Archives For Pop Culture

Bible in Japanese Popular Culture

Would you be surprised to learn that Bible manga, Bible anime, and Bible story kamishibai, or “paper theatre,” are very popular in Japan? (No? I didn’t think you would be.)

But do you ever wonder how images shape, restrict, and expand our interpretations of familiar Bible stories? How “visualizing” biblical stories impacts their meaning?

I think that this kind of biblical interpretation should receive serious attention anywhere the Bible is “pictured,” and especially in Japan. So new studies about graphic retellings of the Bible tend to stir my interest. Continue Reading…

Here are the top-selling Bible-related books for July 2012 on Kyo Bun Kwan’s Best 20 list. It’s interesting to note that the number of Bible-related books in the top 20 doubled this month, with 10 titles compared to June’s 5 titles (see my post on the Best 20 for June 2012). Continue Reading…

Visitors to can use a single English interface to search 135 Bible versions in 47 languages. Unfortunately, though, no Japanese versions are among them.

BibleGateway does link to downloadable and searchable PDFs of Bible books from the Japanese Living Bible, but this is unwieldy for standard searches. Besides, few churches or scholars regularly use the Japanese Living Bible in worship or in study.

Instead, most Japanese Bible students would begin their searches with one or both of the two most widely used Bible versions in Japan: the New Interconfessional Translation Bible and the New Japanese Bible.

Search the Shinkyodoyaku Online

Continue Reading…

Kyo Bun Kwan, a publisher of mostly Christian books dating back to 1885, issues a “Best 20” list of the top sellers each month. Its bestseller list includes books from any publisher, and not just Kyo Bun Kwan. (The website does not make it clear, though, where the sales data comes from. Also, note that there is no permanent link for each month’s “Best 20.”)

Here are the 5 Bible-related books – with 4 in the top 10 – that made the list in June 2012 (to keep the list simple, I have only given my translation of the title followed by the Japanese title, linked to a page with more info):


Do you know of any other Japanese bestseller lists that feature books in biblical studies and/or theology?