Matsuri in Japan

Summer has arrived and the "matsuris" are more commonly observed in the whole of Japan, although festivals are held for the whole year round.  Matsuri literally means a feast or a festival in Japanese.  Just like in other countries, the Japanese love to commemorate their festivals, which are distinctively matchless.

On summertime street dancing is usually held and seen on weekends.  Almost in every village, young and old participate in a weekend joyous cultural festival.  Besides the usual food of the locality, the traditional Japanese public dance takes center stage.  These beautiful dances being executed to the tune of traditional music repeatedly played and blasted through a sound system were originally born from an olden agricultural millieu.  In some other localities drums and other percussion instruments are being used to play the traditional music, which easily entices more people to participate.  The dance steps are simple while the hand movements that come with them are artful.  Anyone can join the public dance that is well choreographed and led by the elders with their simulated dance steps and hand gestures.

The matsuri is an occasion to witness the harmony of a well-preserved age old tradition that is still being practiced in ultra modern Japan.  Imagine the towering edifices as the usual backdrop of kimono-clad Japanese strutting to an old Japanese music.  Among them are very young children, the juvenile, the young professionals or the senior citizens dancing unremittingly in the street.  In between their dance, they eat and drink.  Certainly, it is an occasion of marvelous revelry.  Local participants, particularly the elderly are remarkably dressed in their traditional colorful kimono, mostly in flowery colorful fashion.  The foreigners however are always welcome to join the merriment.  This, in fact is one great occasion for foreigners to learn more about the local culture.  With the popularity that the matsuris could offer to everyone to enjoy, the locals are certainly assured that this rich cultural heritage would last and people would always look forward to watch or join it.

Word for the Month:




Pope`s Intention for the Month

July 2018:

Priests and their Pastoral Ministry

That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.


Pope Francis` Apostolic Exhortation


CTIC`s Sunday Consultation Service Schedule 2018:

January 21

February 4, 18

March 4, 18

April 15

May 6, 20

June 3, 17

July 1, 15

August 5, 19

September 2, 16

October 7, 21

November 4, 18

December 2, 16

St. Anselm`s revived International Day

In an effort to enhance closer relationship between the Japanese community and the foreigners frequenting the parish, the Catholic Church of St. Anselm`s had recently revived the celebration of International Day.  It was held at the Japanese Mass last June 3, 2018.  With more foreigners joining the Mass, the Church was relatively full.  The choir alone was consisted of different groups.  Aside from the Japanese, there were also the groups of Africans, Indonesians, and Filipinos who sang in the mass presided by the parish priest, Fr. Marco Antonio Martinez, MG.  Many of the parishioners came in their native wardrobes.  Besides the songs that were sung in various languages, the general intercession was likewise delivered in different tongues.  It was the first time that the international day was especially celebrated at the Japanese Mass.

Kisarazu parishioners requested for catechism

The English-speaking parish community of Kisarazu last Sunday, 10 June, had started holding a 15-minute catechism after the Mass.  Upon learning from other communities that Fr. Edwin D. Corros, CS was giving catechism in other parishes where he frequently celebrates mass, some of the parish leaders had requested him to start giving catechism to the Kisarazu community.  The leaders expressed hope that the short catechism would lead them to appreciate even more the English Mass held every second Sunday of the month.  The priest from CTIC had begun celebrating Mass since December 2017 after the priest who used to celebrate mass in the parish had been moved to Osaka.  Currently, at least forty parishioners join regularly the English Mass held every second Sunday of the month, which is mainly attended by Filipinos.

First Communion at Meguro Church

Last June 24, the children of the international community at St. Anselm`s Parish had their first communion at the 12:00 noon Mass.  Twelve children frequenting the Sunday school designed for English and Japanese-speaking children had received their catechetical preparation from the volunteer-teachers led by Sato Veronica Sensei.  Their information began early this year.  They will also soon be initiated to another catechetical formation in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation that will be held at Meguro Church on October 21.

After the Mass, the first communicants along with their Sunday school teachers proceeded to the parish hall where their parents had thrown a party for them.  Their parents had brought food and shared it with everyone.  Fr. Edwin D. Corros who had presided the 12:00 noon Mass for the first communicants was likewise invited to say the  grace before meals.  Many parents of the twelve first communicants had expressed delight by the solemn celebration.  They felt equally contented to accompany their children at the altar, lending spiritual and moral support to their children.

GFGC`s General Assembly hailed successful

With the kind and generous support of the lay leaders particularly the members of the core group, the general assembly of the Gathering of Filipino Groups and Communities (GFGC) held last Saturday, 2 June at the Franciscan Chapel Center at Roppongi, was hailed very successful.  Over 170 Filipinos came to celebrate the Holy Eucharist presided by the archbishop of Tokyo, His Excellency Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi.  Among the participants, the farthest parishioners came from Kisarazu and Mobara.  The 170 participants had represented twenty-one (21) parishes from Tokyo archdiocese.  There were also some Filipino guests from Yokohama diocese.  Immediately after the Mass, all 21 communities got the chance to pose for a picture taking with Abp. Kikuchi as part of GFGC`s documentation.  After the photo session, the archbishop had joined the fellowship that followed.

The most awaited portion of the gathering was the delivery of the GFGC annual report of the chairperson, Dr. Mel Kasuya, and the message of the archbishop to the Filipino community.  Based on the initial feedback received  by the English Pastoral Ministry, the members of the Filipino community had a very positive impression of the archbishop and were happy talking with him.  During the dialogue, the Filipino leaders were excited to know from the archbishop of his immediate pastoral plan for foreign Catholics in Tokyo.  Abp. Kikuchi has responded intelligently well to the questions that were raised by the Filipino leaders.  He even had stayed until the end of the assembly and was asked to give participants his final blessing.

GFGC`s General Assembly 2018 (June 2 @ FCC)

CTIC joined Bazaar at Meguro

In order to assist sourcing for funds to help the less privileged of the world, the Catholic Tokyo International Center (CTIC) had joined the annual parish bazaar of St. Anselm`s Church held last June 3, 2018.  CTIC staff Nakaguchi san, Osako san, and Marilou Okuyama with some volunteers had manned the booth that had offered mainly religious books, articles, and household items.  Aside from the food prepared by the Japanese and foreign communities, second hand commodities sold by several booths like CTIC were selling like hotcakes in a span of four hours.  The main beneficiary of the parish bazaar is Caritas-Japan.

Knowing that this was one meaningful activity to help the poor, particularly the migrants and refugees, the foreign parishioners had manifested tremendous support.  This year, the bazaar had offered as well an activity for the children.  A Bingo designed for them to enjoy was facilitated by some foreign community members.  Adding more fun to the happy bargain shoppers, a group of Filipino dancers had performed a cultural dance that entertained everyone.  Fr. Marco Antonio Martinez, the parish priest, was very happy for the successful event that took place right after the celebration of the 10:00 AM Mass.  Bazaar is one parish activity when members of the different foreign communities are seen visibly active showing support to the parish program.