Father Nikolai Ono, Japan: A Monk from a Samurai Family

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Father Nikolai Ono

A Monk from a Samurai Family

Source:

http://www.pravoslavie.ru

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/69243.htm

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

Hierodeacon Nikolai Ono comes from an old family of priests of the Japanese Orthodox Church. His great-great grandfather’s name—Priest John Ono—is often mentioned in the diaries of St. [1] Nicholas of Japan. We talk with Fr. Nikolai about his family and Orthodox churches of Japan and Russia.

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Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokalamsk and Fr. Nikolai (Ono) after his tonsure.

Fr. Nikolai, please tell us about your family.

On my father’s side, my family was Samurai. They lived in the city of Sendai in northeast Japan. My great-great grandfather, Ono Syogoro Sigenobu, was the last Samurai in our family. He was baptized with the name of John by St. Nicholas of Japan in 1871 and became one of the first Christians in the Japanese land. Later, John Ono was ordained a priest, was engaged in missionary work, and was the dean of the church in the city of Osaka. My great grandfather and grandfather likewise received baptism and were parishioners of the church in Kyoto.

My father is also called John. Since there are no Orthodox educational institutions with government licensing, he studied in the theological department of a Protestant university in Kyoto, and after graduating he entered the Orthodox Ecclesiastical Seminary in Tokyo. After graduating from the seminary my father was ordained a deacon, then in 1990 to the rank of priest, and served in the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Tokyo, which is known as “Nikolai-do.” After that he was sent to the Church of the Annunciation in Kyoto (the cathedral of the Western Japan Eparchy), where he served as dean for about 20 years. After Kyoto, my father was once again summoned to serve in the Tokyo cathedral, where he carries out his obedience to this day.

Have any old Orthodox holy items been preserved in your family?

We have a photograph of St. Nicholas of Japan with his autograph, which the holy bishop himself gave to my great-great grandfather as a present.

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Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Tokyo (Nikolai-do)

Tell us about your life in Tokyo and Kyoto.

I was born in Tokyo in 1989, and lived on the property of the Tokyo Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ. The residence of the Primate of the Japanese Orthodox Church is located in that same place. I often had occasion to see the reposed Metropolitan Theodosius (Nagasima), who would sometimes treat me to sweets.

When I was 3 years old, my whole family moved to Kyoto, as they assigned my father to be dean of the cathedral of this historical capital of Japan.

After we moved we lived there permanently, and I went to school and university there. It was only in the fall of 2011 that I moved again to Tokyo, where my father was assigned in 2010.

The Orthodox church in Kyoto is one of the oldest in Japan. Could you tell us about the history of this parish and contemporary parish life?

The majority of the parishioners of the Annunciation Church in Kyoto are third-, fourth-, or even fifth-generation Orthodox. The church choir is also made up of parishioners. They have choir rehearsals once a month. We have a parish council and sisterhood, and we publish a newspaper.

The parish began with lectures about Orthodoxy held in one of the buildings in the center of the city. At first these lectures were temporarily led by my great-great grandfather, Fr. John Ono, then by Hieromonk Sergius (Stragorodsky), the future Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. Then the Church of the Annunciation was built—in a different place but likewise in the city center—and was consecrated in 1903 by St. Nicholas of Japan. In 1986 the Kyoto city government recognized the church as part of the city’s cultural heritage.

Russian parishioners also attend the church, and foreign students from other Orthodox countries. Sometimes non-Orthodox Japanese also come, including young people. Most of them are simply interested in the unusual architecture in the center of Japan’s historical center, but some of them begin to come to church regularly and are baptized. Approximately once a year students from a Protestant university come on an excursion.

Do you remember His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II’s visit to Kyoto?

At that time, in May of 2000, when I was 10 years old, His Holiness Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, accompanied by the Chairman of DECR [2], Metropolitan Kirill—now His Holiness the Patriarch—made the first Patriarchal visit in the history of the Japanese Orthodox Church. He headed the liturgy and enthronement of Daniel, Archbishop of Tokyo and Metropolitan of All Japan, in the “Nikolai-do” Cathedral in Tokyo.

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His Holiness Patriarch Alexy in the Cathedral in Kyoto in 2000, with Fr. John Ono, Matushka Sarah Ono and their children—Alexy (in monasticism Nikolai) and Lyubov (Charity).

His Holiness the Patriarch also visited the Annunciation Cathedral in Kyoto, where my father was serving then. The (now) reposed Patriarch served a moleben, took a tour of the church and its revered sacred object—an altar Gospel given by St. John of Kronstadt with the inscription of St. Nicholas of Japan—and talked with the parishioners. The church was full of priests and parishioners—not only from our parish, but also from other churches in the Western Japan Eparchy.

Do Japanese young people know about Orthodoxy? Are the fundamentals of the Christian Faith taught within the scope of academic subjects in schools and universities?

I graduated from the law department at Kyoto State University. It seems to me that—at least at the baccalaureate level—they don’t offer subjects in Christian theology. There is only “History of Western Philosophy,” and, within the framework of this subject it talks mainly about Catholic or Protestant thinkers. Young Japanese know that Catholicism and Protestantism exist; a few know that Orthodoxy also exists, or—in literal translation from the Japanese—“the Eastern Orthodox Church.” Orthodoxy is written about in the high school world history textbook, but this is a very short description, and the narration is written from the point of view of the West.

Unfortunately, few people know St. Nicholas of Japan. But the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Tokyo is known to all as “Nikolai-do,” that is, Nicholas’s Church. The old church in Hakokate is also quite a famous landmark.

Have you been able to see many of the Orthodox churches in Japan?

I lived in the churches of Tokyo and Kyoto. We used to visit the churches in Osaka and Kobe, since they were close to our church in Kyoto. I have been to the church in Sendai three times: once, I accompanied a delegation headed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, who visitied Japan in 2012 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the repose of St. Nicholas of Japan, Equal-to-the-Apostles.

It was the second Patriarchal visit in the history of the Japanese Church.

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The visit of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill

to the Cathedral Church of Sendai Eparchy, September 15, 2012.

How long have you been in Russia?

I’ve been living in Moscow for two years now. I’m in the second year of the Master’s program of SS. Cyril and Methodius General Church Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies, created in 2009 by the decision of the Holy Synod and on the initative of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill. The rector of this school is Metr. Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. The program we have is substantial and intensive. Special attention is paid in our courses to the study of foreign languages, in particular, English. The professors of General Church Postgraduate Studies work at the Department of External Church Relations. The subject Inter-Orthodox Relations especially interests me. The professors of this discipline are people working in DECR, who are acquainted with the most pressing issues in this area.

Besides the study of the required subjects, I am writing my Master’s thesis on Vladimir Lossky’s book Outline of the Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church.” In my work I wanted to show to what extent this book has interest and is topical for the Orthodox faithful of Japan.

Where do you serve?

Being a hierodeacon, I serve in the Moscow church named after the icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” on (Great) Ordynka (Street). [3] After my arrival in Russia I became the subdeacon of the dean of this church, Vladyka Hilarion. And there, on April 30, 2013, I was tonsured a monk by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill; and on May 5, 2013, on the day of Holy Pascha, I was also ordained by him to the rank of hierodeacon. The priests, helpers, and parishioners of this church are good, kind people. The Synodal Choir sings splendidly. For me, this church in honor of the icon of the Mother of God is beloved and dear, and holds a most important place in my heart.

I also like the Novospassky Stauropegial [4] Monastery, whose vicar is Vladyka Savva. I live in this monastery. There—as in the church on Ordynka—they received me very well. There they sing beautifully. I like the frescoes in the monastery churches very much.

I have been in many other monasteries and churches in Moscow; I have visited St. Petersburg, Diveyevo, Rostov-on-the-Don, and other Russian cities. I especially liked St. Petersburg and Diveyevo.

Notes:

1. The original Russian has sviatitel’, which is used as the title of a saint-hierarch.

2. DECR – Department of External Church Relations

3. Great Ordynka Street—one of the main streets across the Moscow River from the Kremlin, named after the Great Horde. In addition to the Church of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow,” the Martha-Mary Convent of Mercy, founded by New Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth, is there, open and working, and the Tretyakov Gallery is nearby.—Trans.

4. A stauropegial monastery or church is independent of the local bishop; it is directly under the Patriarch or Synod.

Hierodeacon Nikolai (Ono)
in conversation with Galina Besstremyannaya
Translated by Dimitra Dwelley

17 / 03 / 2014

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ケイリー=ヒロユキ・タガワ – 2015年11月に彼は正統派キリスト教の洗礼を受け – 3ビデオ – CARY-HIROYUKI TAGAWA

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CALIFORNIA OF MY HEART

JAPAN OF MY HEART

imgp02001big-3ケイリー=ヒロユキ・タガワ Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

とうほうせいきょうかい、

2015年11月に彼は正統派キリスト教の洗礼を受け

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東方正教会の歴史 – 日本正教会

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生まれは東京都東麻布。父親は米軍に勤務する日系二世、母親は宝塚出身の女優である。両親ともに日本人であるが、5歳でアメリカに移住してアメリカ国籍を持っている。高校生の時から演劇に興味を持ち、南カリフォルニア大学で学んだ。この時、早稲田大学に1年間留学したという。

叔父は歌手の旗照夫、俳優の旗昭二(いずれも母親の弟)、また従弟に中山千彰(テレビプロデューサーで、元ニッポン放送ディレクター)がいる。現在はハワイに住み。

2015年11月に彼は正統派キリスト教の洗礼を受け。

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NOVEMBER 2015: THE JAPANESE-AMERICAN HOLYWOOD ACTOR CARY-HIROYUKI TAWAGA OF MORTAL KOMBAT MOVIES WHO LIVES IN HAWAII, USA, BAPTIZED EASTERN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN IN RUSSIA – 3 VIDEOS

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USA OF MY HEART

HAWAII OF MY HEART

CALIFORNIA OF MY HEART

JAPAN OF MY HEART

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big-2The Japanese-American actor

Cary-Hiroyuki Tawaga of Mortal Kombat movies

who lives in Hawaii, USA, baptized Eastern Orthodox Christian in Russia

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Mortal Kombat’s Shang Tsung goes Orthodox in Russia

Video – The Baptism of Cary-Hiroyuki Tawaga

(Mortal Kombat’s Shang Tsung)

The soul of Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, best known for the part of evil sorcerer Shang Tsung in the Mortal Kombat movies, has been captured by Russia – he has apparently decided to be baptized into the Orthodox Church.

Tagawa, an American actor of Japanese descent, who took part in a new Russian film called The Priest-San, decided to abandon his faith and become a true follower of Jesus Christ’s orthodox teachings, Interfax reports.

The news was spread via Facebook by one of his colleagues, Ivan Okhlobystin, an actor and prominent Russian religious figure. He shared a photo of Tagawa taken with a giant cross, probably snapped during filming not far from Moscow.

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“I’m happy to say that… after deep and thorough consideration Cary Tagawa, who played the part of the Japanese orthodox priest in our new film The Priest-san, will take the Sacrament of Holy Baptism,” his post goes.

“You cannot just grasp the essence of the Russian Orthodox… When I first came to Russia I had very little time to get into the character. So I visited a number of Russian cathedrals in Yaroslavl and Rostov. Simply being inside had a very powerful effect on me,” Tagawa said in an interview to Kinopoisk.ru in 2013 when the shooting in Russia was done.

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa received a baptismal name of Panteleymon, Okhlobystin wrote on his Facebook page.

Tagawa also expressed his intention to become a Russian citizen at a press conference, according to Orthodox news website pravmir.ru.

“I’m not following the new trend,” he said, most likely alluding to American boxer Roy Jones Jr and French actor Gerard Depardieu. “I follow my heart. There are no easy decisions either in America, or anywhere else in the world. This will be a new challenge for me.”

The film, soon to hit screens in Russia, tells the story of a Japanese priest, who leaves Japan due to Yakuza wars and heads for a small Russian town to help its locals fight rampant corruption. The movie is the latest project from the “Orthodox” producing studio.

Source:

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/87656.htm

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

Ο Αμερικανο-Ιάπωνας ηθοποιός του Hollywood Cary-Hiroyuki Tawaga των ταινιών Mortal Kombat ο ο οποίος σήμερα ζει στη Χαβάη βαπτίστηκε το Νοέμβριου του 2015 Ορθόδοξος Χριστιανός στη Ρωσία

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Ο Αμερικανο-Ιάπωνας ηθοποιός του Hollywood

Cary-Hiroyuki Tawaga των ταινιών Mortal Kombat

ο ο οποίος σήμερα ζει στη Χαβάη βαπτίστηκε το Νοέμβριου του 2015

Ορθόδοξος Χριστιανός στη Ρωσία

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Η Ορθόδοξη Βάπτιση του Cary-Hiroyuki Tawaga

ο οποίος ονομάστηκε Παντελεήμων

Του Αιμίλιου Πολυγένη

Ορθόδοξος Χριστιανός βαπτίστηκε ο ηθοποιός του Hollywood, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, στον Ιερό Ναό της Παναγίας Πάντων των Θλιβομένων η χαρά.

Το μυστήριο του βαπτίσματος τέλεσε στα αγγλικά ο Πρόεδρος του Τμήματος των Εξωτερικών Σχέσεων του Πατριαρχείου Μόσχας, Σεβ. Μητροπολίτης Βολοκολάμσκ κ. Ιλαρίωνας.

Να αναφερθεί ότι το όνομα που έλαβε ο ηθοποιός Tagawa είναι Παντελεήμων.

Σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες ο Tagawa έπαιξε στην ρώσικη ταινία “ιερέας” και μετά από βαθιά αναζήτηση και σκέψη, αποφάσισε να λάβει το βάπτισμα και να ασπαστεί την Ορθοδοξία.

Πηγές:

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/87656.htm

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

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ROMFEA GR

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY IN JAPAN – SAMURAI’S JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

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JAPAN OF MY HEART

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Japan

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Father Paul Sawabe

(Former Samurai Takuma Sawabe)

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St Nickolas Kasatikin of Japan (+1912)
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Saint Nickolas Kasatkin of Japan, Feast day February 3 (+1912)

Orthodox Christianity in Japan

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Samurai’s Journey to Orthodoxy

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

The son of a samurai and son-in-law of a Shinto priest, Takama Sawabe was a fierce Japanese nationalist. He hated Christianity and all foreign influences in his country. One day he angrily confronted the Orthodox Christian missionary to Japan, a Russian priest-monk named Nicholas (Nicolai). Father Nicholas spoke to him:

“Why are you angry at me?” Fr. Nicholas asked Sawabe.

“All you foreigners must die. You have come here to spy on our country and even worse, you are harming Japan with your preaching,” answered Sawabe.

“But do you know what I preach?”

“No, I don’t,” he answered.

“Then how can you judge, much less condemn something you know nothing about? Is it just to defame something you do not know? First listen to me, and then judge. If what you hear is bad, then throw us out.”

After listening to Father Nicholas and learning about the Orthodox Christian way of life, the nationalist samurai who had once endorsed Shintoism now believed in Jesus Christ and was baptized, becoming the first person to embrace Orthodox Christianity in Japan. At his baptism, he appropriately received the Christian name Paul, after St. Paul, one of the Church’s greatest Apostles who, before his conversion, had used his authority to violently persecute the Christian Church. Paul Sawabe would eventually be ordained an Orthodox Christian priest. You can read about Father Paul (pictured here) in a brief article on the Japanese National Diet Library website dedicated to Portraits of Modern Japanese Historical Figures, which includes another photo, and on Orthodoxwiki.

Father Nicholas, the missionary who taught Paul the Orthodox Christian Faith and baptized him, was later consecrated as bishop and is today known as St. Nicholas of Japan.

According to the the book, Missionaries, Monks, and Martyrs, St. Nicholas worked hard to learn about Japanese language and culture:

*Along with language learning, Nicholas studied the culture and history of Japan. He read their mythology and literature, and learned about Confucianism, Shintoism, and Buddhism. He even attended the sermons of popular Buddhist preachers and public storytellers in hopes of understanding the mind of the Japanese. For close to seven years he continued this intense study. Eventually, he became one of the foremost scholars of the Japanese language and went on to translate service and prayer books, catechism books, and the Scripture, as he waited for opportunities of evangelism to open within the country.

Source:

http://symeonsjournal.blogspot.com

http://symeonsjournal.blogspot.com/2006/08/orthodox-christianity-in-japan.html

FR SYMEON’S JOURNAL

THE TRACES OF GOD IN JAPAN – SAMURAI MET ORTHODOXY

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St Nickolas of Japan, +1912
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St Nickolas of Japan
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Fr. Paul Sawabe the former Samurai

The Traces of God in Japan

Samurai met Orthodoxy

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

Fr. Paul (Pavel) Sawabe

Paul (Pavel) Sawabe was the first Japanese student and catechumen of St. Nicholas of Japan after he had arrived in Hakodate, Japan in 1861. Paul was the first Japanese to embrace Orthodox Christianity and was an ardent disciple of the future St. Nicholas and was an active missionary. Through his efforts the Japanese mission drew many new Christians and in time he became the first Japanese to be ordained to the priesthood.

Takuma Sawabe was born in 1833 in Kochi prefecture. His original name was Yamamoto Kazuma. He was a student, with a cousin, of the samurai art of Ken-do (Japanese swordsmanship) and philosophy. In 1857, while walking off some heavy drinking, Yamamoto ended up with two watches stolen by his cousin, but which he tried to sell. Yamamoto fled to Hakodate to escape the police who had identified him as having stolen the watches. In Hakodate, Yamamoto married the daughter of a Shinto priest named Sawabe. Yamamoto, after marrying the priest’s daughter, became an adopted son of the priest and changed his name. Under his new identity Takuma Sawabe did not participate in the Shinto priesthood, but led a group that reverenced the Emperor and demanded expulsion of the foreigners. The Russian Consulate in Hakodate became a target of their plan for assassinations.

One night in 1865, armed with a sword, he confronted the Hieromonk Nicholas with the intent of killing him before he did any preaching. In the exchange of words that followed, Nicholas questioned why Sawabe would kill him without hearing about what Nicholas would have to say. So, Sawabe asked Nicholas to tell him about his Christian religion. As the young missionary talked, his words softened Sawabe’s heart, his interest increased, and he began to study the Christian doctrine. Soon, Sawabe was joined by a doctor friend, Sakai Tokurei, in a discussion group. They in turn were joined by two more friends, Urano and Suzuki, and so the group of catechumens grew. They themselves began teaching about Orthodox Christianity to other Japanese people. Yet at this time, the Japanese policy was still to persecute Christians and forbid conversion to Christianity.

Then in April 1868, with the Reader Bissarion Sartoff guarding the consulate office door, Nicholas baptized Sawabe, Sakai, and Urano with the baptismal names for Paul, John, and James respectively. They had become the first Japanese people to accept Orthodox Christianity. With their baptism Paul and his friends went on to preach their new religion more fervently.

As the threat of imprisonment and perhaps even execution increased in the Hakodate area, Hieromonk Nicholas sent Paul and his friends to travel else where in Japan to preach their new faith, but ultimately to gain greater safety for them. Not hearing from Paul for some months, Hieromonk Nicholas was very glad to receive news from Paul of his successes in Sendai, in northern Honshu. In time the opposition to Christianity subsided, and the now Archimandrite Nicholas began to look to expanding his missionary work to Tokyo.

It was Paul Sawabe whom Nicholas sent to Tokyo to review the situation for missionary work in the Tokyo/Yokohoma area and advise him of the potential for such work there. Paul’s report was one of optimism, and Paul advised Nicholas to come to Tokyo as soon as possible. So, in late January 1871, Archimandrite Nicholas arrived in Yokohoma and proceeded to Tokyo to set up his headquarters.

Local opposition to Christianity was still present. In February 1872, Paul Sawabe and many of his co-workers in Christ were arrested by the local police in Sendai. The officials were amazed that even among the children their answers to questioning showed a deep conviction to their Christian beliefs. Even though many had not been baptized none changed their position but were strengthened in their faith.

On July 12, 1875, at the second General Council of the Japanese mission, Archimandrite Nicholas decided that there was a need for native clergy, and named Paul Sawabe to be the first priest, and that John Sakai would be a deacon. A month later Bishop Paul of East Siberia came to Hakodate for the first sacraments of the Holy Orders in Japan and ordained the new priest and deacon.

Paul Sawabe continued to service his new faith as his church grew over the following decades. He was to survive his mentor and bishop by a year, dying in 1913.

Source:

WIKIPEDIA