Travels & Adventures | Tokyo Japan Photojournalism

I've always loved Japanese culture. For as long as I can remember. I've always wanted to go... but I thought it'd be sometime in the far, far future.
Not the summer of my freshman year of college.

To this day, the summer that I spent in Tokyo stands out as a major turning point in my life. I learned so much about the Lord, myself, sharing the gospel, and following Christ that summer. I realized I knew nothing... nothing about who God is, what it looks like to share the gospel daily, and how many people around the world have never heard of a salvation that I've always took for granted.

History lesson.

The first Catholic missionary came to Japan in 1549. The began to spread "Christianity" -- a muddled faith blended with Buddhism, Shinto, and other traditional Japanese religions. Even though it wasn't really legit, the Japanese government felt threatened by it. It was foreign, and they were so proud of their heritage. They began to kill Christians as early as 1590. In 1626, Christianity was totally banned, and for the next 250 years, Japan completely closed its doors to the world. Christians were either killed or went into hiding. Most people don't realize this (or at least I didn't…), but Japan has one of the longest and bloodiest history of persecution in the world. Nobody really talks about, though. The Japanese emperor did a lot of terrible things, but he also did a lot of really good things for Japan, so they generally revere him as a nice guy. Japan reopened itself to the world in 1853, and Protestant Christianity was introduced in 1861. However, Christians were still persecuted. The concept of religious freedom wasn't introduced until 10 years later, but there is documentation of intense persecution continuing as late as 1940. Japan's history is full of short windows of opportunity for Christians. The past 70 years have been the longest period of time that it has ever been open to Christianity. These are exciting times, especially with the increasing spiritual interest since the disasters of 2011.

Still. There are 13 million people living in Tokyo alone. Less than a percent claim to be Christians. That leaves 99% the population….. and that's why I went to Japan.

That's why I would go back in a heartbeat.

Again, I wasn't a photographer when I went to Japan in 2010. However, I took thousands and thousands of pictures during my stay, and I thought I'd share some of my favorite Tokyo Japan photojournalism (even though I wouldn't have called it that!) with you today.