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Generations of struggle and aspirations in Japan’s kampung Manado

Takehiro Masutomo

The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Tokyo  /  Fri, March 19, 2021  /  08:10 am
Generations of struggle and aspirations in Japan’s kampung Manado

A Manadonese church activity in Oarai. (JP/Courtesy of Nocky Lembong)

A three-hour northbound slow train trip from Metropolitan Tokyo will bring visitors to Oarai, a cold seaside town surrounded by paddy fields. Known as “kampung Oarai Manado” or Manado Oarai village, it has the highest concentration of Indonesians across the Land of the Rising Sun. Manado, of course, refers to the capital city of North Sulawesi, where the majority of its people (over 60 percent) are Christians. At a makeshift church in a community center, a regular Sunday morning service was taking place, held in Indonesian, or more precisely, the Manadonese dialect. The churches in Oarai are not influenced by their Japanese counterparts but retain the rituals held by Manado churches and conducted in Indonesia. Aside from the Manadonese people on the island, most of the Japanese residents of Oarai still practice Buddhism and Shinto. Among the dozens of participants was K...