CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY
“Japan made me Orthodox”
JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY
Eleonora Borisovna Sablina is an historian, teacher, candidate of historical sciences, researcher of Japanese Orthodoxy, and the author of a book on St. Nicholas of Japan.
* * *
—Eleonora Borisovna, you have been living and teaching in Japan for many years. Tell us, please, how you arrived in the Land of the Rising Sun? Where do you work?
—I have been teaching at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies for nineteen years. I am a candidate in historical sciences and professor. I also teach at the Tokyo Conservatory, and until March of this year I worked at the State University of Yokohama. Unfortunately, study of the humanities is being reduced in Japan today. It’s sad, but there’s nothing you can do—it’s a global trend.
I went to Japan straight from Moscow State University (MSU). I taught Japanese there. My specializations were as an historian-orientalist and as a translator. From 1978, when the world conferences of religious leaders began, I started working with the Russian Orthodox Church. I was invited as a translator. Vladyka Theodosy (Nagasima) would come to Russia and I would translate for him. I first learned about St. Nicholas when I started accompanying pilgrims. Of course, before that I had heard nothing about the saint because we lived in an atheist country; but the person of St. Nicholas interested me. In the end, I decided to go to Japan to study his activity and to introduce it to Russians. In 1992, after the fall of the USSR, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs created special educational programs, receiving students and researchers from Russia. I was there for a year on this grant, as a Continue reading ““Japan made me Orthodox””