We all know that Japan is a wonderful country. Being one of the most advanced countries in the world, it has its pros and cons. But on recent study, it is said that Japan is the best country in the all of Asia to live in.
There are a lot of benefits. It’s clean, safe, convenient and there are a lot of things to do.
But little do they know that living in Japan also comes with disadvantages. Aside from the great things we see in Japan, there are also downsides to living in Japan, especially to the Muslims.
Being a Muslim in Japan could be challenging as the culture and religion itself are different from Islam. Besides, Muslim is a minority in that country. Somehow, it would be difficult for a Muslim to practise the teachings of Islam.
It’s okay being a Muslim in a non-muslim country like Japan but the things we do, the clothes we wear, our cultures that are different from them may cause some misunderstanding and misconceptions among the locals. So, what are the things that provide challenges to the Muslims in Japan?
1# Finding HALAL FOOD in Japan
For the people who just live in Japan or never travelled to Japan, it’s quite hard to find halal food or ingredients. For a non-muslim country, obviously it lacks halal food. Most of the restaurants sell pork and alcohol.
Even if they didn’t serve these, still, the meat like chicken or beef need to be slaughtered in the ways of Islam or it will not be considered as halal.
Aside from that, outside of major cities, it’s difficult to find halal food, unlike in major cities like Tokyo, Nara, Osaka and many more.
Alhamdulillah nowadays, there are a lot of restaurants with certified halal logos and of course serving halal food. There are also convenience stores that sell halal ingredients.
With the use of apps, the search for halal food could be easier. Apps like Halal Food, Halal Gourmet Japan, Halal Navi really help the Muslims living in or traveling to Japan. Seafood will be a safe bet to eating halal food as it is generally halal.
2# Praying In Japan
As a Muslim, it is compulsory to perform solah 5 times a day wherever we are regardless of time. As long as the place is clean, then it is okay to do solah.
But the same thing does not apply to Japan as it is difficult to pray. The reason is that Japan lacks a specific place to pray. For a muslim who works in a Japanese company, there are some companies that do not allow Muslim to pray at work. But not all companies like that.
Maybe it’s because they do not fully understand the cultural difference between Islam and the ones in Japan. The Muslims weren’t even able to pray 5 times a day due to work. Even in the outside world, the Muslims have trouble praying. Some had to pray on the streets, or even stairways. Luckily, as time goes on, more prayer rooms are being installed due to the increase in Muslim tourists.
The prayer rooms are mainly made for people who perform the five mandatory prayers per day. They are often equipped with a washing area for ablution prior to prayers and a sign indicating the direction of prayer.
There’s also mosques built in Japan but their conditions are not like the one we see in other countries.
3# Perceptions of Japanese people towards Muslims.
A common problem every Muslims faced when travelling or living in a non-Muslim country. What we wear, the culture we bring, all of this creates perceptions among the locals whether it is a positive or negative perception.
36 years old, Junko Hayashi, a Japanese Muslim woman who faced hardship at the workplace. (source: The Mainichi)
“You’ve received a high evaluation. But if you keep wearing that it could violate our company’s regulations,”
This is a story taken from The Mainichi article of a 36 years old Japanese Muslim, Junko Hayashi, who was attending a work interview in a stationary company, whereby she was told that wearing a hijab violated the company’s policy. She refused to remove it and because of that, she was rejected by that company.
Follow the story of Junko Hayashi here
Being a muslim in a non-muslim country really leaves an impact to the society’s mind. As such, a woman who wears a hijab in public will get curious looks from the locals and there are few who are harassed and asked about the hijab. Some Muslims are not given permanent residency, and some Muslims workers will not be promoted to higher positions.
Perhaps because of the fake news and stories about Islam that the media spreads around the world, prejudice grows over time. But still, not all of them are like that, there are also those who welcome and respects Islam. Some people just don’t understand the true story behind it. They are not to blame.
Support our Da’wah in Japan
Seeing what our Muslim brothers and sisters faced in Japan, we, from MyFundAction planned to support their jihad and ease their burden as much as we could.
The projects we have done in collaboration with the Muslims in Japan more or less will be of help to them in the future. It is to provide safe and better environment for the Muslims to practise the teachings of Islam while eliminating the misconceptions towards Islam.
But, we need your support to make it happen.
Be part of our projects to make a better place for Islam to grow in Japan. CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT