Kazuhiro Sekino is the 39-year-old pastor at the Tokyo Lutheran Church, located within walking distance of Kabukicho, Japan’s most notorious red-light district. Sekino is not your typical pastor. With his leather jacket and long hair, Sekino delivers his sermons while grooving on his electric bass. The electric bass is his helpful tool in spreading the good word, as The Japan Times details:
Sekino’s method of delivering God’s message may be unconventional, but he believes it’s a useful tool in reaching more people in a nation where Buddhists far outnumber Christians. According to the Agency for Cultural Affairs, there were approximately 1.91 million Christians in Japan as of 2016. That’s compared to 87.7 million who considered themselves Buddhists and 84.7 million who affiliated themselves with Shinto.
The casual and unorthodox approach in teaching the Gospel may also be one reason why strangers feel compelled to visit his church.
“People who are struggling or suffering from sickness seem to have a special sensor or a sixth sense that guides them toward me,” says Sekino, who, in October, published “Kami no Shukufuku o Anata ni: Kabukicho no Ura kara Goddoburesu!” (“God Bless You: God bless from the back streets of Kabukicho”) a book about the interesting personalities that found their way to his church. He describes a Filipino hostess who asked Sekino to host a funeral for her dead colleague, an African asylum seeker who came begging for money and a lonely drunk who wandered in during the Christmas season and left a jar of “one-cup” sake as a gift.
image via The Japan Times