Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Diet Library - To The Rising Sun With The Risen Son (Part 7)

Sakura blossomsYesterday we got the lay of the land a little bit. Today we walked down to the Diet Library. This was not a library full of diet books. It is the Japanese equivalent of the Library of Congress. The Japanese governing body is called The Diet. I think the Germans use a similar term.

So anyway we went there today to do some research. When we got there we had to try to figure out how to get permission to use the library. We had read a little bit online, but it didn't give us details. I must say that the people here are absolutely wonderful. They are incredibly polite and helpful. I have honestly been refreshed by the Japanese attitude towards work and hospitality. When I consider how some of the jobs would be done by Americans, I am frankly ashamed.

Everyone that we encountered in the library today went out of their way to help us. They got us information in English to help us use the online card catalog. They even sat down with us and walked us through the process. They dredged up all the English that they knew so that we would understand. Wow. These people are fantastic.

Japanese Diet Library Annex EntranceLet me gush a little more and then I'll get back to my story. I have also noticed just how well thought out many things are here. For instance, in the hotel, they have motion sensor activated lights that illuminate the hallway as you are approaching and then turn off again when no one is there. Brilliant! And for the place to be as populated as it is I have seen very little litter. It is incredibly clean. That is not to say that there aren't some "interesting" smells here and there, but I am honestly impressed. I wish the folks where I live were as conscientious about litter. And they have made it simple to recycle. Everywhere you go there are waste bins that make separating out the recyclables simple.

So we went to the library today to see what we could find. We were going to see if we could find any clues as to why Japan has been so hard to the gospel. One of the hypotheses that we have been working on has to do with some of the things that were done by Japanese forces during World War II. The library has a collection of papers from General MacArthur related to the occupation and military tribunals following the war here in Japan. We spent most of our time today looking through that for clues. We found some names that were mentioned quite a bit and we will do some research on them tomorrow.

We have done research on some of the things that we saw yesterday too. We discovered a statue close to a museum of the Japanese leader who was responsible for driving out the early missionaries and who tried to crush Christianity after it was first introduced to the nation. For some reason the man's image is standing on top of a giant turtle. We are still working on trying to figure that out.

We spent most of the day in the library. We even had lunch in the cafeteria. They have an interesting system for that too. You go through the line and look at models of the food that they make. Then you go to a vending machine and pay for the meal you want. It gives you a ticket which you take to the counter for the kitchen. They give you the food and voila you are eating.

I think the most interesting thing that we saw today was at the library. As we were leaving there was an impossibly tall Japanese man (he looked to be well over 6 feet tall) in a bit of a standoff with the police at the entrance to the library. He had cigarette dangling from his mouth and this kind of crazy hairdo and bell bottoms. He looked a bit like a rock star. (Try to imagine a Japanese Keith Richards...) I was surprised that they were trying to polite him out of the building. It was about 10-1 in their favor. We left and got our personal belongings out of the locker. On our way out the door we were even more surprised to see that they had succeeded in getting him out of the building using politeness. Unfortunately for the police he headed to a different exit. Kind of wish I had taken some pictures of that and that we had hung around to see what happened.

We went to dinner tonight at the Hobgoblin Pub. The food was filling, although I would have to say that I think I could teach them a thing or two about shepherd's pie. Still, the atmosphere was nice and the service was friendly.

Secretary Clinton's motorcade in Tokyo Japan February 2009We are also pretty sure (about 95%) that we saw Secretary Clinton's motorcade pass our hotel today. I have some pictures. There were two motorcades that we saw. Most assuredly one of them contained Madam Secretary. I'm guessing it was the one with the big black cars instead of the one with mostly Japanese vehicles.

Another highlight of today was that I got to see Mt. Fuji from our hotel. I'll try to post more pictures tomorrow.

We are still feeling things out here. We plan to do a good bit of praying tomorrow. Thursday we are going to meet with some folks at with a missionary organization and Monday evening we'll be participating in some events with them. I trust that as we continue to seek the Lord's direction on this trip that He is more than capable of getting us before the people that we need to meet and helping us to accomplish the things that He wants us to do. Your prayers for our success are welcomed and appreciated. Please pray especially that we will be in sync with the Holy Spirit and the mission that He sent us here to accomplish. Thank you all for your support!


caviaoskie said...

Hi there, thanks fro sharing your views.. Hope to hear more from you..

Jonathan said...

Thanks for commenting!