Shikoku RegionsMission in JapanMissionHome page
P 88, C 14
|With 1 church:||
|Church per pop.:||
|With no churches:||
|With 20,000 pop. & no churches:||
Kagawa occupies the northeastern region of Shikoku and stretches east and west as a long narrow neck. The northern area of Kagawa faces the Inland Sea and includes numerous islands of varying sizes, such as Shodo Island. The Sanuki Plain is in the center with the Sanuki Mountain Chain in the south. Tokushima is on the south, while the western border slightly touches Ehime prefecture. Kagawa has the nation's smallest total area. The climate is typical of the Inland Sea with little rainfall and warm temperatures all year round. Over 20,000 irrigation ponds have been created to offset this shortage of rainfall.
Unlike other prefectures in the Shikoku district, the agriculture industry does not contribute much to Kagawa's economy. However, many patches of flat lands, including highland areas, enable double-cropping, which increases agriculture's contribution. The most successful products are lettuce (3rd in the nation) and onions (highest in the Shikoku district). Aquaculture, a more controlled way of farming the ocean, is much more successful than the fishing industry, ranking as the largest producer of yellowtail tuna and the second largest producer of seaweed in the Shikoku and Chugoku districts. The industrial district is centered along the coastline between Takamatsu and Kannonji, where future growth is expected upon completion of the Seto Bridge.
Because of its closeness to Honshu Island, Kagawa has been a gateway to Shikoku Island. New cultures and merchandise were brought by the settlers and visitors to the Kotohiragu Shrine, making Kagawa the gateway to the rest of the Island. The people are conservative and are said to lack a cooperative spirit. The mild climate and lack of natural disasters are credited for the people's tendencies to be mellow, modest, hard-working, optimistic, and fun-loving in leisure.
The people of Kagawa show an interest in religion, especially in Buddhism. The percentage of Buddhists is the highest in both Chugoku and Shikoku. The popularity of Buddhism can be directly related to the prefecture's history: Kobo Daishi (the Great Teacher Kobo) was born here. Also, out of 88 temples on the Shikoku pilgrimage route, 22 temples (from 67th to 88th) exist here. A clear example of the mixing of Buddhism and Shintoism is seen in the Kotohiragu Shrine, where Kompira, a god whose origin comes from Indian Buddhism, is regarded as the guardian deity of seafarers. Because of this religious climate, Kagawa is rather behind in pursuing an individualistic faith.
It seems that the spread of Christianity was limited in Kagawa's past. The ministry in Kagawa was begun by foreign missionaries in the early years of the Meiji era. In 1899 the Baptist church launched a unique boat ministry traveling throughout the islands spreading Christianity from their boat, Fukuin (Gospel). In the postwar era, a ministry headed by Ralph Cox, TEAM missionary, has led to the founding of many churches. The missionaries of the Southern Presbyterian Church founded the Shikoku Gakuin University. The churches and the university are strengthening the presence of Christianity in these communities.
Go to top
guestbook | mjc | dsr | mission | church | Events
Any questions or comments are welcome!