Suginami (杉並区) has a population of over 500,000 and 59 churches in 21 sq. mi. It is known for being one of the most liberal wards in Tokyo. Some of the well known liberal actions of Suginami are the housewife protest of Nuclear weapons in 1954, where they successfully reached a petition of 20 million signatures. In the early 2000’s the ward fought against textbook revisions for public schools which tried to introduce books that helped paint an unjust picture of Japanese actions during WWII . Once having some of the highest crime rates in Tokyo, Suginami took community action against crime by organizing neighborhood watch groups that helped cut crime in the ward by 80 percent. One thing that I find interesting about Suginami is that despite their so-called liberal tendencies, they have the lowest divorce rate of all the wards in Tokyo.
Suginami is also known for animation. There are many famous animation studios and museums located in the ward and help to influence the culture of the ward, as animation has become a mainstream way to communicate messages in Japan from commercials to political messages.
As we think about ways to pray for Suginami this week
- Pray for the cultural influence that the animation studios have. Pray that christians would see and embrace animation in Japan and use it to promote the gospel and give glory to God.
- Japan is a culture of conformity so it is rare to see people push back against the mainstream as the people of Suginami have. Pray that the people of Suginami would put their trust in Jesus and become known as a people who push against the culture with the gospel.
Nakano (中野区) has a population of over 300,000 and 28 churches in 9 sq. mi. Located in the center of Tokyo, it is one of the most densely populated wards in Tokyo, with 20,000 people per .5 sq. mi. Nakano is full of cheap, shabby apartments with 60% of them occupied with singles living alone desiring to be in the center of the city. Nakano is also known for its nerd culture (otaku). Where many are obsessed and often idolize everything from video games to comics.
This week also pray for Nakano
- Pray for the singles who live alone giving themselves over to their desires. Pray that instead they might come to desire the only thing worth desiring, Jesus Christ.
- Pray for more churches planted in the center of the city to reach the many for the gospel.