Japan’s first mosque which withstood war and earthquakes

Kobe Mosque
ID 132353921 © Ahmad Faizal Yahya | Dreamstime.com

Japan is best known as a technology and electronic equipment manufacturer. Islam, the religion of peace, continues to have its influence in this modern country. Today, we’re going to discover some amazing stories about the country’s first Mosque, famous as the ‘Kobe Mosque’.

The Mosque was named after Japan’s city of Kobe. The Kobe Mosque, also known as Kobe Muslim Center, was founded with Muslims’ help, particularly devoted Indian business people who live in Japan. The Mosque started construction in 1928, and the work was slowly continuing. In 1935 the building was finally finished. Constructed on the framework of Turkish architecture, the Mosque was magnificent.

Daily prayers started officially on Friday, August 2, of that year. The Mosque has been a wonderful historical record and testimony from its founding up to the present day. It is one of Japan’s oldest landmarks.

In 1945, the WWII sparked the bombing and destruction of Kobe by American troops. The city had lost most of its buildings and architecture. But the Mosque in Kobe city survived surprisingly in its glory. Just a few glasses of windows were destroyed. At the time, Japanese soldiers shielded themselves in the basement of the Mosque. Without the Mosque, they had no option to hide.

Here is not the end of the remarkable history of the famous Mosque. The Japanese earthquake in 1995, known as The Great Hanshin or Kobe Earthquake, was described as the second biggest in Japanese history. Though the earthquake had destroyed all the surrounding buildings, the Mosque remained untouched. Despite which the Japanese are still surprised at this amazing Mosque.

After the Second World War, religious education was prohibited in Japanese universities. There are now more than 200000 Muslims living in the country. More than 43,000 of these are local Japanese residents, the rest migrant workers.

Japan’s history of Islam is not new at all. In books by Chinese and British authors, the Japanese first learned of Islam.

A shipwreck for the first time created an opportunity for the Japanese to interact directly with Muslims. A Turkish ship sailed for Japan around 1886. However, on the way back, the ship sank near Japan. The survivors have been rescued and returned to Turkey by Japan. Japan’s involvement with the Muslims has, therefore, begun to grow.

However, the spread of Islam in Japan began after the Second World War II. In many Muslim countries, Japanese soldiers were deployed during the war. They became interested in accepting Islam after recognizing Islam’s greatness there. A commander of military personnel called Omar

Bokena came back to Japan to declare his conversion to Islam. Since then, every day, more people have converted to Islam.

Besides, Chinese Muslims’ migration to Japan also played an important role in spreading Islam to the region. The Qur’an and other Islamic texts began to be translated into Japanese from the beginning of the twentieth century. These are also contributing a lot to the spreading of Islam in Japan.