Christian Schoolgirl Manga Debuts in Japan

Illustration for article titled Christian Schoolgirl Manga Debuts in Japan
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Japanese Christian newspaper The Christ Weekly has a new comic strip to teach readers about Christian values. Her name? Pyuuri-tan (ピューリたん). You know, like as in “Puritan.” Oh boy.

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In Japanese, the word for “Puritan” is “Pyuuritan” (ピューリタン). “Tan” (たん)is also a slang for the informal name marker “chan” (ちゃん) and is a nickname often given to anime girls that personify things (of course, some women also use it informally). So the schoolgirl character’s name is actually “Pyuuri,” and the added “tan” makes this a Japanese wordplay.

Illustration for article titled Christian Schoolgirl Manga Debuts in Japan
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[Photo: hiroshisj]

As reported on Livedoor News and Togetter, the newspaper has started a serialized schoolgirl comic. Think of this as a slice of life manga, with a slice of Jesus.

Christians are a religious minority in Japan. During the 16th and 17th centuries, they were persecuted and put to death. There were even instances of crucifixion.

Today, generally speaking, Japanese are not against Christianity in the least, and do find the religion’s artifice attractive with many people getting married in faux Christian chapels built explicitly for marriage ceremonies (and not religious worship).

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Also, there have been several Japanese Christians who have served as the country’s prime minister. That being said, the country is still less than one-percent Christian, with the majority of Japanese practicing Buddhist and Shinto rituals—and, broadly speaking, being rather relaxed about organized religion, especially compared to other countries.

Illustration for article titled Christian Schoolgirl Manga Debuts in Japan
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[Photo: 0164288]

An illustrator named Sono is doing the serialized comic strip (though, it’s explicitly called a “manga”). Stuff like this isn’t exactly unheard of. Japan has seen manga versions of religious figures, whether that’s Jesus manga or Buddha manga ( or both). Here, though, we have a Christian newspaper embracing anime girl tropes—if anything, I guess, to spread the word of God? Or something?

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The Christ Weekly isn’t a major newspaper (as Christianity isn’t a major religion in the country), but large Japanese sites like Livedoor have covered the Pyuuri-tan comic strip, reporting that reaction has varied. Online, some people in Japan are saying everything from “religious faith isn’t something to poke fun at” to “she’s cute.

Illustration for article titled Christian Schoolgirl Manga Debuts in Japan
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[Photo: christweekly]

Top photo: 0164288

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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DISCUSSION

less than 1 percent christian? sounds like my kind of people! honestly the rest of the world could do with being more relaxed in terms of religion. heck the world might do better without it altogether. is it better to do good because some idol or imaginary man in the sky will punish you if your not or because its just good? and what does that say of religious people as a whole that they have to find an excuse to be good?