Religion in Modern Asia Newsletter

More on Unification Church


The Korean-based Unification Church's mass wedding ceremony on August 25 was covered by a large number of Japanese TV and print journalists, and part of their coverage included comparisons of reactions to the event by Japanese and Korean citizens.

The results of informal street interviews revealed that Japanese people tend to show more interest regarding the behavior of the Unification Church. The intense interest among Japanese people is in part a direct result of the continuing high level of critical coverage by the Japanese media. In turn, the critical coverage has produced an almost entirely negative image of the church among the Japanese. One of the strongest criticisms of the group seems to be centered on the fact that some young converts leave their families and reject all advice from family members.

Following the highly publicized cases of media personalities Sakurada Junko and Yamazaki Hiroko (both of whom were married in the mass wedding), the media reported that another TV personality, IIBOSHI Keiko was also a convert to the church. Iiboshi's father, however, was later successful in persuading his daughter to leave the movement, and in her subsequent press conferences, she gave her own personal report regarding the reasons for her attraction to the movement, and for her later defection.

-- Dec 1, 1992, INOUE Nobutaka

Last updated: 2001/11/28 14:33:44

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