After watching the film “Silence” by the director Martin Scorceses I decided to read the novel it was based upon, Silence by the Japanese Catholic author Shuksaku Endo. It is a fictional historical novel based on the Japanese persecution of Christians that occurred during the 17th-century. Silence was first published in 1966 and became soon after a best seller.

Endo tells the story of a young priest in Portugal named Sebastion Rodrigues. In 1637 he sets out for missionary work in Japan and to find out the truth about his former teacher, Father Ferreira, who has been shamed because of his apostasy. (The abandonment of one’s religion or belief.) The story follows Rodrigues adventure and encounters, with deep linkage to Christianity and spirituality.

One might become uninterested as soon as a book is influenced by religion, but I truly think that Mr. Endo did a great job of keeping the religious matters to a bare minimum and make it interesting. And I think it was educational to get new interpretations and view on life. The book is much more than just the Christian view and beliefs; it gives the reader a deeper understanding of historical Christianity in Japan, and why it had difficulties to set its roots in the “swamp Japan.”