ISLAM and MUSLIMS IN JAPAN

      

General Information

National name             : Nippon

Land area                     : 152,411 sq mi (394,744 sq km); total area: 145,882 sq mi (377,835 sq km)

Population (2007 est.)  : 127,467,972

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Tokyo, 35,327,000 (metro. area), 8,483,050 (city proper)

Other large cities          : Yokohama, 3,494,900 (part of Tokyo metro. area); Osaka, 11,286,000 (metro. area), 2,597,000 (city proper); Nagoya, 2,189,700; Sapporo, 1,848,000; Kobe, 1,529,900 (part of Osaka metro. area); Kyoto, 1,470,600 (part of Osaka metro. area); Fukuoka, 1,368,900; Kawasaki, 1,276,200 (part of Tokyo metro. area); Hiroshima, 1,132,700

Monetary unit              : Yen

Language                     : Japanese

Ethnicity/race               : Japanese 99%; Korean, Chinese, Brazillian, Filipino, other 1% (2004)

Religions                      : Shintoist and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)

Literacy rat                  : 99% (2002 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $4.29 trillion; per capita $33,600. Real growth rate: 2.1%. Inflation: 0%.

An archipelago in the Pacific, Japan is separated from the east coast of Asia by the Sea of Japan. It is approximately the size of Montana. Japan's four main islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. The Ryukyu chain to the southwest was U.S.-occupied from 1945 to 1972, when it reverted to Japanese control, and the Kurils to the northeast are Russian-occupied.

Legend attributes the creation of Japan to the sun goddess, from whom the emperors were descended. The first of them was Jimmu, supposed to have ascended the throne in 660 B.C., a tradition that constituted official doctrine until 1945.

Recorded Japanese history begins in approximately A.D. 400, when the Yamato clan, eventually based in Kyoto, managed to gain control of other family groups in central and western Japan. Contact with Korea introduced Buddhism to Japan at about this time. Through the 700s Japan was much influenced by China, and the Yamato clan set up an imperial court similar to that of China. In the ensuing centuries, the authority of the imperial court was undermined as powerful gentry families vied for control.

At the same time, warrior clans were rising to prominence as a distinct class known as samurai. In 1192, the Minamoto clan set up a military government under their leader, Yoritomo. He was designated shogun (military dictator). For the following 700 years, shoguns from a succession of clans ruled in Japan, while the imperial court existed in relative obscurity.

First contact with the West came in about 1542, when a Portuguese ship off course arrived in Japanese waters. Portuguese traders, Jesuit missionaries, and Spanish, Dutch, and English traders followed. Suspicious of Christianity and of Portuguese support of a local Japanese revolt, the shoguns of the Tokugawa period (1603–1867) prohibited all trade with foreign countries; only a Dutch trading post at Nagasaki was permitted. Western attempts to renew trading relations failed until 1853, when Commodore Matthew Perry sailed an American fleet into Tokyo Bay. Trade with the West was forced upon Japan under terms less than favorable to the Japanese. Strife caused by these actions brought down the feudal world of the shoguns. In 1868, the emperor Meiji came to the throne, and the shogun system was abolished.

Japan quickly made the transition from a medieval to a modern power. An imperial army was established with conscription, and parliamentary government was formed in 1889. The Japanese began to take steps to extend their empire. After a brief war with China in 1894–1895, Japan acquired Formosa (Taiwan), the Pescadores Islands, and part of southern Manchuria. China also recognized the independence of Korea (Chosen), which Japan later annexed (1910).

In 1904–1905, Japan defeated Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, gaining the territory of southern Sakhalin (Karafuto) and Russia's port and rail rights in Manchuria. In World War I, Japan seized Germany's Pacific islands and leased areas in China. The Treaty of Versailles then awarded Japan a mandate over the islands.

At the Washington Conference of 1921–1922, Japan agreed to respect Chinese national integrity, but, in 1931, it invaded Manchuria. The following year, Japan set up this area as a puppet state, “Manchukuo,” under Emperor Henry Pu-Yi, the last of China's Manchu dynasty. On Nov. 25, 1936, Japan joined the Axis. The invasion of China came the next year, followed by the Pearl Harbor attack on the U.S. on Dec. 7, 1941. Japan won its first military engagements during the war, extending its power over a vast area of the Pacific. Yet, after 1942, the Japanese were forced to retreat, island by island, to their own country. The dropping of atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 by the United States finally brought the government to admit defeat. Japan surrendered formally on Sept. 2, 1945, aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Southern Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands reverted to the USSR, and Formosa (Taiwan) and Manchuria to China. The Pacific islands remained under U.S. occupation.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur was appointed supreme commander of the U.S. occupation of postwar Japan (1945–1952). In 1947, a new constitution took effect. The emperor became largely a symbolic head of state. The U.S. and Japan signed a security treaty in 1951, allowing for U.S. troops to be stationed in Japan. In 1952, Japan regained full sovereignty, and, in 1972, the U.S. returned to Japan the Ryuku Islands, including Okinawa.

Japan's postwar economic recovery was nothing short of remarkable. New technologies and manufacturing were undertaken with great success. A shrewd trade policy gave Japan larger shares in many Western markets, an imbalance that caused some tensions with the U.S. The close involvement of Japanese government in the country's banking and industry produced accusations of protectionism. Yet economic growth continued through the 1970s and 1980s, eventually making Japan the world's second-largest economy (after the U.S.).

Islamic History and Muslims

  The history of Islam in Japan is relatively brief in relation to the religion's longstanding presence in other countries around the world. There are few and isolated records of contact between Islam and Japan before the opening of the country in 1853, although some Muslims did arrive in Nagasaki in earlier centuries.
  The first modern Muslim contacts were with Malays who served aboard British and Dutch ships in the late 19th century. In the late 1870s, the life of Muhammad was translated into Japanese. This helped Islam to find a place in the intellectual imagination of the Japanese people, but only as a part of the history of cultures.
  Another important contact was made in 1890 when Ottoman Turkey dispatched a naval vessel to Japan for the purpose of saluting the visit of Japanese Prince Akihito Komatsu to Istanbul several years earlier. This frigate was called the Ertugrul, and was destroyed in a storm along the coast of Wakayama Prefecture on the evening of September 16, 1890.

20th century

  The first Japanese to go on the Hajj was Kotaro Yamaoka. He converted to Islam, after meeting up with the pan-Islamic agitator Abdürreşid İbrahim, whereupon he took the name Omar Yamaoka. Both were travelling with the support of nationalistic Japanese groups like the Black Dragon Society (Kokuryūkai ), Yamaoka in fact had been with the intelligence service in Manchuria since the Russo-Japanese war. His official reason for travelling was to seek the Sultan's approval for building a mosque in Tokyo (completed 1938). This approval, granted 1910, was necessary as Abdülhamid II considered himself, as Khalifah and Ameerul Mu'mineen (lit. Caliph and Leader of the Faithful; the leader of all Muslims).
  Another early Japanese convert was Bunpachiro Ariga, who about the same time went to India for trading purposes and converted to Islam under the influence of local Muslims there, and subsequently took the name Ahmed Ariga. Yamada Toajiro was from 1892 for almost twenty years the only resident Japanese trader in Istanbul. During this time he served unofficially as consul. He converted to Islam, and took the name Abdul Khalil, and made a pilgrimage to Mecca on his way home.
  The real Muslim community life however did not start until the arrival of several hundred Turko-Tatar Muslim refugees from Central Asia and Russia in the wake of the October Revolution. These Muslims, who were given asylum, in Japan settled in several main cities around Japan and formed small communities. They are estimated at less than 600 in 1938 for Japan proper, a few thousand on the continent. Some Japanese converted to Islam through the contact with these Muslims.
  The Kobe Mosque was built in 1935 with the support of the turco-tarar community of traders there. The Tokyo Mosque, planned since 1908 was finally completed in 1938, with generous financial support from the zaibatsu. Its first imams were Abdürreşid İbrahim (1857-1944), who had returned 1938, and Abdulhay Qorbangali (1889-1972). Japanese Muslims played little role in building these mosques. To date there have been no Japanese who have become Imam of any of the mosques.
  The Greater Japan Muslim League (Dai Nihon Kaikyō Kyōkai 大日本回教協会) founded in 1930, was the first official Islamic organisation in Japan. It had the support of imperialistic circles during World War II, and caused an "Islamic Studies Boom". During this period, over 100 books and journals on Islam were published in Japan. While these organizations had their primary aim in intellectually equipping Japan's forces and intellectuals with better knowledge and understanding of the Islamic world, dismissing them as mere attempts to further Japan's aims for a "Greater Asia" does not relfect the nature of depth of these studies. Japanese and Muslim academia in their common aims of defeating Western colonialism had been forging ties since the early twentieth century, and with the destruction of the last remaining Muslim power, the Ottoman Empire, the advent of hostilities in World War II and the possibility of the same fate awaiting Japan, these academic and political exchanges and the alliances created reached a head. Therefore they were extremely active in forging links with academia and Muslim leaders and revolutionaries, many of whom were invited to Japan.
  Nationalistic organizations like the Ajia Gikai, were instrumental in petitioning the Japanese government on matters such as officially recognizing Islam, along with Shintoism, Christianity and Buddhism as a religion in Japan, and in providing funding and training to Muslim resistance movements in in Southeast Asia, such as the Hizbullah, a resistance group funded by Japan in the Dutch Indies. Intellectual exchange between the Islamic and Japanese academia was at its pinnacle at this time, only to crumble with Japan's defeat. After the Occupation had begun, the numerous Islamic institutions were dissolved and banned being as they had been at the forefront of academic study and protest in Japan against Western colonialism. Claims have been made of these organisations being mere fronts for the Japanese war effort; however the depth and breadth of Japanese-Islamic studies and academic and political exchange by promiment figures such as Okawa Shumei as well as his student, Toshihiko Izutsu, the volumes of written work produced by these figures and others, their translations of the Qur'an, the conversion of numerous promiment figures in Japanese politics to Islam and their claim and such demonstrate that this was certainly not the case.
  Shūmei Ōkawa, by far the highest-placed and most prominent figure in both Japanese government and academia in the matter of Japanese-Islamic exchange and studies, managed to complete his translation of the Qur'an in prison, while being prosecuted as an alleged class-A war criminal by the victorious Allied forces for being an 'organ of propaganda'. Charges were dropped for his erratic behaviour officially; however historians have speculated that the weakness of the charges against him were more likely the true reason for this. While Okawa did display unusual behaviour during the trial such as rapping on the head of Tojo Hideki, he also stated that the trial was a farce and unworthy of being called one.
  He was transferred to a hospital on official claims of mental instability and then prison, and freed not long thereafter, dying as a Muslim 1957 after a quiet life where he continued lecturing, on his return to his home village and wife, who survived him. He had recounted seeing visions of Muhammad in his sleep.

Opening of the Tokyo Mosque, 1938

Post World War II

  In the 1970s, another "Islamic Boom" was set in motion, this time in the shade of "Arab Boom" after the 1973 oil crisis. After realizing the importance of the Middle East and its massive oil reserves for the Japanese economy, the Japanese mass media have since been giving big publicity to the Muslim World in general and the Arab World in particular . With this publicity many Japanese who had no idea about Islam got the chance to see the scene of Hajj in Mecca and hear the call of Adhan (Islamic call to prayer) and Qur'anic recitations. Beside numerous sincere conversions to Islam at the time, there were also mass conversions of several tens of thousands of people.
  The Turks have been the biggest Muslim community in Japan until recently. Pre-war Japan was well-known for its sympathy and favour towards Muslims in central Asia, seeing in them an anti-Soviet ally. In those days some Japanese who worked in intelligence circles had contact with these Muslims. A few converted to Islam through these contacts, and embraced it after the war ended. There were also those who went to Southeast Asia as soldiers during the war. The pilots were instructed to say "La ilaha illa Allah", ("There is no god but Allah", the Muslim declaration of faith) when they were shot down in these regions, so that their lives would be spared. It was reported that one of the pilots was actually shot down and captured by the inhabitants. When he shouted the words to them, to his astonishment they changed their attitudes and treated him well.
  The Japanese invasion of China and South East Asian regions during the second world war brought the Japanese in contact with Muslims. Those who embraced Islam through them returned to Japan and established in 1953, the first Japanese Muslim organisation, the Japan Muslim Association under the leadership of the late Sadiq Imaizumi. Its members, numbering sixty five at the time of inauguration, increased twofold before he died six years later.
  The second president of the association was the late Umar Mita. Mita was typical of the old generation, who learned Islam in the territories occupied by the Japanese Empire. He was working for the Manshu Railway Company, which virtually controlled the Japanese territory in the north eastern province of China at that time. Through his contacts with Chinese Muslims, he became a Muslim in Peking. When he returned to Japan after the war, he made the Hajj, the first Japanese in the post-war period to do so. He also made a Japanese translation of the meaning of the Qur'an from a Muslim perspective for the first time.
  Thus, it was only after the second world war, that what can properly be called "a Japanese Muslim community" came into existence. Though many Islamic organisations were established since the 1900s, each of them had only very few active members.
Muslim demographics
  There is no reliable estimate of the Muslim population in Japan as the government does not inquire about people's religion on census forms or other official documents. The majority of estimates of the Muslim population have been put at around 100,000, but this may be an exaggerated figure.
  The most reliable scholarship puts the number of Muslims in Japan at around 60,000-70,000, of which about 90% are foreign residents, and 10% are ethnic Japanese. At the present time, Indonesians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, and Iranians make up the largest communities of foreign Muslims in Japan.

Mosques

  According to japanfocus.org, 'There are currently between 30 and 40 single-story mosques in Japan, plus another 100 or more apartment rooms set aside, in the absence of more suitable facilities, for prayers. Many Muslim communities have plans to build mosques in the near future.

Education about Muslims in Japan

  The potential number of proselystizers represented by the Muslim community in Japan is itself extremely small in proportion to the national population of more than 120 million. Students together with immigrant workers constitute a large percentage of the Muslim community, which is concentrated in major urban centers such as Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo but is seldom organised in such a way as to conduct effective programs to familiarize non-Muslims with Islam. However, some Muslim students association and local societies have organized camps and gatherings in an effort to improve the understanding of Islamic teachings and for the sake of strengthening the bond among Muslims.
  Further difficulties are faced by Muslims with respect to communication, housing, child education and the availability of halal food and Islamic literature. These constitute additional challenges to dawah in Japan.

Kotaro “Omar” Yamaoka, the first Japanese Muslim to make the Hajj

The Eid al-Adha 1428

Islam in Japan

Foreign Muslims began arriving in modern Japan almost from the beginning of the “opening” of the country. Most of these first Muslims were Malay sailors serving aboard British or Dutch ships. Ever since that time, Islam has existed in Japan, but only in a very modest degree. By the early 20th century a handful of ethnic Japanese also began to convert to Islam.

By 2005, there were about 60,000 Muslims in Japan, with about 10% of those being ethnic Japanese. Additionally, there were a couple of dozen mosques, mostly in the Kanto region. The largest single community of foreign Muslims was the Indonesian, who made up more than a third of the total foreign Muslim population.

AN AMERICAN MUSLIM IN JAPAN: ASMA GULL HASAN

The following newsletter has been received from Toyoko Morita (Shingetsu Member No. 12). Ms. Morita is a specialist on the topic of Muslim immigrant workers in Japan. Her work has been published in three languages: English, Japanese, and Persian. She has also done interesting fieldwork in both Japan and in Teheran. She currently works as a lecturer at both Osaka University of Foreign Studies and Kagoshima University. The Japan Times of June, 18, 2005, reported that Asma Gull Hasan had given a lecture about Muslims in the U.S. and Japan last week. She is the author of two books, “American Muslims: The New Generation” (the title of the Japanese version is “Watashi wa America no Islam Kyoto”) and “Why I am a Muslim: An American Odyssey.” She described herself to the Japan Times as an all-American girl who is not afraid to state her opinion and a feminist who opts not to wear a hijab. If you view her homepage, you may feel that it really is true. She said “We were sort of under the radar (before the September 11 attacks). Nobody noticed us.” The attacks put Muslims in a difficult situation, but she said that it has motivated many Americans to learn about Islam.

On the other hand, it seems that Muslims in Japan are still under the radar. Even after the September 11 attacks, few books are written by Muslims in Japan. Don’t people in Japan want to hear about Islam from Muslims themselves? Actually some books and articles about Muslims in Japan have been published recently, for example “Nihon no Muslim Shakai” (Japan’s Muslim Society) by Keiko Sakurai. However, it is still difficult to find books and articles about Muslims in Japan like Hasan in U.S. There are about 100,000 Muslims in Japan now, according to the Japan Muslim Association. Perhaps they may have their own opinions about the situation of Muslims in Japan. It is not enough only to hear the opinions of a Muslim in the U.S. We have to hear from Muslims living here in Japan as well. Inshallah, the time will come.

Sources

Japan Times Article: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20050618f2.htm
Homepage of Asma Gull Hasan: http://www.asmahasan.com
Japan Muslim Association (in Japanese): http://muslimkyoukai.jp
Islam in Japan Homepage: http://ic.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~tuics/Japan

REVIEW OF ANIS ON THE MUSLIM MINORITY IN JAPAN

One purpose of the Shingetsu Newsletter is to review books and articles published in our field. Here, Sandra R. Leavitt (Shingetsu Member No. 55) of the Department of Government at Georgetown University, Washington DC, provides us with an overview of an article by Bushra Anis about Islam in Japan. Leavitt is a specialist on the politics of Southeast Asia.


Bushra Anis, “The Emergence of Islam and the Status of Muslim Minority in Japan,” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Vol. 18, No. 2, October 1998, pp. 329-346.

In this 1998 article, Bushra Anis provides a much-needed overview of Islam and Muslims in Japan. Because any imported cultural system must adapt to its new context, he begins with an overview of the relevant features of Japanese culture and history. Next, he conveys how Islam has manifested itself and evolved in Japan since the first Muslims arrived in the latter half of the 19th century. This section addresses Islam’s historical development, mosques, Qur’anic translations, role of organic Islamic organizations, Da’wah movement, and conversion experiences. Anis then discusses the socio-economic status of Japan’s Muslim minority, their geographic distribution, and the challenges Japanese Muslims confront as a minority. He concludes by discussing the future of Islam in Japan, returning to the theme of placement within the host culture. In general, the article makes a useful contribution to literatures on Muslim minorities and Japan’s various ethno-religious minorities. However, it is principally an empirical piece without substantial analytic rigor. As such, it provides a useful starting point for those interested in exploring the status of Islam in Japan, a state normally, and inaccurately, considered socially homogeneous.

Japanese culture is portrayed as both accommodative and rigid, uniform as well as varied and flexible. Anis states that “the Japanese have been cultural borrowers,” yet “highly selective” in their borrowing. Imperial Japan and Islam shared the trait of close synergy between political and religious legitimacy. The importance of hierarchy and concept of obligation are also seen as shared characteristics between Japanese and Islamic cultures. In contrast to Islam, however, Japan has traditionally placed political and economic objectives ahead of socio-religious values. Three major belief systems have dominated Japanese culture: Shintoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Christianity arrived in 1549 and was promoted during the U.S. occupation of Japan after WW II. Islam was not introduced until 1877, despite the spread of Islam to the rest of Asia by Arab-Muslim and South Asian-Muslim traders as early as the 8th century (but more consistently beginning in the 13th century). Unlike Muslims, Japanese typically practice “at least two different religions or sometimes even three religions concurrently.” According to Anis, atheism is growing in Japan while Muslims are returning to their faith.

Awareness of Islam in Japan has been greatly affected by international events. Anis states that the first Muslim community comprised refugees from Central Asia and Russia during WW I. Interest in Islam was piqued by the Japanese occupation of Muslim communities in China and Southeast Asia during WW II. Post-war independence of African and Asian states led to increased diplomatic, economic, and cultural exchanges between Japanese and Muslim-majority states. The 1973 oil shock produced increased awareness of and interest in Islam, as did the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

Muslims in Japan are served by five well-established mosques, “three in Tokyo and one each in Kobe and Nagoya.” The first was built in 1905 at Izumi, Otsu, the second in 1914 in Kobe, and the third in Tokyo in 1938. Until 1972 with the aid of the Muslim World League in Mecca, translation of the Qur’an into the Japanese language was done by non-Muslim Japanese scholars. The first translation was completed in 1920, followed by four others. Haji Umar Mita was the first Japanese Muslim to translate the Qur’an into Japanese.

Approximately 50 Islamic organizations support Japan’s Muslim communities. While most are civil-society organizations, some are run by the diplomatic missions of Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Indonesia. Japanese cities outside Tokyo with more than one Islamic organization include Kyoto, Osaka, Kanagawa, Aichi, Shizuoka, and Hokkaido. Anis highlights the functions of five of Japan’s most well-known organizations. The Japan Muslim Association, founded in 1952, had its roots in two other organizations, the Great Japan Islamic Association, which was founded prior to WW II, and the Association for Islamic Studies, which surfaced during the U.S. occupation. Others described by Anis include the Islamic Center—Japan, Islamic Cultural Society—Japan, Japan Islamic Congress (Japan’s largest with approximately 30,000 members), and Islamic Welfare Corps and Fatiha Foundation. As in other countries, Japan’s Islamic organizations provide educational opportunities, travel to Hajj, language training in Arabic for Muslims and non-Muslims, land for graveyards, publications about Islam, schools, propagation of Islam, libraries, research facilities, salat, financing, halal and haram services, and public relations.

Demographically, there are approximately 250,000 Japanese Muslims, or 0.16 percent of the total population. According to the Islamic Center—Japan, 200,000 of these were born abroad and are not ethnically Japanese. In the past 25 years, 50,000 ethnic Japanese have converted to Islam, notably through marriage of Japanese women to recent Muslim immigrants. The vast majority of Japan’s Muslims (80 percent) are laborers and workers employed in Japanese industries who have immigrated from India, Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Thailand. The other 20 percent of Japan’s Muslims are middle-class businessmen and professionals. Most Muslims live in central Japan due to greater industrial, commercial, and financial opportunities there. Others live in port cities.

Problems facing Japan’s Muslims are broken into two categories: those facing all Muslims and those specific to socio-economic class. The latter category, comprising those who migrated to Japan primarily for economic reasons, continue to have serious economic challenges due to low levels of education. With few resources, they also face difficulty in obtaining medical care. Those who marry Japanese women to enhance their economic security are said to have a hard time practicing their faith. Japan’s Muslims in general face a great deal of social pressure to conform to mainstream society. Thus, when Anis claims Muslims in Japan enjoy “complete freedom in the choice of religion” and that “many other religions…are practiced without any antagonism or prejudice,” he must be referring to the lack of official discrimination. Other problems faced by Japan’s Muslim community include a lack of Islamic education and schools, lack of Arabic studies, a shortage of proper mosques, absence of Muslim graveyards, and the unavailability of halal meat. Of these, a dearth of educational facilities and teachers seems to be the biggest problem.

Anis closes with a discussion of the future of Islam in Japan, including prospects for religious conversion. He is both optimistic due to shared characteristics between Japanese and Islamic cultures, and pessimistic on account of the lack of resources available and the undisciplined behavior of practicing Muslims in Japan.

THE FOREIGN MUSLIM POPULATION IN JAPAN

Hiroshi Kojima is the Director of the Department of International Research and Cooperation at the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research (Tokyo). For several years he has been doing sophisticated research in order to determine the nature of the Muslim population in Japan. In March, he published a new paper in English entitled: “Variations in Demographic Characteristics of the Foreign ‘Muslim’ Population in Japan: A Preliminary Estimation.” The full paper is available online, so only an overview of his findings will be presented here.

Estimating the number of foreign Muslims in Japan is no easy business because the Japanese government does not ask individuals about their religion on any census forms. Kojima’s work is a painstaking effort to create estimates based on nationalities and other factors. At any rate, his estimate of the total population of foreign Muslims in Japan is as follows:

1984 -- 5,341
1986 -- 7,276
1988 -- 10,019
1990 -- 12,270
1992 -- 20,871
1994 -- 27,619
1995 -- 29,974
1996 -- 33,140
1997 -- 37,100
1998 -- 40,515
1999 -- 42,590
2000 -- 47,547
2001 -- 50,760
2002 -- 53,568
2003 -- 56,256
2004 -- 58,587

Kojima’s figures suggest, therefore, that the population of foreign Muslims in Japan have in fact been growing at a rate much higher than the growth of the overall foreign community. Specifically, he estimates that in 1984 only 0.6% of foreigners in Japan were Muslims, but twenty years later in 2004, that percentage had risen to 3.0%.

Looking at the situation as of 2004, Kojima finds the nationality balance of the foreign Muslim population to be as follows, counting only the top five:

35.6% -- Indonesian (20,832)
16.2% -- Bangladeshi (9,469)
14.0% -- Pakistani (8,180)
9.1% -- Iranian (5,349)
4.1% -- Turkish (2,402)

This nationality balance has undergone some changes in this period. The clearest example is the decline of the Iranian population. From 1994 to 1996 the largest single group of foreign Muslims were Iranians. In 1995, for example, Kojima estimates the Iranian population in Japan to have reached 8,559, almost 40% more than the 2004 figure. Although I’m not an expert on this issue, I’ve heard that in the mid-1990s there was public concern in Japan about theft by resident Iranians, and this led to a crackdown on them by Japanese immigration authorities.

For the full paper, please consult the following website:

http://www.ipss.go.jp/webj-ad/WebJournal.files/population/ps06_03.asp 

Hiroshi Kojima, “Variations in Demographic Characteristics of the Foreign ‘Muslim’ Population in Japan: A Preliminary Estimation,” The Japanese Journal of Population, Vol. 4, No. 1, March 2006.


THE FIRST MOSQUE IN KYUSHU

In a somewhat related story, the local page of the Mainichi Shinbun reported on the 6th of this month that efforts are underway to build the first mosque in Kyushu. These efforts are centered on the Muslim Students’ Association of Kyushu University, which has about 100 members (The article estimates that a total of about 500 Muslims live on Kyushu Island as a whole).

They have been collecting funds for the mosque since 1998, and have so far collected donations in excess of US$430,000. With this money, in September of last year, they purchased the land in Fukuoka city where they plan to build the mosque. However, the plan for the mosque calls for an estimated US$870,000 in building fees, so they still have a long way to go.

According to the article, their plan calls for a three-story structure: the first floor for men; the second floor for women; and the third floor a hall for symposiums about Islamic culture. A 36-year-old Egyptian man was quoted in Japanese to this effect: “Although it is deeply misunderstood in Japan, the Islamic religion loves peace and respects multiculturalism. We would like to create a space at this mosque where we can spread an understanding of Islamic culture and have useful exchanges.”

The Shingetsu Institute, of course, is also based on Kyushu Island, within the same Fukuoka Prefecture, so perhaps in the long run this development may have some effect on our own local operations as well.

The following is a round-up of recent stories on Islam in Japan. The first derives from a story carried in the International Islamic News Agency and which was brought to our attention by Muhammad Yusuf (Shingetsu Member No. 142) of The Gulf Today newspaper in Sharjah. The second story was recently carried in the Daily Yomiuri. The third story appeared several weeks ago in the Japan Times.

JAPANESE MUSLIMS PARTICIPATE IN ASIA MUSLIM YOUTH SUMMER CAMP

The short article in the International Islamic News Agency says that about eighty young Asian Muslims took part in the first Asia Regional Muslim Youth Summer Camp in Taipei. This four-day event was held from the 18th to the 21st and “was organized by the Chinese Muslim Association with the aim of promoting networking among young Muslims in Asia and enhancing Taiwan's relations with Islamic countries.”

Among the topics scheduled for discussion at the summer camp were “the role of human beings in the universe and the true meaning of Islam, the Islamic view of international relations, and war and peace.”

This story becomes relevant for us because it is clear that at least one young Japanese Muslim participated in this camp. The article quotes Ahmed Nakahashi Genta as follows: “Japanese Muslims are a minority, and there aren't many chances to meet with other Muslim brothers and sisters… I hope to meet with the brothers and share experiences and values with them.”

The organizers would like to make the Asia Regional Muslim Youth Summer Camp an annual event, and plan to hold its second meeting next summer in South Korea.

Nobody knows exactly how many ethnic Japanese Muslims there are at present, but the most reliable estimates put the number at about 6,000 to 8,000.

INTEREST GROWING IN THE ARABIC LANGUAGE
By Isaku Kotera
Yomiuri Shinbun Staff Writer

"As-salaamu Alaykum." In other words, "Konnichi wa." Although it has been long regarded as a minor language that is studied by a limited number of people such as researchers, Arabic is becoming popular with an increasing number of learners. To explain its new popularity, some point to the increased media attention the Arabic-speaking world has been drawing in light of war, political confusion and the other hardships facing the people there.

The Arabic Islamic Institute in Tokyo, which is run by the Saudi Arabian government, has been offering free Arabic classes since April 2001. The classes started with about 100 students in their first year, but have been taken by about 160 students annually since 2003.

The institute offers the free classes in two semesters starting in April and September. Students are divided into four levels, with beginners' classes being the most popular. Although each class can accept up to 30 students, the beginners' class attracted about 50 applicants for each of the two most recent semesters.

When the Yomiuri Shinbun recently visited an upper-intermediate Level 3 class, the second highest level, the students were practicing writing. Egyptian instructor Gamal Zaitoun, 46, asked in Arabic, "What did you do over the weekend?" One of the students, Yoshiyuki Sato, 26, of Sumida Ward, Tokyo, replied, "I enjoyed having zosui [rice stew]." The instructor told Sato to write the sentence down. Sato walked to a whiteboard at the front of the room and began spelling out his words in Arabic letters that flowed from right to left.

"Mumtaaz [Splendid]," Zaitoun said.

In addition to the institute, an increasing number of other organizations have begun offering Arabic classes. NHK launched a televised Arabic course in 2003, while the University of the Air -- which offers correspondence courses via television and radio -- also started such a course last year. More and more universities have been following the move. In 2001, there were 27 Arabic courses offered at the university level nationwide. By 2005, that figure had nearly doubled, to 52.

There is also a small private Arabic school in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo. Gallery PoRto LibRE turns itself into an Arabic school every Tuesday night. One of the instructors there is Michiko Suzuki, 60, who runs a bar next door. The school was "launched" when Suzuki's regular customers asked her to teach them Arabic as she once studied in Egypt.

The nation's first Arabic proficiency examination is now under way. Keiko Miyakawa, 35, of Iizuka, Fukuoka Prefecture, whose husband works at the Japanese Embassy in Cairo, has established a nonprofit organization named the Japanese Organization for Arabic Language Examinations. The first test will be set for the end of October in Tokyo and Osaka.

Arabic is spoken in more than 20 countries in the Middle East. It may be unfamiliar to many in Japan, but there are many words that are familiar to Japanese that are said to have originated from the language -- such as coffee, lemon, orange, massage, candy and sherbet.

Nonetheless, many hurdles face Japanese in improving their Arabic skills. For example, the language has a variety of sounds similar to "ka" and "sa" in Japanese, so it is difficult for Japanese students to distinguish them in speaking and listening.

However, students learning at the Arabic Islamic Institute in Tokyo said the language had some attractive aspects that they could not find in others. "It's an Arabic custom that when they invite guests, they say, 'Please give me an honor," said Sachi Akita, 25, a temp staff worker from Tachikawa, Tokyo. "I've found that the language is filled with hospitality."

On the other hand, Shinichi Sato, a 24-year-old part-time worker from Shinjuku Ward, is attracted by the beauty of Arabic handwriting. "Arabic also has an art of calligraphy. I've found an indescribable flavor in their winding shapes," he said.


ARABIC CALLIGRAPHY WITH A SENSE OF NIHON
By Tomoko Otake
Japan Times Staff Writer

For Kouichi Honda, writing a beautiful line is what life is about. Getting every detail right -- the subtle curves, the varying thicknesses and the density of the ink -- matters to him as much as life itself.

The 61-year-old professor of international relations at Daito Bunka University in Saitama Prefecture is Japan's leading authority on Arabic calligraphy, a devotional art form that has evolved over the course of 1,400 years and has detailed rules determining every single facet of the practice, whether the script is executed on paper or vellum or is fired into the gorgeous ceramic tiling that can hardly fail to astonish any visitor to a mosque.

But Honda is not just a rare curio in Japan. He is known around the world as one of the best Arabic calligraphers alive today. Some of his works, including "The Face of God" -- a series of Koranic scripts against blue, red and yellow pyramid-shaped backgrounds -- were last year accorded the tremendous honor of being included in the permanent collection of the British Museum in London.

Honda's unique journey began when he graduated from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies with Arabic as his major. He had not chosen Arabic for any particular reason, he says, except that he was interested in foreign languages and had enjoyed English in high school, but the Arabic department was easier to get into.

While he was at university, he says, students across the nation were being thrown into chaos by the 1960s student movement. But while his classmates were busy barricading school gates, donning helmets, shouting impassioned slogans and confronting the police, Honda says he was being otherwise inspired by the works of the author Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933), and he dreamed of one day becoming a fairy-tale writer like him.

So after college, Honda spent four years cloistered in his small apartment in Kanagawa Prefecture trying to produce a masterpiece. He could not. "For days on end, I sat in front of a desk, but nothing came out because I had nothing in myself," he says.

Then, while still yearning for life's meaning, he got a job with a Tokyo-based surveying company that had contracts with several Middle Eastern governments to create maps. As one of the few Arabic-speaking Japanese at that time in his company, or indeed the whole of Japan, Honda soon found himself sent to Saudi Arabia, Libya and Yemen in the 1970s as an interpreter for the firm. It was an experience that changed his life, he says.Honda's five-year stint in the Middle East involved camping in the desert for months, driving twenty-odd-strong groups far off any beaten tracks to log landforms and record the names the nomadic Bedouin people gave to hills, rivers and mountains. But while his Japanese co-workers (few in number as hardly any Japanese spoke Arabic) found their life on the road hard to adjust to, Honda says he wholeheartedly enjoyed the experience. He loved being close to nature and traveling to places even locals would shy away from. Eventually, he says, his body even started to "feel" directions without a compass and regardless of the weather.

It was also during this time that he discovered the art of Arabic calligraphy, which, unlike Chinese and Japanese forms that utilize brushes, uses pens made from reeds or bamboo. Honda's introduction to the Arabic form, however, occurred one day when he was visiting the Saudi government's aerial-survey department on business, and saw official calligraphers at work. It was standard practice back then for Saudi government agencies to use handwriting in official documents, including maps, he says, noting that the art of calligraphy had developed as people tried to copy the Koran precisely and beautifully.

At the aerial survey department, Honda was particularly struck, he says, by the way the calligraphers would write the names of such features as wadis (dry river courses) in such a way that the lines of Arabic characters would flow in parallel with those vital features where water was often to be found underground.

Soon he learned that, unlike in the Japanese and Chinese traditions, Arabic calligraphy involves shape design, often featuring circular or oval forms. This is because the rules for writing the Arabic alphabet are more flexible, and they allow the lengths of many lines to be extended or shrunk relatively freely to create geometrical designs.

"I fell in love with the beauty of those curves," he recalled, admitting that, until then, he had never before been interested in any forms of calligraphic art, including Japan's own. He immediately asked one of the calligraphers to teach him the basics, and after that he would practice alone after work in his tent.

Then, after he returned to Japan, Honda continued to study the art, but all by himself. His teachers were textbooks he had brought from Saudi Arabia, and he made the pens himself out of wooden chopsticks. It was also during this period, four or five years after his return to Japan, that he became a Muslim and adopted the Islamic name of Fuad, meaning "heart." He said he did not have a revelation or anything, but became a Muslim because he wanted to study the words of the Koran, which only believers are allowed to touch.

Soon his self-taught skills became more widely known about, and, because there was practically no one else in Japan who was trained in Arabic calligraphy, he was swamped with requests from foreign embassies in Tokyo and Japanese corporations doing business in Arabic-speaking countries to write everything from party banners to corporate logos and advertising copy.

But with the arrival of Arabic word processors and PCs in the late 1980s -- which he was partly responsible for because he helped develop various computer-friendly Arabic fonts -- such requests soon dried up.

Then in 1988, in the final days of the Iran-Iraq War, the Iraqi government invited Honda to participate in a high-profile calligraphy festival in Baghdad, where hundreds of top professionals from around the world converged to display their best works. There, he became acquainted with the greatest names in the field, including Hassan Chelby, a Turkish master whom he subsequently asked for private lessons. His request was accepted and, finally in 2000, Chelby gave Honda a license to teach calligraphy.

Now, as a master in his own right, Honda has carved out a niche for himself with his unique use of colors. While he sticks to the traditional rules of Arabic calligraphy, which dictate such details as how to place punctuation marks, he says that his Japanese heritage helps him to break conventions, too. For one, he likes to use the gradation of nuanced colors in his backgrounds -- unlike many other artists who contrast one vivid color against another. "To me, blue has more than 20 different variations," he said. "My colors reflect my sensibility as a Japanese."

While thirty years have elapsed since Honda first visited Saudi Arabia, it is the desert life from those days that continues to inspire his works, says the tall, slim man who now lives in the seaside town of Zushi in Kanagawa Prefecture west of Tokyo with his Japanese wife and their grown-up daughter.

But you don't have to be a Muslim or an Arabic expert to enjoy the art, Honda insists. In fact, many in his ever-expanding group of students are not Muslims, and some do not even know the Arabic language, he said. However, his students, also include two dozen at the Saudi Embassy-affiliated Arabic Islamic Institute in Tokyo, who are doing remarkably well, he reports with obvious satisfaction.

In the latest round of the prestigious calligraphic art competition staged by the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) in Istanbul every three years, four Japanese -- three of whom were students of Honda -- won awards. And that was a record-breaking number, said Koichi Yamaoka, secretary general of the Japan Arabic Calligraphy Association, which he set up with Honda in 2006. "This is quite an epoch-making development," Yamaoka said. "People over there must be wondering what is going on in Japan."

But to Honda, his students' success comes as no surprise. "Japanese people have a background in calligraphy through their experience of learning shodo (Japanese calligraphy)," he said. "Even if you are not able to understand the Arabic language, you can appreciate the beauty of its written form.

"To me, there are various levels of beauty in the letters. One Arabic letter of the alphabet is beautiful by itself, but when it becomes part of a sentence, there is another level of beauty. And then the letters start to move as if they were living creatures.

"To me, it is almost like music with no sound," he said, smiling serenely.

Islam in Japan
Written by Michael Penn

http://www.asiaquarterly.com/content/view/168/42/



This article introduces the social condition of Muslims who live in contemporary Japan, focusing especially on the ground-level realities of these communities. Basic information about the Muslim population are presented, as well as its institutional infrastructure. The analysis briefly considers both issues of national politics and the problems faced by individual Muslims in Japanese society. The article concludes that Muslims in Japan can sometimes succeed in their personal lives, but that as an independent community they suffer serious impediments.

Islam in Japan: Adversity and Diversity

Michael Penn is the Executive Director of the Shingetsu Institute for the Study of Japanese-Islamic Relations in Kitakyushu, Japan. He is the author of one book and more than a dozen academic articles, most of which relate to some aspect of the history and current state of Japan’s relations with the Islamic world.


Introduction

Japan is not a country that immediately comes to mind when one thinks about Muslims or the Islamic world. For most people, the very concepts of “Japan” and “Islam” exist in different mental categories, and seem to have little or nothing legitimately connecting them. This generalization would probably hold true not only for most Americans and Europeans, but for most Japanese themselves.

In fact, there are many important links between Japan and the Islamic world. In recent years a growing number of young scholars around the world have been studying the Japanese-Muslim relationship, and the field appears to be blooming. One aspect that is receiving a fair amount of attention is the political link between prewar Pan-Asianists in Japan and Pan-Islamic activists in the Turkish and Arab lands.1 Others have focused on Japan’s resource diplomacy, which centers, of course, on oil and petrochemicals.2 Still others have begun to take a careful look at Japan’s changing security policies, and how Tokyo is positioning itself in regard to the “war on terrorism” and other matters of contemporary political concern.3

However, the focus of the current essay is to introduce the small Muslim communities that exist within Japan itself. Our concern here is less with issues of high politics (though we shall not ignore them), and more with the ground-level realities of Muslims who live in contemporary Japanese society.

Islam in Japan: The Basic Facts

The obvious first question to be addressed is: How many Muslims live in Japan? The answer, however, is not so simple.

The Japanese government does not keep any statistics on the number of Muslims in Japan. Neither foreign residents nor ethnic Japanese are ever asked about their religion by official government agencies. While it is conceivable that this policy may change in the future due to official concerns about international terrorism, there has yet to be any public indication of such an effort. Introducing such a policy might lead to objections by the Japanese public that the government has no business inquiring into matters of religion, which is regarded by most Japanese as a strictly personal affair that should exist outside of the public sphere.

As a result of this fact, the true size of the Muslim population in Japan remains a matter of speculation. Some Muslim organizations and media reports have put the number of Muslims in Japan at roughly 100,000, but that is probably an exaggerated estimate.4 The most serious work on this question has been done by Japanese scholars such as Hiroshi Kojima of the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research and Keiko Sakurai of Waseda University. Their estimates suggest a Muslim population of around 70,000, of which perhaps 90% are resident foreigners and about 10% native Japanese.

Of the foreign majority, the largest national groups, in order of population size, are Indonesians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, and Iranians. Of the ethnically Japanese Muslims, the majority are thought to be Japanese women who have married foreign Muslim men, but there are also a small number of intellectuals, including university professors, who have converted. It should also be noted that the Muslim population of Japan probably reached 10,000 only in the late 1980s, and then expanded in the 1990s as more foreign workers arrived in the country.5

The presence of Islam in Japan has a longer history than many would suspect. A handful of foreign Muslims were to be found in the Japanese treaty ports as early as the 1870s. A few ethnic Japanese had converted to Islam before the First World War. It was only when Turkic refugees from the Russian Revolution began arriving in the 1920s, however, that Muslims began to establish their own religious organizations. In 1928 the Muslims of Kobe established their own society and, in October 1935, established the Kobe Muslim Mosque, the first permanent mosque in Japan. The high-profile Tokyo Mosque was opened several years later, in May 1938, with an impressive list of political dignitaries and prewar activists in attendance.

Both of these mosques survived into the postwar era. The Japan Muslim Association was formed in 1952, and in June 1968 was officially granted recognition as a religious organization by the Japanese government. The oil shock era of the 1970s brought the Arab and Islamic worlds to the attention of the Japanese public as never before, and it was at this time that the Islamic Center Japan was established in a large building in the Setagaya Ward of Tokyo. Currently, after the expansion of resident Muslims in the 1990s previously referred to, the number of mosques in Japan expanded to more than twenty, most of them grouped in the Kanto region, but also including other regions of the country. To round out the discussion, it should also be noted that the Tokyo embassies of some Muslim countries have also contributed facilities for Muslims, and there are Muslim student associations at certain Japanese universities.


Japanese Perceptions and Attitudes toward Islam

The next issue that should be addressed is the question of how this substantial population of Muslims have been perceived, and received, in Japan. Again, the answer is complex.

As individuals, Muslims in Japan usually fare no worse than any other foreigner in Japan. If the Muslim in question is fair-skinned and clean cut, then they may be received rather well within Japanese society. If they are dark-skinned and bearded, then they may face more problems. Most Japanese have a tendency to make their judgments about foreigners based on their appearance and outward sociability. A smiling and friendly foreigner—whether Muslim or otherwise—will generally be welcomed, especially if that foreigner makes an effort to respect Japanese culture and learn the local language. An individual foreign Muslim who plays by these rules may do very well in Japan. Nevertheless, Muslims face some special problems, especially those who are more devout and public about their faith.

The Japanese have long held negative stereotypes about the Islamic world. As Japan modernized in the Meiji period and after, most of the public’s information about the Islamic world came via Western, and in particular British, sources. Relatively few Japanese had the opportunity to revise these stereotypes through direct contact and experience. As a result, the attitudes toward Islam that can be found in Victorian British sources exercised a disproportionately large influence on the Japanese understanding of Islam in its formative period. Even the efforts to create a pan-Asian, anti-Western alliance in the late 1930s and early 1940s made little headway against this overall tendency. In the postwar period, Japan was awash with products of American cultural products such as Hollywood movies, American news stories, and literature. As the world’s most powerful nation, and Japan’s main international ally, the US, along with its culture, has enjoyed a high degree of cultural prestige. Furthermore, since this has also largely corresponded to the period in which official US policy has clashed with political movements in the Arab and Islamic worlds, many of the negative images found in the US media have also found their way into the Japanese media.

Not only foreign-born Muslims, but also Japanese Muslims, have bewailed the negative image of Islam in Japan. For example, twenty-five years ago Abu Bakr Morimoto was able to write as follows: “modern culture, which is mostly Western, came into Japan almost wholly from the Christian world. Therefore, the bits of knowledge about Islam that found their way through this channel were greatly distorted for obvious reasons. For example, the image of the Prophet Muhammad portrayed in the Divine Comedy of Dante or the picture of Islam drawn in the writings of Japanese Christians like Kanzo Uchimura (1861-1930) were taken blindly by the Japanese intellectuals as well as the laymen to be the real face of Islam. Similarly, in recent times also, a great many Japanese identify Islam with the guerilla activities or plane-hijacks with some of which Muslims are associated.”6

With the larger number of real, flesh-and-blood Muslims in Japan in the 1990s, it is probably fair to say that the Japanese public has developed a more sophisticated and nuanced view of Islam since Morimoto published those words. However, September 11, and the political turbulence that followed it, represented a serious setback in this respect.

There have been several incidents of harassment of Muslims that have made the national news in recent years. Some mosques received harassing phone calls after the New York terror attacks. In May 2001, there was a case in which a Japanese woman shredded a Quran in front of a Pakistani business in Toyama Prefecture, and this led to Muslim protests. Also, in June 2004, Al-Jazeera ran a story entitled “Japanese Muslims Face Fear and Doubt,” about a Moroccan named Samir who stated: “I used to have a beard and on one occasion a customer told me I looked like a terrorist… If I were blond and had blue eyes, I wouldn’t have any problems, but because my name is Samir and I have a beard, I’m a terrorist.”7

In spite of such anecdotes, the situation may not be is quite as dire as the Al-Jazeera headline would suggest. By and large, foreign Muslims in Japan do not suffer a particularly heavy degree of discrimination. There is absolutely no hint of physical danger for Muslims in Japan. Most Muslims in Japan feel themselves to be at no particular disadvantage beyond the routine forms of discrimination that all foreigners must deal with in Japanese society. To some extent, foreigners in Japan are expected to be strange and unusual, and in that context Muslims can fit in as well as anyone else, particularly, as previously suggested, those who do not bring religion into their public lives.

However, in the case of ethnically Japanese Muslims, it is true that they face additional pressures. As Keiko Sakurai has rightly observed, “The Japanese attitude toward Japanese Muslims is probably a bit different from their attitude toward non-Japanese Muslims.”8 This is rooted in the fact that there are rather heavy cultural expectations that all Japanese must bear. Islamic prohibitions on alcohol and pork can easily conflict with Japanese expectations about proper behavior at a kangeikai (a welcoming party) or a bonenkai (an end-of-year party). The izakaya (Japanese bar) is an important venue for social communication, and any Japanese Muslim who strongly insists on following the Islamic prohibitions in such a setting could easily face criticism and doubt from their colleagues.

Likewise, a Turkish imam once spoke about the problems faced by his Japanese wife as follows: “The other (Japanese) women, they keep their distance, like she’s someone from another planet.”9 In other words, a strictly observant Japanese Muslim can easily find themselves an outcast if they are not careful. Even talking about their faith to other Japanese can lead their colleagues to become nervous and begin avoiding them.

Tokyo’s Public Diplomacy


There is another world in Japan that we must briefly consider, quite far from the Japanese street, wherein an alternate reality exists; that is, the world of public diplomacy. At the same time as most ordinary Japanese remain uncomfortable with the notion of Islam, at the diplomatic level, the Japanese government has been trying to paint a different picture.

These efforts began in earnest in January 2001 with the “Kono Initiative.” This initiative was named after then-Foreign Minister Yohei Kono, and was also referred to as the “Dialogue among Civilizations with the World of Islam,” apparently in honor of then-President Mohammed Khatami of Iran. The stated goal of this program was to build “multi-layered” links with the states of the Persian Gulf through a “frank and active dialogue among scholars and experts from Japan and Islamic countries.”10 The intellectual underpinning for these efforts seem to have been largely rooted in the ideas of the well-known scholar of the Islamic world, Yuzo Itagaki.

While the “Kono Initiative” itself was clearly related both to a desire to secure Japan’s economic ties with the region, as well as to promote genuine cultural understanding, the true nature of these diplomatic efforts seem to have evolved in unexpected directions in recent years. As the world entered the era of September 11, the “War on Terrorism,” the “Axis of Evil,” and the Iraq War, Japan’s diplomatic position on regional affairs has shifted significantly at the level of true substance (though not always in appearance).

After the first foreign minister of the Koizumi Administration, Makiko Tanaka, was fired in January 2002, there was a strong shift in Tokyo toward a tighter alignment with U.S. policy. The most dramatic event of this shift was the sending of a Ground Self-Defense Forces unit to Samawa in southern Iraq in solidarity with Bush Administration goals. While the original Kono Initiative was probably intended to build a Japanese foreign policy more independent of Washington, during the course of 2002 these notions of Japanese independence in the region effectively collapsed.

However, the public diplomacy of Japanese-Muslim friendship not only continued, but seemed to accelerate—at least on the surface. In September 2003, the first event of the “Japan-Arab Dialogue,” was held in Tokyo. Then, in July 2004, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the “Seminar Series to Understand the Middle East and Islam.” This lecture series traveled to various regions of Japan with the ostensible purpose of promoting Japanese public understanding of Middle Eastern and Islamic countries. Finally, Prime Minister Koizumi himself has recently participated in iftar dinners with Muslim Ambassadors, breaking the daily fast associated with the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Do these events suggest a growing interest in Japan in the culture and beliefs of Islamic peoples? Perhaps they do. However, some analysts are concerned that these recent moves in Tokyo’s public diplomacy may represent something quite different, such as an emerging ideological agenda with parallels to the discourse and patterns of justification that accompanied Japan’s military expansion in Asia in the 1930s and early 1940s.11

It is, perhaps, too early to draw any firm judgments on that issue, but there are some more easily identifiable problems in Japanese government policy. Most important is probably the fact that the commitment of the Japanese authorities to dialogue and understanding with the Arab-Islamic world at the level of public diplomacy has not been matched by any substantial developments in the broader field of education.

Japanese schools from elementary level to university levels have traditionally had very little content dealing with the Islamic world. In an environment in which Tokyo has proclaimed a stronger and long-term interest in building constructive relations with Islamic peoples, one might reasonably expect some serious initiative to expand the relevant content about Islam in school textbooks or at least in terms of university programs. However, the fact remains that four years after September 11 and the Japanese government’s deeper political engagement with the Islamic world, there have yet to be any significant initiatives from the Ministry of Education to advance the education of the Japanese public with respect to these issues. Most Japanese continue to rely on the television media as their main, and sometimes only, source of information. Repeated calls from the small Japan Association for Middle East Studies (JAMES) and similar academic groups to expand educational programs have been met with official indifference.12

In summation, while it seems that the Japanese government has been more eager to involve itself politically in the affairs of the Islamic world, and though there is a new rhetoric of dialogue and cooperation, it remains to be seen whether this represents a serious attempt to gain a deep-rooted mutual understanding, or whether this represents a political-diplomatic agenda that is not quite what it seems on the surface. Ample grounds for skepticism remain.

The Realities of Muslim Life in Japan

Returning to the experiences of Muslims on the ground, it would be useful at this point to introduce two incidents recently related to the author by Muslims currently living in Japan. Both episodes relate to the difficulties faced by Muslims in Japan.

The first story is related by a 43-year-old independent Turkish businessman in western Japan. The tale runs as follows:

There is a small manufacturing plant that employs about fifty people. About five years ago, the manager of this factory had a “bad experience” with a Muslim employee. The man in question was a Filipino Muslim who was very devout. Soon after he was employed at the factory, his boss became dissatisfied with him because the employee always seemed to be missing. It turned out that this Filipino prayed five times a day for about ten minutes each time. His Japanese boss was annoyed about this custom because he didn’t feel that it was proper for an employee to take any time off for such “personal matters.” After about five months came the final straw: the employee came to the boss and asked to do only light work. It was the month of Ramadan and the employee was fasting. The boss fired him.

This is a very Japanese tale. In most Muslim countries, the employee’s right to pray and fast would not have been questioned. In the United States, the employee could probably have hired a lawyer and sued the company for religious discrimination. In Japan, however, the employee had no real option other than to leave the company or to stop performing what he regarded as his religious obligations. The employee left.

About a year-and-a-half later, a Turkish Muslim applied for a job at the same company. The interview was going well until the Japanese boss learned that the man was a Muslim. He almost terminated the interview at that point, declaring that he would not hire a Muslim. The surprised Turkish man, who badly wanted the job, asked why. The boss told him the story of the Filipino Muslim. The Turkish interviewee then informed the boss that he was a secularized Muslim who did not pray every day or fast for Ramadan. The boss was skeptical, but decided to give him a chance. In a short time, things worked out well. The Turkish employee worked hard, and the boss was very satisfied. Commented the boss to our informant: benkyo ni narimashita (I really learned something)!13

As this story demonstrates, the Japanese boss had no deep-rooted prejudice toward Muslims, but he did have his own rather inflexible Japanese cultural expectations. When the Filipino Muslim brought religion into the workplace and asked for special consideration, his Japanese boss was unbending. However, for the Turkish man who accepted the Japanese way of doing things, there were no difficulties at all, and he became a valued employee. Although this is only an anecdote, it is probably representative of the experiences of many Muslims living and working in Japan.

The second and final anecdote to be related here regards an ethnic Japanese Muslim. The story is told by an Arab Muslim who has spent time in Japan.14

According to this account, a young Japanese woman went to Canada and lived there for a while. During her stay, she befriended resident Muslims and became interested in their religion. Eventually, she decided to convert to Islam and became very devout, even to the point that she began wearing all black clothes, wearing a scarf over her head, and praying five times a day.

When she returned to Japan, she faced immediate problems. First of all, her parents were upset about her new behavior and chided and encouraged their daughter to give up her new faith. However, as this young woman was very strong-minded, she rejected the pressure from her parents and continued to live as a strict Muslim.

Additionally, she had many problems at work. When she joined a Japanese company, her bosses and colleagues disapproved of her religious behavior, made negative comments, and tried to change the way she dressed. As a result, she had great difficulty in holding down a steady job.

Still, she persisted. Eventually she went to the embassy of a Muslim country and asked for work. Her interviewer was surprised when the young lady made two demands of her prospective employer: first, she must be allowed to wear her black clothes and scarf, and, second, she must be given time for her prayers. More amused than annoyed, the Muslim embassy hired the lady, and she stayed at the embassy for many years. Eventually, she married into an Arab family.

This account reinforces the message of the first case. A devout Muslim who is public in their religious loyalties faces some harassment in Japan, especially in the workplace. In the case of this young woman, who was Japanese, she also had to face harassment from her family, which disapproved of her religion. This confirms the insight of Keiko Sakurai and others that ethnic Japanese Muslims often face greater pressure than foreign Muslims. The young lady remained a Muslim, but at the price of exclusion from mainstream Japanese society.

Prospects for the Future of Islam in Japan

Throughout the 20th century there were Muslim activists who claimed that Islam was on the verge of expanding rapidly among the Japanese population. Japan seemed to them to be something of a “religious vacuum” just waiting to hear the call of Islam. Christianity had made only limited inroads into Japanese society, but surely Islam would fare much better. Many Muslims felt that, in many ways, Japanese culture already reflected many of the deeper values of Islamic society. The very word “Islam” is a derivative of the Arabic word “salaam,” meaning peace. Are not the Japanese just as much devoted to their “heiwa” (peace)? Do not Japanese behave like brothers and sisters, cooperate with each other and show concern for their neighbors’ welfare? Do they not love the beauty of nature, that great gift to Man, and the sign to the perceptive ones of God’s majesty and grace?

And yet, the predicted explosion of Islam in Japanese society never took place. Indeed, as the previous accounts demonstrate, the Japanese continue to view Islam with skepticism, as a half-civilized faith characteristic of poor and underdeveloped regions of the world. Even some of the basic facts about Islamic doctrine remain obscure to them. For many Japanese, they do not know about Islam, and do not want to know about it. Their views range from indifference to suspicion.

The relationship between Muslims and Japanese has thus been an odd one. A broad generalization would be that many Muslims are attracted to Japan, but most Japanese are unaware and indifferent to that fact. This cultural pattern can be traced back to at least the late 19th century. Of course, there are many exceptions to this generalization on both sides, but the overall pattern still holds.

This pattern is unlikely to undergo many radical changes in the coming decades. It is possible that more Japanese will learn about Islam and become more interested in the religion and its customs. However, it is more likely that Japan’s reputation in the Islamic world will plummet if it continues on its current trajectory of close alignment of its diplomatic and military policies in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere with those of the United States.

The most worrisome possibility for Muslims is the thought of what might happen in the aftermath of a major terrorist event in Japan. Prime Minister Koizumi’s support for the “war on terrorism” and the Iraq War have led to direct verbal threats from al-Qaeda that Japan may be targeted.15 If this dark scenario becomes a reality, there is significant cause for worry: ignorance and fear are a lethal combination. Should Muslims be regarded as a serious internal threat by the government and by ordinary Japanese, then in a moment of panic there would be few protections for the rights of foreign Muslims in Japan.

However, barring any sharp turn for the worse at the political level, Muslims in Japan are likely to continue building their local institutions and developing links with their Japanese neighbors. Many mosques now offer classes to Japanese who want to learn more about Islam. Internet links are allowing Muslims in Japan to communicate with each other and keep in touch with their mosques. Enterprising businessmen are opening halal restaurants and catering services for the benefit of the faithful. In Shizuoka prefecture, an Afghan doctor gained the respect and affection of the locals for his dedicated service to the community.16 In Osaka, an Iranian man was elected president of the local PTA.17 Step by step, some individual Muslims are making a difference.

In conclusion, the story of Islam in Japan remains a marginal issue, but one which still has the potential to develop in many directions. Most foreign Muslims probably come to Japan for economic opportunity and the peaceful stability of Japanese society. Many of them enjoy living in Japan, but face some barriers and discrimination. Patient efforts and a friendly demeanor can win trust for individual Muslims among their Japanese colleagues, but as an independent community it cannot be said that they are particularly welcomed. Most Japanese are not comfortable with living in a multicultural society, and prefer to experience their foreigners in small doses. Muslims in Japan will continue to face the challenges of adversity and diversity.

    Marriages lead women into Islam in Japan
    By Lynne Y. Nakano, Staff Writer

    "Aysha" Abid Choudry - her given name is Harumi - adopted her Muslim name and faith four years ago, at the age of 26, to marry a Pakistani. Two years later, like many Japanese women married to Muslim men in Japan, she remained reluctant to abide by Islamic laws.

    Then one day about two years ago, she decided to act on her own intuition that Islam meant having a personal relationship with Allah [Arabic for God]. She got on her knees to pray for the first time. Her husband, a devout Muslim who had never asked her to adopt Islam but had parayed silently on her behalf for years, cried openly at the sight.

    Once distant and unknown in Japan, Islam has found converts among young Japanese women. Many are married to men who come to Japan to find work from countries with Islamic traditions such as Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Malaysia.
     

    Islamic law mandates that those who intend to marry Muslims must convert, at least in name, to the Islamic faith, according to R. Siddiqi, director of the Islamic Center, Japan.

    A hub of Islamic activity in Tokyo, the Islamic Center in Setagay-ku registered over 80 new members this year, the majority Japanese women.

    Although some women converted with no thought of marriage, many more converted to Islam to marry Muslims; the center reports a record number of 40 marriages between foreign Muslims and Japanese women converts this year.

    "Women are attracted to Islam because they want freedom. Islam gives them independence because they do not have to be a slave of any man. Islam is against moral aggression against women. The chastity and honor of women are protected. No illicit relations are allowed. All these things attract women," said Siddiqi.

    Islamic law also provides that men may have more than one wife. "This cannot seem to leave Japanese heads," said Siddiqi. "We explain one thousand times that marrying four times is permissible only in certain unavoidable circumstances such as impotency, infertility and so forth. As a result there is no prostitution in Islam. If you need another women, then marry her, take care of her children."

    Asked why a woman can't have more than one husband, Siddiqi explained, "Because she can't decide on whose child it is. It is confusing for her." (Japanese law uses the same logic, forbidding women to remarry within six months of divorce.) [In Islam the waiting period, _idda_, is shorter].

    Japanese women who marry men from Islamic countries often face ostracism from their families and alienation from friends; living by Islamic laws requires major changes in nearly every every aspect of their lives.

    The Muslim's daily ritual of prayer (_salat_) facing Mecca, before sunrise, at noon, mid-afternoon, after sunset, and before sleep, for example, is a major hurdle for anyone who wants to hold onto a steady job. One resourceful young woman who works for a major electronics company in Tokyo manages to pray in the company changing room. [This transcriber, an MIT-Japan Program Intern at another major elctronics company, Sharp, finds that prayer is no hurdle to holding onto a steady job.]

    The new Muslim must also make major changes in her diet. Muslims who strictly follow the Koran may not consume pork, alcoholic beverages and animal products that have not been blessed.

    Juices and _tsukemono_ may contain preservatives with low levels of alcohol; chocolate, ice cream, cakes and other processed desserts may contain animal fats, and gelatins may be made from animal bones.

    Although blessed (_halal_) products have become increasingly available >from shops that specialize in halal or imported products, many basic products sold in supermarkets are off limits to the Muslim.

    "At first it was hard to know what foods were permitted, so a group of us got together and called the soy sauce, juice and pastry manufacturers to find out exactly which products were alright and which were not. We made a big checklist and that information had spread by word of mouth," Aysha said.

    Another woman married to a Pakistani says, "It's not a problem. There's a store selling _halal_ food that we order from in Saitama and we eat fish. As for cakes and juices, I usually make my own."

    The most obvious symbol of the Muslim woman is the veil (_hijab_) that covers her head, and the long sleeves, and pants that cover her limbs. Countries have variations on this; Saudi women cover the nose and mouth as well, while Malaysian Muslims [women] wear short scarves over their heads.

    An energetic face framed within her black _hijab_, Aysha says, "I wasn't born a Muslim, so I'm strict (about Islam). Before I became a Muslim, I was the secretary to a company president so I drank alcohol, played, wore miniskirts, everything. After I became a Muslim, everything changed. I threw away or gave away five bags of clothing. To become a good Muslim takes time, though."

    Although strict Islamic life may not be incongrous with lifestyles with lifestyles in Saudi Arabia or Iran, in Japan, Islam means accepting a life radically different from the ordinary Japanese. Perhaps, for some, herein lies the appeal.

    "Before I became a Muslim I didn't know what I was put here on earth for. I though that the purpose of working was to make other people think highly of me. I beleived that a person's worth was based on what university he went to and how much money he made. Now I know that work is to nourish my body and I am here to live each day to praise Allah," said a woman in her 20's married to a Pakistani truck driver.

    Others, like Noureen, a 30-year-old teacher of nursing at a women's university in Saitama, had tried other religions, including Christianity, which she found unsatisfying before finding Islam. She met her husband, a 29-year-old Pakistani factory worker, while attending study sessions at the Islamic Center (their trip home took them in the same direction) and officially became a Muslim before their marriage four years ago.

    She and her husband agree that Islam comes first and work comes second, When the nurse's uniform and the hospital environment interfered with the practice of Islam, "My husband told me that I should change jobs if I couldn't be a good Muslim at my own pace."

    Many more Muslims in Japan, however, find that they need to compromise their religion to the realities of life in Japan. A 28-year old editor at a small publishing compnay admits that she doesn't wear a veil except when she meets with other Muslim women, and that her _Ramadan_ [Islamic month of fasting] fasts were broken when colleagues urger her to partake of a birthday cake.

    Also, for many Muslims in Japan who open Indian restaurants, serving alcohol is a painful dilemma. Although prohibited by the _Koran_ [Islamic scripture] it is all but impossible to run a restaurant in Japan without it.

    While adult Muslims may somehow overcome the difficulties of living under Islamic law in Japan, for children it is virtually impossible. [I beg to differ - see below.]

    Noureen hasn't seen their 2-year-old son for six months since they sent him to Pakistan to live with his grandparents to receive a true Islamic upbringing.
    [An Iraqi friend's cousin in married to a Japanese man and as far as I know their _shogakko_ age (elementary school) children stay with them in Japan.]

    She tried sending him to a nursery for a year in Japan and asked the staff not to feed him. Still she worried that he might be taking food from other children. "When he gets older, we would have to worry about him attending birthday and Christams parties and it would be sad for him and hard for him to make friends.

    At present there are no Islamic schools in Japan. Noureen says,"the problem is not just food, it's the concept: In Japan people think their body is their own, and that a child should stay up all night studying and only think about exams.

    "But we believe that one's body belongs to God and should be treated with respect." 


    A note:

    The article above appeared in the Japan Times on Thursday, November 19, 1992 and it may be of some interest to this readers  of this newsgroup. I have bracketed [] my comments and have used underscores _ to delineate non-English words.

     I welcome your e-mail and thank the many people who have already written. To those seeking matrimonial assistance, I'd like to clarify that I am not in touch with any Japanese Muslims at this time and, being single myself, may not be your best source of help.

    Ahmed Biyabani aabiyaba@ece.cmu.edu

Islam in Japan

Islam's relation with Japan is quite recent as compared to those with other countries around the world.  There are no clear records of any contact between Islam and Japan nor any historical traces of Islam's coming into Japan through religious propagation of any sort except for some isolated cases of contact between individual Japanese and Muslims of other countries before 1868.  Islam was firstly known to Japanese people in 1877 as a part of Western religious thought. Around the same time the life of prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was translated into Japanese. This helped Islam to find a place in the intellectual image of the Japanese people, but only as a knowledge and a part of the history of cultures.  Another important contact was made in 1890 when Ottoman Turkey dispatched a naval vessel to Japan for the purpose of starting diplomatic relations between the two countries as well introducing Muslims and Japanese people to each other. This naval vessel called "Ertugrul" was capsized and sank with 609 people aboard drowning 540 of them, on its way returning to home.

The first Muslim Japanese ever known are Mitsutaro Takaoka who converted to Islam in 1909 and took the name Omar Yamaoka after making the pilgrimage to Makkah and Bumpachiro Ariga, who about the same time went to India for trading purposes and converted to Islam under the influence of local Muslims there and subsequently took the name Ahmad Ariga. However, recent studies have revealed that another Japanese known as Torajiro Yamada was probably the first Japanese Muslim who visited Turkey out of sympathy for those who died in the aftermath of the shipwreck of the "Ertugrul". He converted to Islam there and took the name Abdul Khalil and probably made pilgrimage to Makkah.  The real Muslim community life however did not start until the arrival of several hundred Turkoman, Uzbek, Tadjik, Kirghiz, Kazakh and other Turko-Tatar Muslim refugees from central Asia and Russia in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution during World War I. These Muslims who were given asylum in Japan settled in several main cities around Japan and formed small Muslim communities. A number of Japanese converted to Islam through the contact with these Muslims.  With the formation of these small Muslim communities several mosques have been built, the most important of them being the Kobe Mosque built in 1935 (which is the only remaining mosque in Japan nowadays) and the Tokyo Mosque built in 1938. One thing that should be emphasized is that very little weight of Japanese Muslims was felt in building these mosques and there have been no Japanese so far who played the role of Imam of any of the mosques.  During World War II, an "Islamic Boom" was set in Japan by the military government through organisations and research centers on Islam and the Muslim World. It is said that during this period over 100 books and journals on Islam were published in Japan. However, these organisations or research centers were in no way controlled or run by the Muslims nor was their purpose the propagation of Islam whatsoever. The mere purpose was to let the military be better equipped with the necessary knowledge about Islam and Muslims since there were large Muslim communities in the areas occupied in China and Southeast Asia by the Japanese army. As a result, with the end of the war in 1945, these organisations and research centers disappeared rapidly.

Another "Islamic Boom" was set in motion this time in the shade of "Arab Boom" after the "oil shock" in 1973. The Japanese mass media have given big publicity to the Muslim World in general and the Arab World in particular after realizing the importance of these countries for the Japanese economy. With this publicity many Japanese who had no idea about Islam got the chance to see the scene of Hajj in Makkah and hear the call of Adhan and Quranic recitations. Beside many sincere conversions to Islam there were also mass conversions which are said to have amounted to several tens of thousands of conversions which took placeduring those days. However, with the end of the effect of oil shock, most of those who converted to Islam disappeared from the scene.  

TOWARDS A NEW PHASE:

 "In the coming few years there should be substantial developments for Islam in Japan,"says Nur Ad-Din Mori."If not, then we cannot really speak of the future of Islam in this country." Mori maintains it is a turning point now because of the relatively recent return of five young Muslims to Japan after completing their studies on Islam in Arab countries. Two graduated from the Umm al-Qura University, Makkah, one from Islamic University, Madinah, one from the Dawa College, Tripoli, and the last from Qatar University. Though the number may not seem very impressive it is a significant increase in the Japanese scene where, before these five, only six students graduated from universities in Arab countries during the last twenty years, with three of them majoring in Arabic, not Islamic, studies.  Mori, who studied theology and general Islamic studies in Makkah, is one of the recent five: he confirms their responsibilities." Islam is a religion of knowledge and we cannot stand well without learning. I think the efforts and activities made in this respect in Japan remain very minor up to this day."  Mori's pronouncement also refers to another problem in Japan: there have been few who can teach Islam to the indigenous people in their own language. The history of Dawa in Japan for the past forty years has basically been that of efforts by foreign Muslims who happened to stay here in this mainly Buddhist country.

The Turks have been the biggest Muslim community in Japan until recently. Pre-war Japan was well-known for its sympathy and favour towards Muslims in central Asia, seeing in them an anti-Soviet ally. In those days some Japanese who worked in intelligence circles had contact with these Muslims. A few opened their eyes to Islam through these contacts, and embraced it after the war ended. There were also those who went to Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia as soldiers during the war. The pilots were instructed to say "La ilaha illa Allah", when they were shot down in these regions, so that their lives would be spared. Actually one of them was shot down and captured by the inhabitants. When he shouted the "magic" words to them, to his astonishment they changed their attitudes and treated him rather kindly. He has been keeping his words until this day.  These are the Muslims of "the old generation". They found themselves as a minority group of Japanese Muslims after the war, and lived with already established foreign Muslim communities. Generally, the Japanese in those days had quite strong prejudices against Islam and their knowledge of international society was very limited. For example, in an article published in a magazine in 1958, the five pillars of Islam were described under the title "The strange customs of Mohammedans".

The Japanese had a stereotyped image of Islam that it was "a strange religion of underdeveloped countries". Even these days, though modified and corrected in many respects, such an image has not died out. Just a few years ago, a famous writer in social affairs could say in a TV program that Islam is a religion whose followers worship the sun.  A comparison of Japanese attitudes towards Christianity is interesting. Christianity has spread in Japan over the last hundred and twenty years as part of its Westernisation and is greatly respected even by those who do not adhere to its creeds. The population of Japanese Christians is one million, which constitutes less than one percent of the total population. Many of them, however, belong to be middle class and to intellectual circles, as demonstrated by the fact that the present Minister of Culture is a Christian writer, so their influence is much greater than their numerical strength may suggest. The spread of Christianity can be ascribed, not only to western influence but also to the long history of its presence in Japan, having arrived more than five hundred years ago.The spread of Islam went eastwards, from India to Malaysia and Indonesia, and was blocked after reaching the southern Philippines by the Spanish colonization of the North. From there, Spanish missionaries were able to carry their message to Japan.  

The Japanese invasion of China and South East Asian countries during the second world war brought the Japanese in contact with Muslims. Those who embraced Islam through them established in 1953, the first Japanese Muslim organisation, the Japan Muslim Association under the leadership of the late Sadiq Imaizumi. Its members, numbering sixty five at the time of inauguration, increased two-fold before this devoted man passed away six years later.  The second president of the association was the late Umar Mita, a very dedicated man. Mita was typical of the old generation, who learned Islam in the territories occupied by the Japanese Empire. He was working for the Manshu Railway Company, which virtually controlled the Japanese territory in the north eastern province of China at that time. Through his contacts with Chinese Muslims, he was convinced of its truth, and became a Muslim in Peking. When he returned to Japan, after the war, he made the Hajj, the first Japanese in the post-war period to do so. He also made a Japanese translation of the meaning of the Quran from a Muslim perspective for the first time.  Thus, it was only after the second world war, that what can properly be called "a Japanese Muslim community" came into existence. In spite of the initial success, however, later developments were quite slow in terms of membership.

Though many Islamic organisations were established since the 1900s, each of them has only a few active members.  There is no reliable estimate on the Japanese Muslim population. Claims of thirty thousand are without doubt an exaggeration. Some claim that there are only a few hundred. This probably amounts to the number of Muslims openly practicing Islam. Asked to give an estimate on the actual number of Muslims in Japan, Abu Bakr Morimoto replied, "To say frankly, only one thousand. In the broadest sense, I mean, if we do not exclude those who became Muslims for the sake of, say marriage, and do not practice then the number would be a few thousands." Apparently such a slow development is due partly to external circumstances. Japanese traditional religious atmosphere and highly developed materialistic tendencies must both be taken into consideration. But there are also shortcomings on the part of the Muslims. There exists a difference in orientation between the old and new generations.

For the old generation. Islam is equated with a religion of Malaysia, Indonesia, or China etc. But for the new generation, these East Asian countries are not very appealing, because of their western orientation, and so they are more influenced by Islam in the Arab countries.  "The old generation have lived closely connected with non-Japanese Muslims," points out Nur Ad-Din . "It is an excellent act in the spirit of brotherhood. But on the other hand, we cannot deny its side effect, that is, this way of life could not prevent other Japanese from thinking of Islam as something foreign. How to overcome this barrier is a problem to be solved. It is a task for us, the younger generation ."  When visiting Muslim countries, the remark that Japanese Muslims are the minority religious group always brings a question from the audience, "What percentage of Japan's total population are Muslims?" The answer at the moment is: One out of a hundred thousand. Nevertheless, the younger generation has aspirations. Perhaps some day it will be said that Islam is a popular religion in Japan.  

DA'WA IN JAPAN:

The history of Islam in Japan reveals therefore some random waves of conversions. In fact, religious campaigns are no more successful for other divine revelations or "new religions". The statistics indicate that some 80% of the total population believe in either Buddhism or Shintoism while as few as 0.7% are Christians. The latest results of a poll conducted by a Japanese monthly opinion magazine imply however an important caveat. Only one out of four Japanese effectively believes in any particular religion. The lack of faith is even more pronounced for Japanese youth in their 20s with an alarming rate of atheism as high as 85%.  The potential direct agents of da'wah represented by the Muslim community in Japan with its estimated one hundred thousand believers is itself extremely small compared with the total population of more than one hundred and twenty million citizens. Students together with various kinds of workers in precarious conditions constitute a large segment of the community. They are concentrated in big urban cities such as Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo but are seldom organised into established units in order to conduct effective programs of da'wah. In fact, the Muslim students association as well as some local societies organise periodical camps and gatherings in an effort to improve the understanding of Islamic teachings and for the sake of strengthening brotherhood relations among Muslims.  

There is a continuous need for Muslims to withstand pressures to conform to the prevailing modern lifestyle which appeals to the passionate element of the soul. Further difficulties are faced by Muslims with respect to communication, housing, child education or the availability of halal food and Islamic literature, and these constitute additional factors hindering the course of da'wah in this country.  The duty of da'wah is frequently perceived as the single obligation on Muslims to preach Islam to non-Muslims. However, important calls for reform (islaah) and renewal (tajdeed) constitute also distinct forms of da'wah to Muslims.

A betterment of the level of Islamic knowledge and living conditions of the Muslim community is therefore by itself the very da'wah needed in Japan. One should bear in mind however, that unless the attitudes of indifference and passivity of Muslim residents in Japan with respect to Islamic issues of congregational aspect are changed, the risk of the community being uprooted and diluted through severe distorsions of the Islamic belief will indeed grow higher. This likelihood is in fact pertaining to the permanent exposure of Muslims to the influence of many Japanese customs and traditional practices such as deep bowing as a form of greeting and collective participation in religious festivities and temple visits.  The problem is perhaps being felt in more acute terms for Muslim children who, in the absence of any Muslim kindergartens or schools constitute indeed easy targets for the transmission and cultivation of unIslamic cultural and social habits. The remarkable lack of educational institutions of Islamic character is also reflected by the existence in all over Japan of a single mosque which resisted with fadhl from Allah s.w.t to the great Hanshin earthquake that nearly destroyed the city of Kobe on the wake of January 17 of this year.

There are permanent efforts to build or transform housing units into masajids in many other cities and with the help of the Almighty, such good enterprises are expected to bear fruits in the very near future insha'Allah.  The misconception of Islamic teachings introduced by the western media stands to be corrected in a more efficient approach that takes into consideration the significant feature of the Japanese society of being one of the world's most literate countries. Yet, because of poor distribution, even translations of the meanings of Quran into Japanese language are not publicly available. Islamic literature is virtually absent from bookstores or public libraries to the exception of few english-written essays and books that are sold at relatively high prices.  As a result, it should not be surprising to find out that the knowledge of ordinary Japanese about Islam is modestly confined to few terms related to polygamy, Sunnah and Shia, Ramadhan, Makkah, Allah the God of Muslims and Islam the religion of Muhammad ! Will Islam echo louder in Japan ? With increasingly significant evidence of a responsible recognition of its duties and rational assessment of its limits and capabilities, the Muslim community is showing stronger commitment to accomplish its task of da'wah in a better organised fashion. There are indeed strong hopes that the future of Islam and Muslims will be better than their past inshaAllah as we believe that if Allah (s.w.t.) helps us, none can overcome us.

References:

1. Islam in Japan: It's past, present and future. Islamic Centre Japan, 1980.  

2. Arabia, vol.5, no.54. February 1986/Jamad al-Awal 1406.  

 
Prepared by:   Br. Nabil Bin Mohammed El-Maghrabi, OSAKA - JAPAN  Br. Mohamed Ahmed Soliman, KYOTO - JAPAN  Br. Mehmet Arif Adli, NAGOYA - JAPAN
 [This article was published in the 8th issue of Magazine (http://www.islam.org.au), May - June 1995]
 

Tokyo Mosque

Kobe Mosque

 

 

Tokyo Mosque


Place:  YoyogiUehara-St
Transportation : Odakyu-Line YoyogiUehara-St or Subway Chiyoda-Line
Organizer :  Muslim Turkey
Address : Tokyo 151-0065 Shibuya-ku Ooyamamachi 1-16
             〒151-0065 渋谷区大山町1-16
           Telephone/Fax : 03-5790-0760
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer
Note : The oldest mosque in Tokyo, built in 1938. It is demolished in 1986. It is rebuilt again and opened since June 2000.

         You can see it from Odakyu-Line, between YoyogiUehara-St and HigashiKitazawa-St
Map:  Tokyo Mosque
HP:    Images and Information about Tokyo Mosque

Arabic Islamic Institute (Hiroo Mosque)


Place: Hiroo-St (near Ginza )
Transportation : Subway Hibiya-Line, Hiroo-St
Organizer :  Arabic Islamic Institute
Address :  Tokyo 106-0046 Minato-ku MotoAzabu 3-4-18
              〒106-0046 港区元麻布3-4-18
            Telephone/Fax : 03-3404-6622/03-3404-8622
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer
Note : A very good place to visit, especially in Ramadhan!!!
Map: Arabic Islamic Institute

HP: Arabic Islamic Institute (Official Sites)


      More Explanation (Japanese)

 

 

Islamic Center of Japan


Place: Shimokitazawa-St
Transportation : Odakyu-Line, Shimokitazawa-St or Keio-Line, Sasazuka-St
Organizer :  Islamic Center of Japan (ICJ)
Address : Tokyo 156-0041 Setagaya-ku Oohara 1-16-11
             〒156-0041 世田谷区大原1-16-11
           Telephone/Fax : 03-3460-6169 or 03-3460-6105
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer, Information about Islam
Note: Any information about Ramadhan, etc are provided here
Map: Islamic Center
HP: ICJ

Otsuka Mosque


Place: Otsuka-St (near Ikebukuro)
Transportation : Yamanote-Line Otsuka-St or Subway Marunouchi-Line ShinOtsuka-St
Organizer :  Japan Islamic Trust (JIT), Br. Haroon
Address : Tokyo 170-0005 Toshima-ku MinamiOtsuka 3-24-7
             〒170-0005 豊島区南大塚3-24-7
Telephone/Fax : 03-3971-5631/03-5950-6310
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer(5 times), Islamic Teaching(also in Japanese)
Note: Opened from December 1999 after moving from Ikebukuro. This mosque is very active on da'wa to Japanese.
Map: Otsuka Mosque
HP: Japan Islamic Trust

 


 
 

Daar Al-Arqam(Asakusa Mosque)


Place: Asakusa-St (near Ueno or MinamiSenju)
Transportation : Subway Asakusa-Line Asakusa-St or Subway Ginza-Line
Organizer :  Islamic Circle of Japan (ICOJ)
Address : Tokyo 111-0025 Daitou-ku HigashiAsakusa 1-9-12
             〒111-0025 台東区東浅草1-9-12 
            Telephone/Fax : 03-3871-6061
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer, Islamic Teaching
Map: Daar Al-Arqam
HP: Images of Asakusa Mosque (Japanese)
 

Makki Mosque (Oohanajaya)


Place: Oohanajaya-St, Tateishi-St
Transportation : Keisei-Line Oohanajaya-St or Keisei-Line Tateishi-St
Organizer : Markaaz Tabligh
Address : Tokyo 124-0011 Katsushika-ku Yotsugi 5-22-14
             〒124-0011東京都葛飾区四つ木5-22-11
           Telephone/Fax : 090-9235-6411 (Br. Amin)
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer
Note: In replace for Narimasu Mushalla
Map: Makki Mosque
 

Balai Indonesia,SRIT (Meguro)


Place: Meguro-St
Transportation : Yamanote-Line, Meguro-St , walk 20 min or by bus
Organizer :  Indonesian Muslim Community in Japan
Address : Tokyo 153-0063 Meguro-ku Meguro 4-6-6 Indonesian School
             〒153-0063 目黒区目黒4-6-6 東京インドネシア学校
           Telephone/Fax : 03-3715-6459
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer
Map: SRIT
HP: KMII-Jepang ( Indonesian Muslim Community in Japan) (Indonesian)  
 
 

Around Tokyo



 

Ichinowari Mosque


Place: Tobu Isesaki-Line, Ichinowari-St
Transportation : Tobu Isesaki-Line, Ichinowari-St
Organizer : Markaz Ishlaho Tarbiyat (Jamaat Tabligh)
Address : Saitama 344-0033 Kasukabe-shi  BingoNishi 1-1-6
             〒344-0033 埼玉県春日部市備後西1-1-6
           Telephone/Fax : 048-736-2767
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer
Map: Ichinowari Mosque
HP: Images and Information of Ichinowari Mosque (Japanese)
 

Yatamachi, Chiba

Place: Yatamachi, Chiba
Transportation :
Organizer :
Address :
Telephone/Fax :
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer
Note:
Map:
 

Toda Mosque, Saitama


Place: Toda, Saitama
Transportation :
Organizer :
Address : Saitama 335-0026 Toda-shi SinsouMinami 4-5-1
             〒335-0026 埼玉県戸田市新曽南4-5-1
           Telephone/Fax : 048-434-8350/048-434-8351
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer
Note: -
Map: Toda Mosque
HP: Images and Information of Toda Mosque (Japanese)
 

Yashio Mosque, Saitama


Place: Yashio ( By bus from Chiyoda-Line Ayase-St)
Transportation : Chiyoda-Line Ayase-St, and Bus bound to YashioSyako-Yuki KorigawaJinjaMae-Bus stop
Organizer : -
Address : Saitama 340-0835 Yashio-shi Ukizuka 649
             〒340-0835 埼玉県八潮市浮塚649
           Telephone/Fax : 090-4920-6502
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer
Note: -
Map: Yashio Mosque
HP: Images and Information of Yashio Mosque (Japanese)
 

Tsukuba Mosque, Ibaraki

      Outlook in 2001                                       Outlook after 2003 renovation                                              Car Parking land purchased in Feb 2004

Place: Tsukuba Shi, Kaname 315-10
Transportation : Take bus or taxi from Tsukuba Station (Tsukuba Express) or from Tsukuba Center (Bus Terminal) to reach the mosque
                         For bus schdule, please click here http://www.tsumra. org/details. asp?id=43
Organizer : Tsukuba Islamic Association (TIA)
Address : Ibaraki Ken, Tsukuba-shi, Kaname 315-10
Telephone/Fax : 029-864-3235
Activity : Daily Prayer, Jum'ah Prayer, Eid Prayers, Education (Al-Quran class for children, Arabic class for adults, Women classes)
Note: -
Map:  http://www.tsumra. org/details. asp?id=109 and http://www.tsumra. org/details. asp?id=43
HP: TIA

 

Isezaki, Gunma


Place: Isezaki, Gunma
Transportation : JR Ryomo Line and Tobu Isezaki Line
Organizer :
Address : 337-4, Kita cho, Isezaki city, GUNMA 372-0056
             〒372-0056 群馬県伊勢崎市喜多町37-4
           Telephone/Fax : 0270-24-4250/0270-70-4195
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer
Note: -
Map: Isesaki
HP: Images and Information of Isesaki Mosque (Japanese)
 

Sakaimachi Mosque, Gunma


Place: Sakaimachi-St, Gunma/Takasaki
Transportation : JR Sakaimachi-St
Organizer : -
Address : Gunma 370-0124 Sawa-gun Sakaimachidaijisakai 772
           〒372-0056 群馬県佐波郡境町大字境772
           Telephone/Fax : 0270-74-2258/0270-74-2259
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer
Note: -
Map: Sakaimachi Mosque (Japanese)
 

Machida, Kanagawa

Place: Odakyu-Line, Machida-St
Transportation :
Organizer :
Address :
Telephone/Fax :
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer
Note:
Map:
 

Ebina Mosque, Kanagawa


Place: Ebina City
Transportation : Odakyu-Line, Ebina-St, 246, Yokohama Machida Inter Change
Organizer : -
Address : 3-12-1, Kamigou, Ebina city, KANAGAWA 243-0417
             〒243-0417 神奈川県海老名市上郷3丁目12-1
           Telephone/Fax : -
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer
Note: -
Map: Ebina Mosque
 

Fujisawa, Kanagawa

Place: 
Transportation :
Organizer :
Address :
Telephone/Fax :
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer
Note:
Map:
 

Other Cities in Japan



 

Sapporo, Hokkaido

Place: Sapporo, Hokkaido
Transportation : Sapporo
Organizer : Hokkaido Islamic Society (HIS)
Address :
Telephone/Fax :
Activity :
Note:
Map:
HP: HIS
 

ICCS Sendai

Place:
Transportation :
Organizer : Islamic Cultural Center Sendai (ICCS)
Address : Sendai 980-0023 Kitamemachi 2-16 Makuda Apartment 101
           Telephone/Fax : 022-268-2802(both)
           Email : iccs_japan@yahoo.com
Activity : Jum'ah prayer
Note: -
Map: -
HP: Islamic Cultural Center Sendai
 

Nagaoka

Place:
Transportation :
Organizer : Nagaoka Muslim Association (NAMASS)
Address :
Telephone/Fax :
Activity :
Note:
Map:
HP: NAMASS
 

Niigata


Place:
Transportation :
Organizer :
Address :
Telephone/Fax :
Activity :
Note:
Map:
 

Iwata Markaz

Place: Iwata, Shizuoka
Transportation :
Organizer :
Address : Shizuoka 438-0086 Iwata-shi Mitsuke 2939
             〒438-0086 静岡県磐田市見付2939
           Telephone/Fax : 0538-33-1307
Activity :
Note:
Map:
 
 

ShinAnjo Mosque, Nagoya


Place: ShinAnjo-St (near Nagoya)
Transportation : JR TokaidoHon-Line ShinAnjo-St
Organizer : -
Address : Aichi 446-0071 Anjo-shi Imaikecho 1-11-15 Kamitomo Bld 1 F
             〒446-0071 愛知県安城市今池町1-11-15カミトモビル1F
           Telephone/Fax : 0566-74-7678
Activity :
Note: -
Map: -
HP: ShinAnjou Mosque


Nagoya Mosque


Place: Nagoya, Honjindouri-St
Transportation : Subway Line Honjindouri-St
Organizer : -
Address : Aichi 446-0071 Nagoya-shi Nakamura-ku Honjindouri 2-26-7
             〒453-0041 名古屋市中村区本陣通り2-26-7
           Telephone/Fax : 052-486-2380
Activity :
Note: -
Map: Nagoya Mosque
HP: Images and Information of Nagoya Mosque (Japanese)
 

Gifu

Place:
Transportation :
Organizer :
Address :
Telephone/Fax :
Activity :
Note:
Map:
 

Toyama

Place:
Transportation :
Organizer :
Address :
Telephone/Fax :
Activity :
Note:
Map:
 

Kyoto

Place:
Transportation :
Organizer :
Address :
Telephone/Fax :
Activity :
Note:
Map:
HP: Kyoto Muslim Association
 

Kobe Mosque


Place: Kobe, Sannomiya-St
Transportation : Hanshin Sannomiya-St
Organizer :
Address : Hyogo 650-0004 Kobe-shi Chuo-ku Nakayamadouri 2-25-14
             〒650-0004 神戸市中央区中山手通り2-25-14
           Telephone/Fax : 078-231-6060
Activity :
Note: The oldest mosque in Japan, built in 1935.
Map: Kobe Mosque
HP: Images and Information of Kobe Mosque (Japanese)
 

Takamatsu Mushalla

Place: Takamatsu
Transportation : Access to Mosque
Organizer :
Address : Takamatsu-shi HigashiTamachi 3-8 IzumiHaitsu 102
             〒760-0058 高松市東田町3ー8泉ハイツ102
           Telephone/Fax : 087-832-2817/087-832-2818
Activity :
Note:
Map: Takamatsu Mushalla
HP: Photos of The Activities
 

Okayama

Place:
Transportation :
Organizer :
Address :
Telephone/Fax :
Activity :
Note:
Map:
 

Fukuoka, Kyusyu

Place:
Transportation :
Organizer : Kyushu University Muslim Student Association(KUMSA)
Address :
Telephone/Fax :
Activity :
Note:
Map:
HP: Kyushu University Muslim Student Association


Mosque/Masjid

Tokyo Camii(Tokyo Mosque)

1-16, Oyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0065
TEL 03-5790-0760

2 minutes on foot from Yoyogi Uehara Statikon, Odakyu Line

Otsuka Mosque

3-42-7, Minami Otsuka, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170-0005
TEL 03-3971-5631FAX 03-3447-1697

5 minutes on foot from Otsuka Station, JR Yamanote-line
5 minutes on foot from Shin Otsuka Station, Mrunouchi-line

Hiroo Mosque in Arabic Islamic Institute

3-4-18, Moto Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0046
TEL 03-3404-6622

15 minutes on foot from Hiroo Station, Hibiya-Line.

Indonesian Musalla

3-6-5, Meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0063

 

Asakusa Mosque

Islamic Cultural Center, 1-9-12, Higashi Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0025
TEL 03-3871-6061

20 minutes on foot from Minami Senju Station, JR Joban-line and Hibiya-line.

Hachiouji Mosque

36-5, Hiraoka-cho, Hachiouji City, Yokyo 192-0061
TEL 042-624-6090

take No.2 or No.7 bus from Hachioji Station Keio-Line toward to JR Hachiouji Station . Take off at Hiraoka busstop.

Ohanajaya Mosque
(Makkiy Masjid Tokyo)

5-22-11, Yotsuki, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo 124-0011
TEL 090-9235-6411、090-9343-0276

7 minuites on foot from Ohanajayya Station, Keisei-Line. 2 k.m. form Yotsuki Interchange, Shuto-Kosoku

Machida Mosque

 

 

Isezaki Mosque

37-4, Kita cho, Isezaki city, GUNMA 372-0056
TEL 0270-24-4250 FAX 0270-70-4195

10 minutes on foot from Isezaki Station, JR Ryomo Line and Tobu Isezaki Line

Sakai-machi Mosque

772, Oaza Sakai, Sakai machi, Saba gun, Gunma, 372-0056

2 minutes on foot from Sakaimachi Station, Tobu Isezaki Line.

Gyotoku Mosque

3-3-19, Gyotoku Ekimae, Ichikawa city, CHIBA 272-0133
TEL 047-395-8449 FAX 047-398-0261

5 minutes on foot from Gyotoku Station, Tozai Line
 

Ichinowari Mosque

1-1-5, Bingo Nishi, Kasukabe city, SAITAMA 344-0033
TEL  048-736-2767

10 minutes on foot from Ichinowari Station, Tobu Isezaki Line.

Toda Mosque

4-5-1, Niiso Minami, Toda city, SAITAMA 335-0026
TEL 048-434-8350 FAX 048-434-8351

 

Yashio Mosque

649, Ukizuka, Yashio city, SAITAMA 340-0835
HandyPhone 090-4920-6502 HandyPhone 090-2900-2881

 

Ebina Mosque

3-12-1, Kamigou, Ebina city, KANAGAWA 243-0417

 

Iwata Mosque

 

 

Nagoya Mosque

2-26-7, Honjin Dori, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya city, AICHI 453-0041
TEL 052-486-2380

 

Shin Anjoh Mosque

1 floor Kamitomo Bldg. 1-11-15, Imaike-cho, Anjoh city, AICHI 446-0071
TEL 0566-74-7678

 

Kobe Mosque

2-25-14, Nakayamate Dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe city, HYOGO 650-0004
TEL 078-231-6060

 

Takamatsu Mosque

Natsuta building, 3-4, yasaka-cho, Takamatsu city, Kagawa 760-0049
TEL 087-811-9208

Photos in Masjid Takamatsu

Niihama Mosque

2-2-43, Ikku-cho, Niihama City, Ehime 792-0025

Kobe Mosque

Kobe Mosque was the first permanent mosque in Japan, having opened in 1935. It was originally established by Indian Muslim traders resident in the city.
Address: 2-25-14 Nakayamadori, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo-ken
Telephone: 078-231-6060


Tokyo Mosque

Established in 1938, it was the first mosque in Tokyo. The original structure was demolished in 1986, but the mosque reopened in 2000 with Turkish support.
Address: 1-16 Oyamamachi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-5790-0760


Islamic Center Japan

This cultural and religious center traces its history back to 1966, but really began its main operations after 1975. It is closely connected to Saudi Arabia and is one of the more prominent Muslim organizations in Japan
Address: 1-16-11 Ohara, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-3460-6169


Hiroo Mosque

This mosque, part of the Arabic-Islamic Institute, is basically a Saudi Arabian institution. Its history can be traced back to about 1982, but it has been in its current location since 1999.
Address: 3-4-18 Motoazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-3404-6622


Nagoya Mosque

One of the prewar mosques was located in Nagoya, but it was completely destroyed by bombing in 1945. The current Nagoya Mosque is newer.
Address: 2-26-7 Honjindori, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken
Telephone: 052-486-2380


Otsuka Mosque

This mosque was opened in 1999 by the Japan Islamic Trust.
Address: 3-24-7 Minami-Otsuka, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-3971-5631


Shin-Okubo Mosque

The point of particular interest about this mosque is that it was established and is run by Myanmarese Muslims. Women are not allowed at this mosque.
Address: 2-10 Hyakunin-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: NA


Asakusa Mosque

This mosque was established by a group calling itself the Islamic Circle of Japan.
Address: 1-9-12 Higashi-Asakusa, Daito-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-3871-6061


Makki Mosque

This mosque, also known as the Ohanajaya Mosque, is affiliated with the Tablighi Jamaat sect, which is comparatively active in Japan.
Address: 5-22-14 Yotsugi, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: 090-9235-6411


Balai Indonesia

As the name suggests, this is a mosque established by and for Indonesian Muslims in Japan.
Address: 4-6-6 Meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-3715-6459


Ichinowari Mosque

This mosque in Saitama Prefecture is also associated with the Tablighi Jamaat.
Address: 1-1-6 Bingonishi, Kasukabe-shi, Saitama-ken
Telephone: 048-736-2767


Tsukuba Mosque

This mosque was established by students affiliated with Tsukuba University.
Address: 315-10 Kaname, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki-ken
Telephone: 029-864-3235

Ikebukuro Mushalla

Place: Ikebukuro-St
Transportation : Yamanote-Line Ikebukuro-St or Tobu Tojo-Line or Seibu Ikebukuro-Line or
                      Subway Marunouchi-Line or Yurakucho-Line
Organizer : -
Address : Tokyo, Toshima-ku NishiIkebukuro 1-2-3-401
             豊島区西池袋1-2-3-401
             Telephone/Fax : 03-3985-4669
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer
Map: Ikebukuro Mushalla
 
 

ShinOkubo Mushalla

Place: ShinOkubo-St (near Shinjuku)
Transportation : Yamanote-Line ShinOkubo-St or Shobu-Line Okubo-St
Organizer :  Brothers from Myanmar
Address : Shinjukuku Hyakunincho 2-10
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer, Daily Prayer
Note:  Women are not allowed!
Map: ShinOkubo Mushalla
 
 

Shibuya Mushalla

Place: Shibuya-St
Transportation : Yamanote-Line Shibuya-St or KeioInokashira-Line  or Subway Ginza-Line or Subway Hanzomon-Line
Organizer : -
Address : Shibuyaku Dougenzaka Sagas-Bld 11F R1107
Activity : Jum'ah Prayer
Map: Shibuya Mushalla

 



  Islamic Centers and Organizations

Organization Name

Address

Phone-Fax-Email-Web

General Information

JAMIA AL - FALAH MASJID YOKOHAMA

JAMIA AL - FALAH MASJID YOKOHAMA
1-31-5 Hayabuchi, Tsuzuki- Ku, Yokohama Japan, Yokohama, Kanagawa 224-0021, JAPAN

81-90-3090-2406
81-45-952-4093
alfalahmasjid@hotmail.com

Mosque open 24 hours, Dawa activities among Japanese people and Tableegh work among the Muslims. Salatul Juma & 5 times salat.

Arabic Islamic Institute in Tokyo

Arabic Islamic Institute in Tokyo
3-4-18,Motoazabu,Minato-ku,
Tokyo, nakano 164-0002, JAPAN

08056723486
muhammadu_aseem@yahoo.com
http://www.aii-t.org/

Arabic Islamic Institute of Tokyo was the cultural center of Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. It is currently managed by The Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University, and offers classes in Arabic and Islam. It has beautiful prayer rooms for men and women.

Asakusa Mosque -Daar Al-Arqam

Asakusa Mosque -Daar Al-Arqam
1-9-12 HigashiAsakusa,,
Tokyo, 111-0025, JAPAN

3-3871-6061
03-3871-6062
imfdar@livedoor.com
http://en.icoj.org/

 

Arab Cultural Association

Arab Cultural Association
P.O. Box 39, Suginami Minami, Suginami-ku,
Tokyo, 168, JAPAN
03-3332-1265

 

Cultural Islamic Association

Markaz ( Dawat-e-Ilallah )

Markaz ( Dawat-e-Ilallah )
 Tsuzuki-Ku, Yokohama Japan,
Yokohama, Kanagawa-Ken 224-0021, JAPAN

81-90-3090-2406
81-45-952-4093

Dawa activities among Japanese people and Tableegh work among the Muslims. Free distribution of Islamic literature in Japanese.

Balai Indonesia, SRIT

Balai Indonesia, SRIT
4-6-6 Meguro, Meguro-ku,
Tokyo, 153-0063, JAPAN

http://www.kmii.jp/

Mosque (School of Indonesia Republic, Tokyo is used as a Mosque)

Osaka Islamic Center

Osaka Islamic Center
Osaka, 555-0031, Japan
http://osakamosque.org/

 

Islamic Center

 

Hachiouji Mosque

Hachiouji Mosque
36-6, Hiraoka-cho, Hachiouji City, Tokyo, hachioji 192-0061, JAPAN

042-628-9060
0426289061

Mosque

 

AL MARKAZ ISLAHO TARBIYAT

AL MARKAZ ISLAHO TARBIYAT
-1-6, BINGO-NISHI, KASUKABE-SHI,
Saitama-ken, gamo 334, JAPAN

0081-487-36-2767
0081-487-38-1046
wkhanjp@yahoo.com

Islamic center

 

Arab Cultural Association

Arab Cultural Association
P.O. Box 39, Suginami Minami, Suginami-ku,
Tokyo, 168, JAPAN

03-3332-1265

Cultural Islamic Association

 

Arabic Cultural Institute Ebina Masjid

Arabic Cultural Institute Ebina Masjid
Ebina Masjid 3-12-1 Kamigou, Ebina-Shi Kanagawa-Ken 〒243-0434 Japan,
Ebina, Kanagawa-Ken 243-0434, JAPAN

81-46-205-2121
046-205-2122
info@ebinamasjid.jp

300~400 People attend Juma Prayer. Daily 5 times prayers. 100~200 people attend Saturday Byan after Isha. There is also Evening Islamic School at 2nd floor of the building. About 55 children learn reading/Memorizing Quran, Islamic Studies, English Language, Basic Arabic Languge and Islamic Manners and Azkar w Dua. Services: Muslim Certification Marriage Certification Fatwa (Islamic Legal Opnion) Halal Certification Books/Audio

Ashikaga Mosque,Ashikaga

Ashikaga Mosque,Ashikaga
Yamashita-Cho 1347,Ashikaga-Shi,Tochigi-Ken,
Tochigi-ken, Tochigi-Ken 326-0846, JAPAN

0284-629581
0284654008
ashimosque@hotmail.com

Quran and hadith learning.

Baitul Aman Mosque

Baitul Aman Mosque
1-33, Gamo Kotobuki-cho, Saitama-ken, Japan,
Saitama, 343-0836, JAPAN

04-8985-0911
048-985-0912
azizbdjp@yahoo.co.jp

To organize Muslim people and try to spread the Dawa of Islam.

Camp Foster Chapel Masjid (Upstairs)

Camp Foster Chapel Masjid (Upstairs)
Marine Corps Base Camp Foster,Okinawa, 96379, JAPAN


645-0511/633-0260
hafiz_camp@hotmail.com

We have about 25 active practicing Muslims in the community representing each branch of service. May Allah (swt) guide and keep you all.

Fukui Muslims Community

Fukui Muslims Community
4-7-11 Bunkyou,
Fukui-ken, Fukui Ken 910-0017, JAPAN

support@fukui-muslims.com
http://www.fukui-muslims.com

 

GAMO MOSQUE

GAMO MOSQUE
GAMO-SHI,
Gamo, SAITAMA-KEN , JAPAN

 

 

Gifu Fatih Mosgues

Gifu Fatih Mosgues
Kakamigahara-shi Mi-i cho 4-18,
Gifu, Japan 504-0004, JAPAN

0081-583-89-7061
0081-583-89-7061
japonismail@yahoo.com 

We are Turkish ,pakistani,sirilankan muslim.And japanese also.

HIRA MOSQUE GYOTOKU

HIRA MOSQUE GYOTOKU
3-3-19, Gyotoku Ekimae, Ichikawa city,
Chiba, , JAPAN

047-395-8449
047-398-0261
hiramosque1997@yahoo.com
www.icoj.org

we arrange quran class for children everyday 6:00to 8:00 pm every satuerday have darse quran after isha.

Hiroo Mosque

Hiroo Mosque
3-4-18, Moto Azabu, Minato-ku,
Tokyo, 106-0046, JAPAN

 

 

Hiroshima Islamic Centre

Hiroshima Islamic Centre
Dambara,
Hiroshima, , JAPAN

mthohar@yahoo.com

 

Hirsohima Islamic cultural Center

Hirsohima Islamic cultural Center
Saijo,
Saijo-cho, Hiroshima 739-0040, JAPAN

 

Mutual understanding between muslim who stay here with local people, Japanese

Hitachi Muslim Commitee

Hitachi Muslim Commitee
Nakanarusawa-cho 3-6-25 shimizu so F-102,
Hitachi, Ibaraki , JAPAN
abueinq@lycos.com

 

we make a mosque for doing jemaah prayer, esp. jumaat prayer and other ukhuwwah activities.also doing some usrah/halaqah Quran for members

Hitachi muslim musolla

Hitachi muslim musolla
Ibaraki-ken,hitachi-shi,nakanarusawa-cho, shimizusou,
Hitachi-shi, Ibaraki 316-0033, JAPAN

08030215808(Mohamed)
mfmf1976@yahoo.com  (Mohamed Fahmy)

Muslim student in Ibaraki university in addition to other muslim workers in Hitachi Company. Please feel free to ask for more details. Halal Food is also available.

HYUGA MOSQUE

HYUGA MOSQUE
Sanbu Machi,
Yachimata, Chiba , JAPAN

 

 

Ibaraki Islamic Socity

Ibaraki Islamic Socity
Route 6, near Autobacs,
Mito-shi, Ibaraki , JAPAN
masjidabibakr@yahoo.co.jp

 

Masjid Abi Bakr Alsedeeq.Islamic teaching, teaching Arbaic language. We take care for reverting Muslims: certificate of Islam with cooperation with Islamic Circle of Japan, teaching about Islam...etc.

ICCKyu-Islamic Cultural Center, Kyushu

ICCKyu-Islamic Cultural Center, Kyushu
6-10-1 Hakozaki, Higashi-ku,,
Fukuoka, 812-8581, JAPAN

 

 

Ichikawaohno Musolla

Ichikawaohno Musolla
Ichikawa Ohnomachi 2-147, Dai 1 Green Height (101),
Ichikawa-shi, Chiba-Ken 272-0805, JAPAN

 

General meeting places 5 times a day for a muslim family member in Ichikawa Ohno.

Ichinowari Mosque

Ichinowari Mosque
1-1-5, Bingo Nishi, Kasukabe city,
Saitama, 344-0033, JAPAN
048-736-2767

 

 

Ichinowari mosque

Ichinowari mosque
Kasukabe,
Sugito, Saitama Japan, JAPAN

 

 

Ikebukuro Musalla

Ikebukuro Musalla
Toshima-ku NishiIkebukuro 1-2-3-401,
Tokyo, , JAPAN
03-3985-4669

 

 

Indonesian Musalla

Indonesian Musalla
3-6-5, Meguro, Meguro-ku,
Tokyo, , JAPAN

pindira15@yahoo.com

 

Indonesian Student Association Tokushima

Indonesian Student Association Tokushima
Tokushima shi kuramoto cho Tokushima university schools of Dentistry, Tokushima-shi, japan 770-8504, JAPAN

 

Jumua`ah prayers and reading Al Qur`an together. etc.

International Muslim Center-Japan

International Muslim Center-Japan
Clio 214, 1-1-6, Hosoyama, Asao-ku, Kawasaki,
Kawasaki, Kanagawa-ken 215-0001, JAPAN

81-(0)44-955-6194
81-(0)44-955-6194
arsiddiqi@yahoo.com

Dawa activities among Japanese people and social work among the Muslims.Free distribution of Islamic literature in Japanese, Urdu, Bengali, English and Arabic. Lectures and meetings from time to time. Performance of marriages under Islamic Sharia and Japanese law and issuing certificate of Marriages and converting to Islam after proper explanation of Islam according to Quran and Sunnah.

ISESAKI MASJID

ISESAKI MASJID
37-2 KITA MACHI ISESAKI SHI,
Isezaki, GUMMA KEN 372-0056, JAPAN

0270--24-4260
0270-24-4260
isesakimosque@hotmail.com

qamarru@hotmail.com

5 times pray and teaching of Quran and other Islamic matters to children and women. Also every Saturday night all brothers learning Quran.

Islamic Center - Japan

Islamic Center - Japan
1-16-11 Ohara, Setagaya-ku,
Tokyo, 156-0041, JAPAN

03-3460-6169
03-3460-6105
islamcjp@islamcenter.or.jp
http://www.islamcenter.or.jp

 

Islamic circle of Japan

Islamic circle of Japan
Gyotoku,
Gyotoku, Chiba , JAPAN

0081-90-6189-2111
hiramosque1997@yahoo.com
www.icoj.org

We work for Islam in Japan by the help of God. Allah may help us. 1. Performing Nikkah (marriage) 2. Computer classes 3. Islamic audio & video project 4. Shahdah & issuance of Shahada certificate 5. Quran classes for children 6. Gussle Mayyat (Gusul of dead bodies) 7. Information regarding Islam 8. Quran classes & Urdu classes for Japanese Muslim women

ISLAMIC CIRCLE OF JAPAN

ISLAMIC CIRCLE OF JAPAN
1-94-7-26, Honcho Tatebayashi City Gumma Ken,
Tatebayashi, Gumma , JAPAN

022-422-1818
022-422-1818
www.icoj.org

Quba Mosque was established in Gumma Ken in year 2004.The Mosque has a capacity of 250 people. Besides five-time salat & salat-ul-Jumma, programme of weekly Daroos e Quran is organized on every Saturday. Inshallah Quran classes for children will be started soon.

ISLAMIC CIRCLE OF JAPAN

ISLAMIC CIRCLE OF JAPAN
Chiba Ken, Ichikawa Shi, Gyotoku Eki Mae 3-3-19,
Chiba-ken, 272-0133, JAPAN

0081-47-3958449
47-398-0261
ntc65@hpo.net
www.icoj.org

Here have Hira Mosque nearest Station nameis Gyotoku, by Tozai Line (Subway) from Tokyo its only 20 minutes Train Here have 5 time prayers. everyday children learn Quran from Maghrib to Isha except Sat. and Sunday. Every Saturday after Isha Darse Quran & Hadeeth for male & women in English and Urdu.

Islamic Cultural Center

Islamic Cultural Center
2-25-14,Nakayamate Dori Chu-Ku,
Kobe, Hyogo 650-0004 Kobe Japan, JAPAN

6060-231-078
6061-231-078
mohsenkobe@yahoo.com

women's Class, Islamic School, Tafseer Qraan, Tajued Qraan,

ISLAMIC CULTURE CENTRE

ISLAMIC CULTURE CENTRE
DOGO IMAICHI 1-20, MATSYUAMA-SHI,
Ehime-ken, 790-0845, JAPAN
0081-89-923-7275

 

 

ISLAMIC EDUCATION & INFORMATION CENTER

ISLAMIC EDUCATION & INFORMATION CENTER
2-20-19-512, TERAYA, TSURUMI-KU, YOKOHAMA-SHI,
Kanagawa-ken, 230-0015, JAPAN

0081-44-585-5386
0081-44-574-1085

 

ISLAMIC MISSION

ISLAMIC MISSION
SaitamaKen, Koshigaya shi,Gamo, Kotobokicho 33,
Tokyo, 343-0836, JAPAN

81-48-985-0911
81-48-985-0912

 

IWATA ISLAMIC CIRCLE

IWATA ISLAMIC CIRCLE
MITSUKE 2939, IWATA-SHI,,
Shizuoka-ken, 438-0085, JAPAN

0081-542-552-6568
ahid_natadiningracth@yahoo.com

 

Iwata Markaz

Iwata Markaz
Shizuoka 438-0086 Iwata-shi Mitsuke 2939,
Iwata, , JAPAN

0538-33-1307

 

Islamic center

 

Iwate Musallah

Iwate Musallah
2-26-7, Honjin Dori, Nakamura-ku, Aichi, , JAPAN

052-453-0041
052 486-2380

Mosque

 

JAME MASJID, YOKOHAMA

JAME MASJID, YOKOHAMA
1-31-13 Hayabuchi, Tsuzuki-ku,,
Yokohama, Kanagawa , JAPAN

info@masjid-yokohama.jp
http://www.masjid-yokohama.jp

Masjid & Center for Muslims, specially for Yokohama/Kawasaki area people. Also have separate halls for ladies, & for children education. Ladies programs & general events, like inviting scholars for lectures are also held. We welcome Aalims/scholars of all sects for lectures.

Japan Islamic Trust Japan Islamic Trust
3-42-7 Minami Otsuka Toshima-Ku,
Tokyo-to, Toshima-Ku 170-0005, JAPAN
03-3971-5631
03-5950-6310
info@jittokyo.jp
www.jittokyo.jp
 

Kanazawa Muslim Society (KMS)

Kanazawa Muslim Society (KMS)
Dai 2 Eikouso No.2 (first floor), 1-22-20, Mitsukuchi Shinmachi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa,
Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture , JAPAN

076-076-261-9465
076-261-9465
ahmed@earth.s.kanazawa-u.ac.jp
http://kanazawams.tripod.com/

Kanazawa Muslim Society is the only Islamic organization in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. It was established since 1994 by few Muslim members from Turkey and Indonisia. Previuosly it was called Hokuriku Muslim Society (HMS), and included all Muslims in the three prefectures (Ishikawa, Toyama and Fukui). Now after finding some Islamic associations in those prefectures KMS becomes the Islamic organization in the Ishikawa Prefecture only. It is the active organization in the Hokuriku area, organizing many cultural and islamic activities. The main location of KMS is at Kanazawa City. We rent a house to be a mosque for prayers and our meetings. Almost Muslims in KMS are come from Eastern Asia and Africa (Indonesia, Bangladish, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Lybia, South Africa, Pakestan, , ....).

KASHIWA-SHI MOSQUE

KASHIWA-SHI MOSQUE
5-4-6, Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa-shi, Chiba-ken,
Kashiwa-shi, , JAPAN

 

From Kashiwa Station, walk for about 6-7 minutes. It is beside Pak Halal shop.

AFRICAN MUSLIMS ORGANIZATION

AFRICAN MUSLIMS ORGANIZATION
PoBox 342 SHINJUKU-KU,
Tokyo, 160-0000, JAPAN

 

 

Al Salaam Islamic Society

Al Salaam Islamic Society
Kamigyo-ku, Miyagakimachi 92-1F,
Kyoto, 602-0853, JAPAN
islambc@yahoo.co.jp

 

 

APAN ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTER

APAN ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTER
2-3-16 NISHIKIMACHI, TOMAKOMAI, TOMAKOMAI-SHI,,
Hokkaido, 053-0023, JAPAN

 

 

APU Muslim Students Association

APU Muslim Students Association
Beppu,
Beppu, Oita 874-0011, JAPAN
APU-MSA@yahoogroups.com

 

At present the Association is run by Muslims/Muslimah students from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. Present members stands at about 60 and above. Our members come from various region and nations such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, African nation, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, etc. Currently we do not have any specific place for our regular activities. We are now actively collecting funds to have a permanent place for our own Mosque. "may Allah accept our efforts in building this mosque" Ameen. If you have any questions please send your email to APU-MSA@yahoogroups.com

Association Of Malaysian Islamic Scholars (AMIR)

Association Of Malaysian Islamic Scholars (AMIR)
Yokohama-shi, Aoba-ku, Fujigaoka,
Tokyo, , JAPAN

080-5061-7561
admin@amirnet.org
http://www.amirnet.org/info

An Organization for malaysian in Japan. We are providing needed info for Malaysian muslim in Japan

ASSOCIATION OF MUSLIMS

ASSOCIATION OF MUSLIMS
SHIEJUTAKU R5-6, TOKUHOSHI 272-1, TOTORI-SHI,
Tottori-shi, 680-0933, JAPAN

0081-0857-21-1720
st306@cv.tottori-u.ac.jp

 

Council of Islamic Organisations in Japan

Council of Islamic Organisations in Japan
Naka 2-22-34, Kunitachiu,
Tokyo, , JAPAN

813-469-0284
813-7982640

 

DAWAH ISLAMIA

DAWAH ISLAMIA
osakafu osakashi joutouku imafukunishi 6-4-10 kode pos 06-6931-5038,
Osaka, indonesia , JAPAN

ugenk_climbers@yahoo.com

Dawah center

FKMIT (Forum Komunikasi Muslim Indonesia Tsukuba)

FKMIT (Forum Komunikasi Muslim Indonesia Tsukuba)
Tsukuba masjid,
Tsukuba, , JAPAN

fkmit@yahoogroups.com

 

Gifu Moslem Association

: Gifu Moslem Association
Furuichiba,Nakahara 57,
Gifu-shi, Japan 501-1193, JAPAN

058-2396364
shofiq66@yahoo.com

 

HKII (Himpunan Kebudayaan Islam Indonesia)

HKII (Himpunan Kebudayaan Islam Indonesia)
Higashiku Hakozaki,
Fukuoka, Fukuoka 813-0045, JAPAN

muslimfukuoka@yahoogroups.com
http://hkii.islam.jp

This organization is started from August 24 2003, support for Fukuoka mosque project and trying to have a figures as Islamic Centre in Fukuoka City based on culture transformation.

Hokkaido Islamic Society

Hokkaido Islamic Society
Sapporo-shi, Kita-ku, Kita 14, Nishi 3,
Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido , JAPAN

http://www.hisociety.jp

 

Islamic Society Maintains Mosque Islamic Community Programs

Indonesian Moslem Society in Japan

Indonesian Moslem Society in Japan
5-2-9 Higashi Gotanda, Shinagawa-Ku,
Tokyo, 141-0022, JAPAN

03-3441-4201
03-3447-1697
kmii@kmii.org
www.kmii.org

Organization that organizes and holds da'wah activities for Indonesian moslem in Japan

International Islamic Relief Organization

International Islamic Relief Organization
403 Esyc-Heights, 5-16-8, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo,
Tokyo, Japan 106-0032, JAPAN

03-3560-2823
03-3560-2296
iirojp@hyper.ocn.ne.jp
http://www7.ocn.ne.jp/~iiro/ 

The international Islamic Relief Organization of Saudi Arabia is a relief organization which enjoys a legal personality and belonging to the Muslim World League. It was established in 1399 Hejriah. It seeks to raise funds through collection of donations and Zakat as well as Sadaqat with the aim of providing Muslims in war and disaster affected areas with urgent relief

Islamic Graveyard Committee

Islamic Graveyard Committee
301, Bay court,7-15,Miya hara,Hanmoku,Nakaku,Yokohama,
Yamanashi, Enzan,Monjuin 231-1811, JAPAN

625-0477, (Mian ),
03-3460-6169,6105
Contact mobile-090-3106-1811
090-32094479 045-662-7047

Land for graveyard is given free,other expences not responsibility.It is only for Muslims and not for non Muslims such as Qadiyanies or Ahmadiyas who are out of Islam.Documents will be required under japanese law.

Islamic Area Studies Project Management Office

Islamic Area Studies Project Management Office
Bungakubu Annexe; 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku,
Tokyo, 113-0033,, JAPAN

813-5841-2687
81-3-5841-2686

Islamic research organisation

 

ISLAMIC ASSOCIATION OF NAGOYA

ISLAMIC ASSOCIATION OF NAGOYA
2-26-7, HONJINDORI 2-CHOME, NAKAMURA-KU, NAGOYA-SHI,
Aichi-ken, 453-0041, JAPAN


0081-52-486-2380
0081-52-486-2381
info@nagoyamosque.com
www.nagoyamosque.com

 

ISLAMIC BUNKA CENTER

ISLAMIC BUNKA CENTER
11-9, TANNA SHINMACHI, MINAMI-KU, HIROSHIMA-SHI,
Hiroshima-ken, 734-0033, JAPAN

0081-822-256-1726

ISLAMIC CENTER

 

ISLAMIC CENTER NIIGATA

ISLAMIC CENTER NIIGATA
NIIGATA CITY.TARO DAI 2557,
Niigata City, NIIGATA KEN 950-3101, JAPAN
81-90-88743174

 

 

Islamic Cultural Center Sendai

Islamic Cultural Center Sendai
Makuda Apartment 101. Kitamemachi 2-16, Sendai 980-0023. JAPAN,
Sendai-shi, , JAPAN

022-2682802
+81-22-268-2802
http://iccs.tripod.co.jp/index.html

About 24 years back the Muslims of Sendai formed Islamic Cultural Centre, Sendai (ICCS) to keep the Muslim identity & Islamic activities alive. In Japanese language, the centre is called Isramu Bunka Senta Sendai. Islamic Cultural Center of Japan (ICCS) was established to promote the Islamic Culture, it is non-political, non-racial, non-profitable and voluntary organization. The ICCS was formally inaugurated on 20th October 1985 at The Tohoku University International House. The ceremony was attended by the majority of the Moslem community in Sendai along with their families. The following objective of ICCS Promotion of friendship among Moslem and between Moslem and Japanese. Introducing Islam and cultural exchange to Japanese and other cultural organizations. Intensifying the Islamic faith and knowledge of the Moslem. Solving different problems of Moslem, Teaching Koran and language Cooperation with Islamic Center of Japan as well as other Islamic organization.

ISLAMIC CULTURAL FOUNDATION

ISLAMIC CULTURAL FOUNDATION
KYOJIMA 1-33-9, SUMIDA-KU,
Tokyo, 131-0046, JAPAN

0081-3-2405455/55670
0081-3-39361551/5567

 

ISLAMIC CULTURAL FOUNDATION

ISLAMIC CULTURAL FOUNDATION
2-2-11-403, TOKUI-CHO, CHUO-KU,
Osaka, 540-0025, JAPAN

0081-6-945-4098
0081-6-945-4099

 

ISLAMIC CULTURAL SOCIETY

ISLAMIC CULTURAL SOCIETY
2-13-22 TOMIGAYA - SHIBUYA-KU,
Tokyo, 151, JAPAN

 

 

ISLAMIC GUIDANCE SOCIETY

ISLAMIC CULTURAL SOCIETY
2-13-22 TOMIGAYA - SHIBUYA-KU,
Tokyo, 151, JAPAN

0081-852-25-2264
www.geocities.com/at
mahmoud@web-sanin.co.jp

 

Islamic Masjid East Chapel Camp Hansen

Islamic Masjid East Chapel Camp Hansen
Camp Hansen,
Kin, Okinawa FPO AP 96604, JAPAN

011-6117-23-5587
623-4466
alstonsd@3fssg.usmc.mil

 

JAPAN ISLAMIC CONGRESS

JAPAN ISLAMIC CONGRESS
4F, ARAI BUILDING-1-5-4 KABUKI CHO, SHINJUKU-KU,
Tokyo, 150, JAPAN
0081-3-205-1313

 

Islamic organisation

JAPAN ISLAMIC FRIENDSHIP

JAPAN ISLAMIC FRIENDSHIP
TSUKIYAMA SEKKEI JIMUSHO, 61-3, GOKANOSHO HIKAIDA, UJI-SHI,,
Kyoto-fu, 611-0011, JAPAN


0081-75-774-32-6008
0081-75-774-32-6010

Islamic association

Japan Muslim Association

Japan Muslim Association
Valore Yoyogi 1004, 2-26-5 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0053,
Tokyo-to, , JAPAN


81-3-3370-3476
81-3-3370-3476
jma@mc.neweb.ne.jp

 

kagoshima muslim student association (KMSA)

kagoshima muslim student association (KMSA)
International residence house, bul. no.1, room no.309,
Kagoshima-shi, shimoarata 890-0056, JAPAN

(080) 3970-9061
(+81) 99-286-4220
kmsa@yahoo.groups.com
http://kmsa.jeeran.com/

1. Welcome Party and Orientation for new Muslim Students with dinner and sports 2. Fukuoka Mosque Project 3. First Seminar on Islamic topic with refreshment 4. Country Talk with dinner 5. First Ramadan Iftar party 6. Mid Ramadan Iftar Party 7. Second Seminar on Islamic topic with refreshment 8. Eid-ul-Fiter Party with games (Most Important Event) 9. “Message” movie with refreshment 10. Eid-ul-Adha Party with games (Most Important Event) 11. Documentry Film on Islam with refreshment 12. MSAJ Annual Meeting 13. Farewell party for graduates with dinner

Keluarga Muslim Indonesia Sendai (KMI-S)

Keluarga Muslim Indonesia Sendai (KMI-S)
aoba-ku sendai-shi miyagi-ken japan,
Sendai-shi, Miyagi , JAPAN

kmi-s@yahoogroups.com

 

 

KMA-Kyoto Muslim Association

KMA-Kyoto Muslim Association
Kyoto-fu, Kyoto-shi, Sakyo-ku,
Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu 606, JAPAN

http://www.geocities.com/ Athens/Acropolis/2663/

 

Kofu mosque

Kofu mosque
2-6-12 aioi kofu shi,
Ko-fuji, Yamanashi 400-0858, JAPAN

055-223 5672
055 228 5672
mansuriyounus@hotmail.com

 

KUMSA

KUMSA
Annex of Kyushu Univ. Intel Center,
Fukuoka, Fukuoka 812-8581, JAPAN

092-624-2156
+81-92-642-2156
kumsa@yahoogroups.com

Muslim Student Association

Kyushu University Islamic Student Organization

Kyushu University Islamic Student Organization
6-10-1 Hakozaki , Hİgashi-ku,
Fukuoka-ken, Fukuoka 812-8581, JAPAN
8192-6424370

 

 

MARKAZ DAWAT-E-ILALLAH JAPAN

MARKAZ DAWAT-E-ILALLAH JAPAN
Tsuzuki- Ku, Yokohama Japan,,
Yokohama-Shi, Kanagawa ken 224-0021, JAPAN

81--90-3090-2406
81-45-952-4093

ISLAMIC CENTER

 

Mie Islamic Association

Mie Islamic Association
Kamihama, Kurima Machi Ya Machi,
Tu, Mie 514-0001, JAPAN

059-231-9687
059-231-9687
msa_mie@yahoogroups.com

 

MIYAZAKI MUSLIM STUDENT ASSOCIATION

MIYAZAKI MUSLIM STUDENT ASSOCIATION
3-35-1, GAKUEN KIBANA DAI MINAMI, MIYAZAKI-SHI,
Miyazaki-ken, 889-2153, JAPAN

0081-985-58-6585
0081-985-58-0830

http://www.geocities.com/ miyazaki_msa/open

mmsa@yahoogroups.com

 

It has no office of its own. You can send a mail to mmsa@yahoogroups.com  to contact someone who can guide you there. It is an organization of Muslim students residing in Miyazaki city, Japan. It co-ordinates Islamic activities, gatherings in Miyazaki.

Shingetsu Institute

The University of Kitakyushu
4-2-1 Kitagata, Kokuraminami-ku
Kitakyushu-shi 802-8577 JAPAN

090-2960-3076
shingetsu_institute@hotmail.com

http://www.shingetsuinstitute.com/

 

 

 

 

 

  Muslim Owned Business

Organization Name

Address

Phone-Fax-Email-Web

General Information

J&P CO.LTD USD CAR EXP

J&P CO.LTD USD CAR EXP
Katsushika-ku nishi khamiare 2-37-3-502,
Tokyo, Katushika ku 124-0002, JAPAN

03-3838-9020
03-3838-9020
abdul_aziz786@hotmail.com

USED CAR business

 

Afroasia Muhammedi Food Center

Afroasia Muhammedi Food Center
2-12-9, Higashi Sumida, Sumida-ku,,Tokyo, , JAPAN

03-3616-4577
(03) 3616-7005

Halal Groceries

 

Asian Shopping Center

Asian Shopping Center
1-18-16, Nishi-Ikebukuro,
Toshima-Ku, 171-0021, JAPAN

03-3971-2966
03-3590-9794

Halal Food Shop

Fuji Store

Fuji Store
2F, 2-9-15, Hyakunincho,,
Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku 169-0073, JAPAN

03-3366-8480

Halal Food Store

 

Kayhan Orient

Kayhan Orient
1492-19, 2F, Kumakawa,
Tokyo, Fussa-shi 197-0003, JAPAN

0425-53-6617
0425-53-6654
kayhan@t-net.ne.jp

Halal Food Store

Baharia

Baharia
2F, Hokuto Honsha bldg., Yoyogi 2-14-3,
Tokyo, 151-0053, JAPAN

03-3320-0340
baharia@baharu.com

Halal Food Store

 

Sonali Trade International

Sonali Trade International
#101 Yamaichi Bldg., 3-36-30, Nakajyujyo,,
Tokyo, Kita-ku 114-0032, JAPAN


03-5993-1078
03-5993-4993

Halal Food Store

 

A Online Halal Food(KKR&S corporation)

A Online Halal Food(KKR&S corporation)
Gunma-Ken,Oizumi-Machi,Oura-gun,Furukori 143 ,Japan,
Japan, Gunma_Ken 370-0536, JAPAN

081-0276-62-0302
0276-62-0203
info@rajahalalfood.com
http://www.rajahalalfood.com

Halal Food In japan,Selling all kinds of south asian foods and halal meats online

A.A.G. Enterprises Pak

A.A.G. Enterprises Pak
Coop Masuda 103, 16-16, Izumi-cho,
Fussa-shi, 472-0011, JAPAN

0471-67-2425
0471-34-7606

Halal Food Shop

 

A.A.G. Enterprises Pak Halal Food Shop

A.A.G. Enterprises Pak Halal Food Shop
5-4-6, Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa-shi, Chiba-ken,
Kashiwa-shi, 277-0882, JAPAN

0471-34-4092
0471-34-7606

Halal Food Services

A.G.M. TRADING COMPANY LTD A.G.M. TRADING COMPANY LTD
1-1-16-2F, Tsunashima Nishi, Kohoku-ku,
Yokohama-Shi, 228-2947, JAPAN
045-546-6817
045-546-3078
MSAMAHIR@YAHOO.CO.UK
Halal food shop

 

AARTI (Ashish Bhasin) Indian Restaurant

AARTI (Ashish Bhasin) Indian Restaurant
Hunter Bldg. 1F, 2-14-13,,
Chuo-ku, , JAPAN

078-222-8665
090-9215-2446
ashishi24@hotmail.com

Halal Restaurant

 

Abbas Traders

Abbas Traders
shimauchi eldem c 202,
Nagano, Matsumoto-shi , JAPAN

0081-8010702134
0263-48-3806
abbasch2000@yahoo.com

we buy and sale used cars.

 

Afroasia Muhammedi Food Center

Afroasia Muhammedi Food Center
2-12-9, Higashi Sumida, Sumida-ku,Tokyo, , JAPAN

03-3616-4577
(03) 3616-7005

Halal Groceries

 

AGM Trading

AGM Trading
1-1-16, Tsunashima Nishi, Kohoku-ku,
Kanagawa-ken, Yokohama-shi 228-2947, JAPAN

045-546-6817

Halal food store

AGM Trading & Restaurant

AGM Trading & Restaurant
1-1-16, Tsunashima Nishi,,
Yokohama-shi, , JAPAN

045-546-6817
045-546-3078

Halal Restaurant

 

AL-AMIN HALAL FOODS

AL-AMIN HALAL FOODS
1-42-8, Yahiro,
Tokyo, Sumida-ku 131-0046, JAPAN

090-5773-4729
03-3613-4424
anisur@triton.ocn.ne.jp

Halal Food Store

Al-Flah Super Market

Al-Flah Super Market
Ohnoya Bldg., 4F, 2-41-2, Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku,
Tokyo, , JAPAN
03-3985-9784

 

 

AL-KAREEM TRADING Co.LTD

AL-KAREEM TRADING Co.LTD
Handa2687,
Shibukawa-shi, GUNMA KEN 377-0004, JAPAN

+0081279-20-9115
+0081279-20-9114
alkareem78692@yahoo.com

 Al-kareem trading co. ltd is registered Kaitai. We are exporting parts and second hands cars and trucks to Afganistan, Pakistan, UAE and Uganda.

Aladdin Restaurant

Aladin Restaurant
Roppongi Yasuda Bldg., 2F, 3-2-6, Minato-ku, 070-6429-1488, JAPAN

03-3401-8851

 

Halal Restaurant

 

AliBaba

AliBaba
nichika Bldg1F3-23-1Miyasaka Satayagaya-ku Tokyo,
Tokyo, , JAPAN

03-3429-0708

Halal restaurant food

ALICO INTERNATIONAL, LTD.

ALICO INTERNATIONAL, LTD.
3-2-4-405 Igusa, Suginami-ku, Tokyo, Japan,
Tokyo, 167-0021, JAPAN

03-3394-0014
03-3396-2202
alico-tokyo@jcom.home.ne.jp

Providing free DTP service for islamic notices, announcements and information. Established in 1976 in Tokyo. TRADING : Scientific and industrial machines, instruments and testing machines, etc. TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION : Technical translation and interpretation in English, Japanese, Urdu Arabic, Hindi and other languages.

ALKARAM RESTURENT & HALAL FOODS ALKARAM RESTURENT & HALAL FOODS
YASHIO SHI,
Yashio-shi, SAITAMA KEN , JAPAN
0081-0489997199

 

 

Amin Indian And Bangladeshi Restaurant

Amin Indian And Bangladeshi Restaurant
2F., Royal Bldg., 2-2-12, Shiba, Minato-Ku,
Tokyo, , JAPAN

03-3456-2338
03 3456-2266

Muslim Hotel

Anatolia Turkish Restaurant

Anatolia Turkish Restaurant
Miyamasuzaka, Oka Bldg., B-1, 2-19-20, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku,
Tokyo, 150, JAPAN

03-3486-7499
(03) 3486-2995

Muslim Hotel

Anjoh Halal Food

Anjoh Halal Food
Marui Building, 1-2-7, Imaike cho, Anjoh city,
Aichi, , JAPAN

0566-98-9995

Halal Food shop

Ankara

Ankara
1-14-9, Dohgenzaka, Shibuya,,
Tokyo, , JAPAN
03-3780-1366

 

Halal Restaurant

 

Ashikaga halal food

Ashikaga halal food
Ashikaga shi,omae cho 695,
Tochigi-ken, Tochigi ken 326 - 0845, JAPAN

0284-654007
0284 65 4008
brandal_banyumas@yahoo.com

 

ASIA BROKERS JAPAN

ASIA BROKERS JAPAN
298-1, Kurose, Toyama-shi,
Toyama, 939-8213, JAPAN

81-76-491-6110
(81)76-491-6130
sales@asia-brokers.co.jp

Exporter of Automobiles

Asia halal food

Asia halal food
Higashi honmachi 85-2,
Isesaki, 372-0025, JAPAN

0270-21-1566
dizeninternatioanl@yahoo.co.uk

We provide best halal food and halal meat from around the world on very cheap and reasonable price. (Note) we have delivery service all over the Japan.

Asia Halal Food

Asia Halal Food
Okumura Bldg., #202, 1-33-21, Nishi,
Kawaguchi-Shi, 332-0021, JAPAN


0482-51-1293
0482-51-8675
 

Halal food shop

 

Asia Shopping Center

Asia Shopping Center
262, Moto-yokoyamacho, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo,
Hachioji, 192-0063, JAPAN

0426-46-7686

Halal Food services

Asian garden Corporation Asian garden Corporation
Mr Max Department Store (2nd floor),
Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken 251-0042, JAPAN

+81-466-33-3262
asiangardennikko@msn.com

Own by Bangladeshi (please ask them one more time if you want to re-confirm the status of halal food).

Asian Yataimura Alibaba

Asian Yataimura Alibaba
B1, No.2 Alpus Mansion, 2-6-10,,
Shinjuku-ku, , JAPAN

 

Halal Restaurant

 

Auto Tokyo

Auto Tokyo
Tokyo to, Itabashi ku, Itabashi 1-13-10, Abankurest Itabashi Building,
Tokyo, Japan 173-0004, JAPAN

03-5943-5661
03-5943-5662
info@baticrom.com
www.baticrom.com

Buying and Selling Used cars. Plus selling a huge number of halal food items.

Azhar Halal Food

Azhar Halal Food
Fukuoka,
Fukuoka, 812-0053, JAPAN

092-651-4303
092 - 6240904
order@azhar.jp
http://azhar.jp

Azhar halal food sells halal chicken, meat , mutton. Domestic supply and imported.

Baharia

Baharia
2F, Hokuto Honsha bldg., Yoyogi 2-14-3,
Shibuya-ku, 151-0053, JAPAN

03-3320-0340
baharia@baharu.com

Halal Food Services

 

Baharu

Baharu
Tokyo Plaza Building, 7th Floor, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku,,
Tokyo, , JAPAN
03-5388-8006

 

Halal Restaurant

 

BAHARU e-shop & BAHARIA market

BAHARU e-shop & BAHARIA market
Hokuto Honsha Bldg. 2F 2-14-3 Yoyogi Shibuya-ku Tokyo,
Tokyo, , JAPAN

03-3320-0340
03-3320-0340
baharia@baharu.com
http://www.baharu.com/e-shop/index.htm

Halal meat shop + Import food and gift

Baticrom Online Store (Halal Grocery Shop)

Baticrom Online Store (Halal Grocery Shop)
Tokyo, Itabashi ku, 1-13-10 Itabashi, Abankurest Itabashi Building,
Tokyo, 173-0004, JAPAN

03-3963-6636-YahooBB
03-5943-5662
info@baticrom.comorder@baticrom.com
http://www.baticrom.com

We are the First and the Largest Online Grocery Store (Halal) in Japan operating from Tokyo. We sell Asian (from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Pakistan, Arab-African) foods, Fashion Wear, Books, Prepaid telephone cards (including KDDI, MCI Cards, Master calling, Super Green, New Twin Tower card, Visa Calling, etc. We also have a lot of variety of items.

 

 

 

 

  References
Islam in Islam in Japan ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Japan , June, 2008).
Info please ( http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107666.html ,  June, 2008).
Islam Finder ( http://www.islamicfinder.org/cityPrayerNew.php?country=japan   , June, 2008).
World Religions Statistics ( http://www.adherents.com/adhloc/xx , June, 2008).
Anonymous, Documents from Representatives of Islamic Organizations in Islam in Japan, June 2008.