Raising Lazarus

By: Yolanda Tsuda  

This paper focuses on the issue of female migration and the on-going expansion of Christianity in Japan, a country that is considered as one of the most secular in the world; where the majority of Japanese do not consider themselves as having any particular religious affiliation or follow strict religious practices. The term “Christianity” will mainly refer to the Catholic religion, where much of the expansion is occurring as it is driven by the influx of migrants from predominantly Catholic countries like Brazil, the Philippines and Peru. This paper uses the experiences of Filipinos migrating to Japan as a case in point, of which more than 95% are women. This predominantly female diaspora is very perplexing but could be traced to four factors of this ethnic group’s entry to Japan: first, Japan’s acceptance of a massive number of Filipino women in the early 1980s; second, the transformation of what was thought of as a temporary entry into permanent settlement; third, the formation of a Filipino ethnic community where the core are women that are based in churches; and fourth, the emergence of 2nd generation Filipino-Japanese ethnic community and the impact on the revival of Christianity in the country.

Feminization of Migration, Diaspora, Filipino Women, Catholic Church
Religious Community and Socialization
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Yolanda Tsuda

Professor, Global Studies Section, English Department, Kobe College, Japan