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The Jews of Japan

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Publication Date: March 2000

Publisher(s): Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Author(s): Daniel Kapner; Stephen Levine

Series: Jerusalem Letter, No. 425

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: History; Antisemitism; Refugees; Communal Organization

Type: Other

Coverage: Japan


The authors argue that although Japan may be regarded as quite removed from Jewish life, the country has had its own rich Jewish history. This article traces the history of Jews in Japan with specific reference to the fact that during the Holocaust Japan became one of the world's only countries where Jews could find refuge. The authors also describe some of the characteristics of the community and contend that the Japanese and the Jews share much in common. They argue that both are among the world's most enduring and most modern people, at once traditional and innovative, respectful of the past yet zealous for the future.