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hello! new here!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 1:06 am
by turingtested
Hello. My name is Dirk and I'm new to Christian Anime dot Net, but as a long time anime fan, there are two things that I love; Anime, and God. And philosophy but that's besides the point. (If anyone wants to hit me up about Kierkegaard, by all means. I'm always itching to find more like minded people such as myself.) On the topic of Anime, and especially on the topic of anime AND god, I find that it helps me explore my relationship with who I am as a person and the different versions of myself that I could be. It does suck when things tend to be blasphemous, but that's something I struggle with on the occasion. Does anyone else have problems with this? If so, what is your advice?

Re: hello! new here!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:35 am
by shooraijin
Great username. Welcome.

However, my usual perspective is I can't control what people do (or make), but I can control what I consume. That said, since you mentioned blasphemous (by which I interpret you mean general anti-religious content), I think there is value in understanding other viewpoints including ones I (vehemently) don't share, assuming they don't become a stumbling block to others or myself. If we are to be a good witness for God, we should understand why people would just as fervently go the other direction.

Re: hello! new here!

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:10 am
by turingtested
You're SO right. I noticed your post count and account creation date; 17 years is a LONG time to have been on the internet, let alone be on a singular forum! That's genuinely incredible, there's not much in the way of longevity on the internet these days. If you don't mind me asking, whats some of the biggest changes you've experienced between then and now?

Re: hello! new here!

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:20 pm
by shooraijin
My hair, primarily.

Re: hello! new here!

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:44 pm
by Kaori
Hey, welcome, hope you're still around to read replies (w).

Too bad ich1990 isn't around here these days; he was really into Kierkegaard. I've only read Works of Love myself, but it was excellent.

About "blasphemous" content in Japanese media, anything Christians would consider mistaken or offensive, for me, my approach depends on what exactly is going on. Having had a long history with Japanese culture (it's been 15 years since I started learning Japanese, 12 or so of which were spent either living in Japan or working closely with Japanese people), I can assure you that in an enormous amount of cases, the only thing behind whatever they got wrong is complete, 100% ignorance. Japanese people know almost nothing about Western religions and Christianity, probably as much as you know about Shintoism and Taoism (or less, if you know anything about those religions).

Examples I would consider to have absolutely no ill intent and to be complete and utter ignorance:
-Witches are cute and there is nothing wrong with being one (Kiki's Delivery Service)
-Either not all demons (in an "angels-and-demons" sense, not "youkai") are evil, or demons in general aren't evil, they're normal people just like anybody else, just discriminated against (various manga I have read)
-Supposedly Christian characters saying weird things like "I think God is made of people's feelings" (Immortal Rain)
-Media in which good and evil forces/deities are portrayed as being equal to each other in power (Terranigma) (Japanese people commonly think that Western religions, including Christianity, are dualistic and that the forces of good and of evil in those religions are considered to be equal in power)

Examples of something that I might chalk up as a Japanese person, ignorant of Christianity, flailing about and coming up with some concept of what "God" might be, but which we don't necessarily need to take as "the Judeo-Christian God":
-Fullmetal Alchemist
-SaGa (the very first SaGa game, released Stateside as Final Fantasy Legend I)

Examples that I really can't vouch for whether they have no blasphemous intent and feel uncomfortable with myself:
-Evangelion (not the use of the word "angel," but the crucifix and Lance of Longinus imagery later on)
-One of the early Megami Tensei games, I think it was either Megami Tensei 2 or Shin Megami Tensei 2, but the one where the final boss is "Jehovah"

A few other thoughts:

-Another case of "the intent is less blasphemous than you think" in Japanese culture is that recently it's popular for Japanese people to use the phrase "Oh my G-d!" as an exclamation when they're surprised about something. However, this is out of no malicious intent; they just have absolutely no idea how offensive that can be to Christians, and that to us it is blasphemy.
-It's helpful to get some distance by realizing that not every time that the word "god" or "God" is used do you have to equate it with the Christian God. It's kind of like how with other religions, you can debate whether or not their "God" is the same one as ours, but what's certain is that they do not have the same concept of what God is like as Christians do.
-Just the same as with Christianity, there tend to be a ton of distortions in the way Japanese represent other things too. Western mythology, their own history, movie adaptations of novels, etc. Part of this is that they just tend to be extremely loose about how they adapt or portray things in fiction.
-Shinto gods being portrayed in anime: this is just a different worldview being portrayed; again, it's helpful to take a step back and think of it just that way. No need to agree with that worldview just because it is being portrayed.