makes the implied backstory to Misato's cross pendant explicit; Word of God states she hasn't been to church since Second Impact. Asuka also turns out to have gone through a similar experience in the wake of her mother's accident, though she's slightly reevaluated her relationship with God since the whole Peggy Sue thing happened.
  • In Where Talent Goes to Die, Momo Iwasawa, a girl who hails from a remote farming village, is a Christian of an unspecified denomination. She does her best to be a good person and live by the tenets of her faith, but admits that she isn't always sure about the right thing to do in the killing game.
  • The Death Note fanfic Silent Partner, Unfinished Business shows that Misa Amane's haphazard use of Christian symbolism is because she didn't decide how much she believed in her mother's Catholicism. The existence of shinigami kind of make that an important issue for her to sort out.
  • Deespite being an immigrant from the Pokémon World, the Tokimeki PokéLive! and TwinBee version of Hilda is a Christian of the Protestant denomination who lives in Japan.
    • Just like Eli Ayase, as mentioned above, Charlotte "Anya/Nastya" Thompson is an Orthodox Christian.
    • Like her Canon counterpart from School Idol Festival, PokéLive!Christina is a Catholic.
  • Blue Exorcist crossover Inheritance of Cards and Demons, it is made explicit that Rin and Yukio are Catholic. Rin makes commentary on how differently he and his family in Southern Cross Monastery celebrate Christmas compared to the commercialized romantic holiday.

  • Fatal Frame, a film adaptation of the video game series with the same name (though the game series never features Christian themes, instead Shinto and Buddhist ones) takes place at a conservative Catholic all-girls school in Japan.
  • Silence, adapted from a novel by Shūsaku Endō, about the repression of Japanese Christians by the Tokugawa Shogunate at the beginning of the Edo period.
  • Big Tits Zombie: The main character (played by Japanese AV model Sora Aoi) ' is heavily implied to be a Christian. She prays to "the Lord" a few times, crosses herself while standing over the body of one of her friends, and when it comes time to make a grave for said friend, she places a cross over it. She lived in Mexico for a number of years, which could be the explanation.
  • Love Exposure focuses on a very Dysfunctional Family of Japanese Christians.
  • Kagemusha features a couple of Japanese Catholics in the realms of the Oda clan.
  • Know Your Enemy: Japan gives an overview of how the Bushido warlords reacted to Christian missionaries and emerging Christian churches in Japan.
  • In Prisoners Of The Sun, a 1990 Australian film about the trials of Japanese soldiers for war crimes against Australian POWs during World War Two, one accused soldier is a Christian. He doesn't seem to be popular with his superiors as a result, and they test his loyalty by having him behead two captured Australian airmen (over alleged spying). Later he is convicted of murder and shot for this, because they hadn't actually been spying at all. A reporter notes the irony how of all the defendants, an English-speaking, Christian Japanese was the only one put to death (it's made clear he had little choice, making this seem unfair) while his superior who ordered it (played by George Takei) manages to escape any punishment by collaborating with the Allies.

  • Shogun: This plays a major part, with the Protestant protagonist Blackthorne out to destroy Jesuit influence in feudal Japan, and with several of the major players not trusting Christianized daimyo, fearing the influence the Jesuits have over them.
  • The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn deals with underground Christians a lot.
  • Tales of the Otori: The plights of medival Japanese Christians, referred to as "The Hidden," is a recurring theme throughout the series. As one warlord explains it, if the peasant class believes in a God who already considers them valuable rather than considering their poverty a matter of divine providence, the poor could eventually rebel and destroy the ruling class. The main character, Takeo, loses his faith after the death of his mother and destruction of his village, but its ideals of mercy and sympathy to the poor remain with him.
  • The Baroque Cycle: Gabriel Goto is a Catholic Rōnin in a rare example by a non-Japanese author. His descendant Goto Dengo in Cryptonomicon converts to Christianity at the end of World War II.
  • The Dresden Files has Knight of the Cross Shiro, who was born and raised in Japan, and was accidentally baptized while attending an Elvis Presley concert (a misunderstand helped along by Shiro's imperfect English lead him to think that some Baptists were talking about going to meet Elvis when speaking about "The King"). His conversion was accidental, he still did his best to be the best Christian he could be. Considering he was good enough to become a Knight of the Cross and stay one long enough to grow old, it's safe to say he succeeded. Of course being "Good" is a much more important requirement that being Christian for the job, as one other Knight is Agnostic and the newest one is Jewish.
  • after the quake: Yoshiyo is a Japanese Christian (this is why he told his girlfriend that he couldn't marry her; he's a son of God and can't ever marry). His mentor and his mother, as well.
  • Shūsaku Endō is Japanese Christian writer whose work shows clear influence from his faith. He wrote several novels about many subjects, but the most famous is Silence (Chinmoku in Japanese), about a 17th-century Portuguese missionary in Japan who has to shepherd his flock through the initial Tokugawa persecution. He also wrote numerous short stories and various other novels on the topic, including A Life of Jesus. And, of course, Deep River, a.k.a. Japanese Christianity: The Book. It served as a very personal account of what it means to be a Christian in a country that's 99% atheist/Buddhist/Shinto and extremely suspicious of outside influences.
  • Award-winning author Ayako Miura wrote several books that elaborate on her trip from nihilism to Protestantism, as well as several novels with Christian themes such as Shiokari Pass and the better-known Literature/Hyoten, the latter being adapted as a television drama series
  • 1632 deals with Japan in one of book. Being set shortly before an OT Christian insurrection against the then-rulers, the topic of how to deal with Japanese Christians comes up. The ingenuous solution? Have them settle in California — thus killing two birds with one stone: Japan gets new territory and the rebellion is averted. This is somewhat similar to the way the real life colonization of the East Coast of North America went.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Naked Director, Kaoru Kuroki is from an ultra-conservative Catholic family and she defies her mother's wishes by becoming a porn star under Toru Muranishi.

    Video Games 
  • In Total War: Shogun 2, Christianity might play a serious role in the game, especially if you're playing as the Otomo clan (which historically was the first Japanese feudal clan to convert to this faith). Being a Japanese Christian clan means you can access European/Portuguese guns and cannons, plus your Christian citizens will put up serious resistance against non-Christian clans who occupy their cities. Of course, since embracing Christianity means the rest of Japan will hate you, it's best taken by clans which are not based on the main island.
  • Shin Megami Tensei I: The Messian Church is the "endtimes-crazy" type of Christian flanderized to such an extreme that they are willing to launch nukes to bring about their "Thousand Year Kingdom". Though the one that did said action was American (or claimed to be), the majority of Messians you encounter are Japanese. They represent the Law Faction — the one representing archetypes such as justice, charity, and unity. Also, brainwashing, totalitarianism, and intolerance. The other side's not so hot, either. Crapsack World, gentlemen.
  • In The Caligula Effect, there are implications that the Musician Ike-P is either Christian or at least finds the faith inspirational. His theme song talks about going beyond the intended fate through the help of an angel's song — and μ is an ethereal woman that calls out to people in reality and brings them to the harmonious Mobius — and includes dropping the Virgin Mary. The anime also altered his design slightly by adding a necklace with a cross as a pendant.
  • Samurai Shodown features Amakusa Shiro Tokisada, based on the real life Christian activist. Except here he's an androgynous Anti-Villain Noble Demon sorcerer with a magic sphere.
  • In Persona 5, one of the locations the player can visit in their free time is a Catholic church, where they can hang out with shogi player Hifumi Togo (the Star arcana) and use the confessional booth to re-learn forgotten persona abilities. Hifumi never states whether or not she is Christian, simply that the church works well as a quiet location for her to concentrate on developing new strategies, and the priest is a fellow shogi enthusiast whom she regularly plays with. Ironically, the persona fusion the player unlocks for maxing Hifumi's confidant is Lucifer, of all things. It's heavily implied that both Hifumi and playable character Yusuke go to a Catholic School. This would explain why she spends time in the Church and why Yusuke is familiar with the anguish of Christ and Adam and Eve, as demonstrated in his confidant link.
    • The ending of Sojiro's confidant involves the protagonist accompanying him and Futaba to the aforementioned church in order to visit Wakaba's grave. While it could just be the game reusing different locations and not wanting to make a new location for this scene, it does create the implication that Wakaba had a Christian burial and thus could have been a Christian during her lifetime.

    Visual Novels 
  • ef - a fairy tale of the two.: Yuuko Amamiya is born Christian, but she sometimes doubts her faith due to the pain and misery surrounding her. However, she affirms her beliefs once she was made an angel after she shed her mortal coil in a car accident.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Dr. Hifumi Takano isn't one, but he uses the story of Jesus' resurrection as a metaphor for attaining a metaphorical immortality by building a legacy. Also, one of the Yamainu improvises vaguely Christian prayers before giving the order to execute emergency manual 34. Ironically, even though her character is surrounded by Christian subtext, Miyo herself is a Nay-Theist; she also quotes one of the Gospels in a totally inappropriate situation, which is even lampshaded.
  • Katawa Shoujo: It's implied that the half-Scottish and Japanese raised Lilly is Christian. She wears a cross in several scenes and previously went to a Catholic school.
  • Narcissu ~Side 2nd~: Himeko and Chihiro are Catholic, although the former has lapsed while the latter is very devout. Much of the story concerns Himeko's struggle to resolve her crisis of faith before she dies.
  • Nasuverse:
    • The original founder of the Tousaka clan (Nagato Tohsaka) was a Christian, thus justifying his descendants' (Rin in Fate/stay night and her father Tokiomi in Fate/Zero) close relationship with the local church. However in Hollow Ataraxia Rin clarifies that she is an atheist, due a combination of both her line of work usually being unacceptable to most religions and her personal dislike of Kotomine Kirei.
    • Kotomine Kirei, a Japanese priest, although he's... not exactly a sterling example of Christian values.
    • There's some implication that Shirou might be Christian, himself (though non-practicing) or at very least familiar with the Christian faith, since he muses to himself on his first visit to the Kotomine church that it's his first visit to a House of God in many years. Given that his adoptive father was a world traveller that had just spent the past 10+ years of his life married into a German family with confirmed church connections, this is not altogether unreasonable.
    • In Tsukihime, Arcueid at one point suddenly asks Shiki if he's Christian, which might be related to why he was able to slice her apart. He has absolutely no idea what she is talking about.
      Shiki: Chris-chan? What's with that question, all of a sudden? I don't know any girl who's got a name like that.
    • In Fate/Apocrypha, has Shirou Kotomine, the adopted brother of the previously mentioned Kirei Kotomine and like him a Church Militant. It's eventually revealed he's actually one of the famous Japanese Christians in history.
  • Princess Evangile is set in an exclusive all-girls Catholic school in Japan founded by French Catholic missionaries. While most of the students and faculty are there simply due to the high status of the place, a handful of them are shown to be practicing Catholics, such as Sister Mishima and Marika's grandmother.
  • Dies Irae is set in the fictional Japanese city of Suwahara with one of it's notable landmarks being a small church in the outskirts of town. It's inhabited by the kindly and somewhat bumbling priest Valeia Trifa and the nun Lisa Brenner, both German immigrants. Alongside them lives the girl Rea Himuro who's quarter German and technically has two names with both a Japanese name and her Christian name Theresia. From their behavior, it is clear that they are meant to be Catholics and it's made clear that people like them are not a common sight in the area. Neither Trifa nor Brenner are what one would call saints however as they are both members of a secret group seeking to fulfill a certain ritual to restore something that was lost to them.
  • Danganronpa Another has Kinji Uehara, the Ultimate Priest and a member of Hope's Peak's 79th Class.

    Web Original 
  • Doki, as per this image where she can be mistaken as a nun (but isn't, that's just what she's wearing.) and it been noted that she does pray to God there is a crisis as in this story. Likewise, she's heard reciting Bible verses in the 56th and 57th Madgie, what did you do? stories, double the case in the former, as she's performing what she thinks are funeral rites, Psalm 21 being a common verse being said at funerals.

    Real Life 
  • Manga creator Yamahana Noriyuki is a proud Christian. He tends to discuss his faith in the author's notes at the end of his manga volumes. In his series Little House with an Orange Roof, scanlators translated these notes. Also, the maternal grandmother of the girls imparts Christian lessons to the children from time to time. Yamahana's faith does not prevent him from indulging in Fanservice, though; he's still a mangaka, after all.
  • Yasuhiro Nightow, creator of Trigun, is a Christian convert, and lots of intentional symbolism can be found in his work (Nicholas Wolfwood, anyone?).
  • Voice actor Kuwata Kong (who is known to voice characters in the SNK franchise — more prominently Geese Howard — as well as Large Ham Kikuchiyo from Samurai 7), is a Japanese Christian (his profile from Anime News Network also lists him as a "gospel singer").
  • Between 1885 and the start of 2012, there have been 58 unique Prime Ministers of Japan. Seven were Christians (three Catholic, four Protestant), a disproportionately high ratio compared to Japan's general population.
  • Toshio Furukawa, voice of Piccolo in Dragon Ball and Kai Shiden in Mobile Suit Gundam, is a practicing Christian.
  • Eiji Tsuburaya, creator of Ultraman and partly of Godzilla, was a Catholic, as the Tsuburaya family has been since then. By the way, the Crucified Hero Shot in Ultraseven? Author Appeal. Seriously.
  • Mitsuo Fuchida, also known as "God's Samurai", the lead pilot at Pearl Harbor, became a Christian after the war and even was a Protestant minister.
  • A particularly noteworthy example is Toshiro Mifune, who was a famous Japanese actor that professed the Methodist faith.
  • Singers KOKIA and Chihiro Onitsuka are two of the more well-known Real Life Japanese Christians.
  • Bells of Nagasaki (Nagasaki no kane) is the account of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki from the Japanese Christian perspective, written by Dr. Takashi Nagai, one of the survivors who also helped treat other survivors in the immediate aftermath of the bombing (for which he has been declared "Servant of God" by the Vatican). The bells in the title are those of the Catholic Cathedral of Nagasaki, which was at the epicenter (which was also the site where Japanese Christians were tortured and executed during the Bakufu Era). While the Cathedral was destroyed utterly, the bells survived, and now hang in the bell tower of the rebuilt cathedral. Dr. Nagai, however, died of radiation-related illness in 1951.
  • Another real life example is the diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who helped Jewish (and other) refugees escape Nazi-occupied Europe through his posting in Lithuania between 1939 and 1940. Somewhat surprisingly, he was a devout believer in Eastern Orthodoxy, having converted when he was briefly married to a Russian woman early on in his diplomatic career. The marriage ended quickly, but his faith did not, and he recounted later how his actions were motivated by his Christian faith.
  • St. Nicholas of Japan, an Orthodox missionary from Russia, in the 19th century started his mission from a chapel in the Russian embassy and founded a diocese, converting thousands of natives. His position during Russo-Japanese War (not prayingnote  for the defeat of his native country while being the bishop of Japan) is still somewhat disputed. Even so, Nicholas is remembered with respect by even non-Christian Japanese.
  • Some notable Japanese Christians during the Sengoku Period include:
    • The first known Japanese Christian was Anjiro, a student of Spanish priest Francis Xavier who formed the first Jesuit mission to Japan.
    • Bernardo the Japanese, the first Japanese person to visit Europe. Francis Xavier invited him and another Japanese convert, Mathias, to visit Europe, but Mathias died on the way in Goa.
    • The eponymous 26 Martyrs of Japan, persecuted and executed in 1597 under Hideyoshi, include among their numbers Japanese Catholics—17 Franciscan tertiaries and 3 Jesuit seminarians. They are seen as casualties of the breakdown of trust between Hideyoshi and the Catholic orders evangelizing in Japan.
    • The Christian samurai Dom Justo Takayama Ukon was once a respected Samurai, but when his lord decreed that Christianity is to be banned, he preferred to be stripped of everything from fiefs to his status, until eventually he's exiled to Manila.
    • Hosokawa Tama (baptismal name: Gracia), daughter of Akechi Mitsuhide. She was baptized privately after Toyotomi Hideyoshi issued a proclamation forbidding Christianity in Japan. Was a casualty in the lead-up to the Battle of Sekigahara, when the castle she was in was besieged by the opposing side (since suicide is a sin in Christianity, instead of committing jigai, her retainers killed her before killing themselves).
    • Amakusa Shiro, the teenage leader of the failed Shimabara Rebellion, a Christian uprising during the 1630s. It was the largest civil war and one of the few period of unrest during the largely peaceful reign of the Tokugawa shogunate. Both leaders of the opposing sides were executed and the event led to the further suppression of Christianity in Japan that wouldn't be lifted until the Meiji Restoration.
  • Actress and singer Yuki Saito is a Japanese member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as Mormons). Holding to her beliefs, she refuses to work on Sundays and smoked fake cigarettes in the 1986 film Koisuru Onnatachi (Young Girls in Love). Saito is also known for singing the theme song in the anime Hyouge Mono and Maison Ikkoku.
  • Mamoru Oshii of Ghost in the Shell was raised Christian and even considered joining the seminary before eventually losing his faith. This may or may not have influenced Angel's Egg.
  • In an interview, Tokyo Ghoul creator Ishida Sui revealed one of his influences for the series was the isolation and "otherness" he experienced growing up in a Christian family.
  • Chiaki Konaka was raised in a Christian home by Anglican parents (the "J" he adopted for the name he is commonly credited as, "Chiaki J. Konaka", comes from the name "John", a reference to his childhood faith), but he doesn't identify as Christian now.
  • Tomoko Kawakami converted to the Catholic Church upon learning of her illness and took Cecilia as her baptismal name.
  • Empress Michiko (née Shoda), wife of Emperor Emeritus Akihito and the first imperial consort to be a commoner, was born to a Catholic family, though she was never baptized.
  • Nobuhiko Okamoto is a practicing Catholic.
  • Experimental musician Damo Suzuki, best known for his time as lead singer of Can, once retired from music to do missionary work for the Jehovah's Witnesses. He now identifies as a non-denominational Christian.
  • Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto, chief designer of the Ruby programming language, is a devout Mormon.
  • Musician and conductor Masaaki Suzuki (founder of the Bach Collegium Japan) was raised in a Protestant household in Kobe; he is currently a member of the Reformed Church in Japan.

Alternative Title(s): Christianity In Japan