Monday, October 12, 2015

"more tolerable in that day for Sodom" - Cities without Walls

A Fast-Food Shop around Tokyo

Cities without Walls

There is one characteristic in Japanese cities different from those in cities in the Eurasia Continent stretching from the Korean Peninsula to as far as Portugal and even in the Great Britain.

Japanese cities have had traditionally no walls surrounding them.  There has been no borders between cities and suburbs and villages.  Even residences or castles of feudal lords or the imperial palace were not in cities protected by walls.  They could be approached simply through plain roads running from villages, farm lands, hills and mountains.

However, Japan was an island country.  It has clear borders against other countries: the seas.  Accordingly, basically there have been no places around Japan where Japanese and foreigners live together or mingles (except when the Empire of Japan annexed Taiwan, Korea, etc. before the end of WWII after the late 19th century).  Foreigners are always those living beyond the seas.

This condition implies that there were no clear distinction between those living in cities and outside them.  Therefore, Japanese people might have different views on a nation, social classes, and social hierarchy than other people.

The point at issue is that when reading the Bible, Japanese people might have a very different impression on its contents than other people.  Accordingly, Japanese Christians might be very different from those in countries with an old tradition of protecting cities with walls.

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Luk 10:12 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.
Luk 10:13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.