Much has been written of the 'success' of the early missions to
Japan during the decades immediately following the arrival of the
first Jesuits in 1549. The subsequent 'failure' of the faith to put
down roots strong enough to survive this initial wave of enthusiasm
is discussed with equal alacrity. The papers in this volume, born
of a Conference marking the centenary of the Japan Society of
London, represent an attempt to reassess the contact between
Christianity and Japan in terms of a symbiotic relationship, a
dialogue in which the impact of Japan on the imported religion is
viewed alongside the more frequently cited influence of
Christianity on Japanese society. Here is a dynamic cultural
encounter, examined by the papers in this volume from a series of
political, literary and historical perspectives.
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