Japan is an amazing country and its people have a rich history and heritage, this is reflected in the many traditional festivals interwoven into Japanese culture. The festival known as Hadaka Matsuri (裸祭り) or nude festival shown in the following video is one of the more interesting ones… don’t let the name scare you, it’s PG.
Last summer in a conversation with a Japanese friend, a student from Waseda University in Tokyo, I drew out the comparisons of Hadaka Matsuri and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Every year in several cities across Japan Hadaka festivals take place in which a man is chosen to become a god-man. He participates in purification ceremonies and rituals and then is led naked through the city where a large mobs of men desperately try to touch him and rid themselves of their sins and evil spirits. My friend grew up in a city that had Hadaka festivals and it was really easy for me to connect the gospel to his life… that Jesus, who came into human history born as the God-man, perfect and sinless in all his motives, unjustly beaten and stripped naked, subjected by a mob to a horrendous death by crucifixion, took upon Himself the sins of the world that all who are touch by Him may be cleansed of their sins and evil spirits.
The similarities between Hadaka Matsuri and the core message of Christianity really is amazing. A big objection many Japanese have to becoming Christian is that it is considered a foreign religion. But it appears that maybe the God of the bible has always been near to Japanese people and that historically Christianity has deeper roots in Japan than what has been commonly believed and accepted.
To learn more about Hadaka Matsuri I recommend watching a documentary by Journeyman Pictures at the top of the page.