Thank you for your care and concern for your Japanese friend.  You may well be the only person they know who is a Christian and so you're in a unique position to be able to share the gospel with them.

You've probably noticed that it takes a bit of time to build trust and confidence.  Japanese people abroad are particularly interested in the culture of their host country, so do take time to build a strong relationship and gain your friend's trust.  

The answer to this question is, it depends!  Here are some suggestions to consider:  

a) for someone who is very new to Christianity:  

You may want to start out with a shorter tract or book which sets the scene. Recall that most Japanese will not have heard the gospel at all and so you may need to start further back that you would when talking to a Western person.  

The Believe tracts on our bookstore are short and address key topics like "What to live for"; "Salvation from despair"; "Were we made by God or just by chance?", etc.  Here's a link to Volume 4 which seeks to answer the last question.

A novel by well-known Christian author Ayako Miura such as Shiokari Pass is also accessible and can raise many good questions. She also wrote While there is still Light, which is an excellent short introduction to the Christian faith.  

If you have time to read John's gospel with your friend, that's a good thing to do. It's also good (but a bit more expensive) to offer a bilingual New Testament.   

b) for someone who is actively considering deeper engagement and may be interested in getting baptised:  

We offer Japanese New Testaments and full Bibles.  Books by Ayako Miura introducing the New Testament and the Old Testament are also very helpful.

We offer a number of bilingual Bible study guides, for example Faith in Action.

c) for a Japanese Christian who is looking for good resources to grow in maturity:  

Assuming your friend already has a Bible then maybe a book like God's Big Picture or the Guidebook to Understanding the Bible Quickly can help someone grasp the wider message and build maturity.  

Next steps

If you haven't already done so, please take a look at our pages on understanding Japanese thinking; what do Japanese people believe?; and sharing the gospel with my Japanese friend.

It's also never too early to start thinking about how you could connect your Japanese friend with a church back home, ready for life back in Japan. Please contact us for suggestions about churches which might be suitable - do let us know your friend's location!

If you have a question we haven't answered or would like a specific recommendation for someone, please contact us and we would be happy to try to help.