1. KarneeKarnay I am a meat popsicle

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    Was there a time from the 14th Century onward that Islam could have spread and become the majority religion in Japan?

    My understanding is the Japan has contact with Islamic traders and fisherman by the time the Portuguese arrived. Could it have been more successful than Christianity?
     
  2. Orcbuster Well-Known Member

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    Successful mongol invasion perhaps? It being spread to the entirety of china might also work.
     
  3. Koprulu Mustafa Pasha Sadrazam of the Roman Empire

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    Majority is unlikely. But a decent number of converts can live there. Supported by Malay and Arab Merchants. However... odds are they might be persecuted as much as Christians.
     
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  4. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

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    In that event, might we see the underground Christian and Muslim communities co-operate? If they do, it likely results in the traditions blending together into a single hard to tell apart Abrahamic faith, which could go a long way in the future towards affecting theological discussions and the religious-civil dinstinction between Muslims, Jews, and various sects of Christians on Enlightenment Europe.
     
  5. Koprulu Mustafa Pasha Sadrazam of the Roman Empire

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    If there are enough Muslims and Christians they might not need to go underground. They could challenge their enemies. But for that both of them together have to be about 8-10% and live closely.

    And there is problem with the Portuguese refusing to aid the Christians if they do nlt distance themselves from "The Moors".
     
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  6. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    We Could get an Islamich/Abrahamic Kyushu islands with good butterflies and that change everything
     
  7. theg*ddam*hoi2fan Beware of the Leopard

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    That could depend. OTL, IIRC the reason that the Christian persecutions really kicked off was because the Japanese got the idea - from a drunk Spanish captain, it's been claimed - that Christianity was used as a Fifth Column by the Spanish Crown, and that conversions were a gateway for invasion and colonisation. If a hypothetical Japanese Islam was a more regional affair with native converts from an early stage taking leadership roles in the actual faith, and there wasn't that idea of 'once they've got you converted THEY'LL INVADE!' then Islam might avoid persecution.
     
  8. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

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    That depends a little, I suppose on the butterfly effects the Islamic trading presence has on the situation of the promulgation of Abrahamic beleifs. Both fronts working on conversion (and Islam, traditionally, usually made good appeals to the merchant classes, who in Japanese society are already at the bottom of the social ladder and so are less invested in maintaining adherance to the Shinto-Buddist system for social status reasons. You can't lose respect you don't have) would likely increase the proportion of the population that converted, with the highest concentration in Kyushu particularly within the urban centers. Being able to muster local superiority of force and resources, during a time of social unrest, might very well allow them to extract formal concessions or at least a blind eye from the powers that be to worship in peace,while being surrounded by heathens probably means they'll focus more on simularities than spinning into a purity spiral (that usually only happens when a group has already lost or has no external enemy, due to the psychologial need to have an "other" one has a chance of successfully struggling against).
     
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  9. Ivan Lupo Member

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    Oct 2, 2018
    There is a pretty decent window available for the beginnings of this kind of conversion during the 1400s and the treasure voyages of Zheng He, who was a Muslim, though not one without his adherences to traditional Chinese deities. However, Zheng He interacted extensively with the various states in the Indonesian islands and Islam did spread as far north as the modern Philippines through that sea route. There's a lot of stretching and butterflying here, but let's say the treasure voyages aren't stopped cold and Ming China doesn't close itself off. I feel that there would be increasing Chinese travel to Japan to open it up to further trade and bring Japan further into China's sphere. If there are enough Muslim travellers and merchants who join in...well, the 1400s was a turbulent time in Japan, especially in the latter half, so it would be a fertile environment for firearms sales and development, and perhaps some of these Muslim merchants are able to supply certain factions with their superior technology, so long as the convert to Islam and subsequently spread the faith.

    A side effect of this is that the Philippines wouldn't really be the Philippines either, and could convert entirely to Islam, since I'm sure Ming China would be pulling these states into it's orbit too. These new Muslim states could get far more favorable trade relationships with the Muslim merchants from the south. Meanwhile, this more open Ming regime would take in these technological advances and improve on them if they can so they can maintain their hegemony over East and Southeast Asia.
     
  10. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

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    If you want an earlier POD prevent the Mongols from destroying Song, Majapahit was a consequence of the Mongol expansion, without Majapahit there is no one preventing the Philippines from going muslim in the 14-15th century and having muslims expand north as well, the latest POD I see is to have the siege of Malacca fail in 1510 which would also result in the same but later.
     
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  11. BMN Well-Known Member

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    One thing that we've failed to mention is the Japanese themselves. Their leaders have deeply vested interests in keeping the Japanese away from ANY foreign influence, especially religious influence.
    The Emperor is the highest priest of the Shinto religion. Any Japanese person who converts to a non-Japanese religion is effectively renouncing the leadership of the Emperor, which in turn leads to a rejection of the Shogunate's authority, which is treason against the nation.
    This is exactly why the Japanese military dictatorship persecuted Christianity. The fact that Christianity had an organized church with foreign imperialist leaders at the helm only made it even more dangerous if people accepted their authority.

    Basically, foreign religion can only gain traction in Japan if either:
    A-The Emperorship and all traditional power structures are destroyed. Not even the USA in WW2 accomplished this. It would take genocide.
    B-The foreign religion remoulds itself to be subjected to the Japanese system, like how Buddhism became syncretized with Shinto to form the modern Japanese ethno-religious culture. However, doing this would take away all the foreign aspects of said religion and just make it new Shinto with a new funny hat. Japanese Islam wouldn't really be Islam.

    So basically, this late in the game, it's not doable. Maybe with a POD before the 11th Century, it's possible to replace Shinto in Japan with something else, but after the Shoguns take power, that chance slips away.
     
  12. JSilvy Well-Known Member

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    One of two things would need to occur with regards to the spread of Islam:
    1– It manages to take over China and spreads into Japan from the west.
    2– It manages to take over the Philippines and spreads into Japan from the south.
    Without a solid foothold of Islam directly next to it, it would be impossible for Islam to gain a foothold on the archipelago.

    I can see the next part happening in one of two ways:
    1– An Islamized Mongol Empire manages to conquer Japan
    2– During a period of division, one of the more powerful factions could adopt Islam and spread it through their conquest to reunite Japan, possibly under a Caliphate instead of a new shogunate.
     
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  13. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

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    #2 is possible if we prevent the age of exploration by Europe.
     
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  14. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

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    The Emperor of Japan is a direct descendant from the goddess Amaterasu, or so has been believed for a couple of millennia.
    As BMN noted, the native faith of Japan precludes any other faith that denies what they believe to be core truths about their identity.
    In other words, it ain't going to happen, not on the main islands - unless you want to butterfly away Japanese culture and society.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 1:41 AM
  15. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

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    It is possible to be a significant minority religion not a majority religion.

    If you want a different japan, have the mongol annexation of japan successful.
     
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  16. Remitonov Yousoro~! :3

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    Somehow, I doubt any native Muslim community in Japan would face the same kind of persecution as the Christian did. I mean, China has had Muslims for centuries, with a sizeable number of native Hui and other ethnicities, and yet, they were never explicitly targeted by the emperors the same way the Christians, Manicheans or even Buddhists had. And this was with the Chinese Emperor acknowledged as the Son of Heaven, which may seem like a cause for concern for Muslims. The reason for that is because the Muslim communities were borne out of commerce rather than proselytizing, and were never actively seeking to convert the natives or reject the Chinese way of life. They just want to trade and earn money. Contrast that with the Christians, where the temporal authority of the Emperor is actively challenged by some white-faced, pale-haired barbarian priest on the other side of the world, spreading the word of God against the ancient traditions and culture of the Middle Kingdom. You don't get that with the Chinese Muslims, even with their own caliphs.

    By that line, any Muslim community in Japan that arises out of merchant trade, which is the most likely, wouldn't be forced underground or exterminated as long as they acknowledged the rule of the Shogun or Emperor (whoever was the dominant power) and more importantly, assimilate as much as possible into the Japanese way of life. Moreover, which Muslim power would bother to actively sponsor conversions in Japan? The Yuan? Maybe, but that Son of Heaven title is a better option. The Malay sultanates? Not strong enough. Mughals, Ottomans and Persia? Can't project naval power that far. So... it really depends what the community does in this situation, but I'd hardly dismiss this as a clear-cut persecution scenario.
     
  17. Tripledot Well-Known Member

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    Pretty sure Chinese depictions of Jesus weren't the blonde-haired, blue-eyed ones you see in American churches. Jesus was either portrayed with dark hair and eyes in the Greek fashion, or as Chinese himself. The popularization of Jesus as phenotypically (northern) European started far after persecution started. Besides which, Nestorian Christianity had been present in China and coexisted with existing traditions for centuries before European contact. It's categorically false to characterize Christianity as more "foreign" or "barbarian" a religion to China than Islam or Buddhism.
     
  18. snassni2 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 3, 2015
    Don't know it is plausible but maybe Ibn Battuta could travel further east and become an adviser in Japan. There he would convince them to let muslim merchants in.

    Did the japanese even know that muslims controlled a big chunk of the known world?
     
  19. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

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    Or the Emperor/Shogun could convert and declare himself Caliph/Amir al-Mu'minin and thus still be the spiritual leader of the country, which when you're facing such strong religious opposition, would be an option. Not much difference from that and the early Christian Roman Emperors, other than that Islam has a longer tradition of rulers recognised as heads of the religious community (even to this day, like the Sultan of Sokoto's role amongst Nigerian Muslims).
     
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  20. Remitonov Yousoro~! :3

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    Uh, I was referring to the Pope, though, to be fair, he is almost always Italian, and hence not Northern European. ._.

    But I did miss out the part on Nestorianism, and sadly, it died out twice, the second time (after the Mongol invasion) partially due to the rise of Islam and Catholicism in China. Christianity definitely isn't any more alien than Islam or Buddhism, and even the Jesuits and the Papacy were conflicted over accommodating Catholicism to the natives (i.e. Chinese Rites) compared to enforcing religious orthodoxy. Though, I do think the inflexibility of the Papacy on it did generate a lot of resentment from the Chinese and resulted in the persecution of the Christians. Not the case today, but yea.