The Catholic Culture Podcast: 120 – Maximilian Kolbe in Japan

Nov 18, 2021

Unlikely as it may sound, Catholic fiction has a certain amount
of mainstream appeal in Japanese literature. Sono Ayako, one of
Japan’s most famous novelists, wrote a novel about St. Maximilian
Kolbe called Miracles, which has just been translated into
English.

Miracles is a semiautobiographical account of the
author’s personal investigation into the miracles approved by the
Vatican for Kolbe’s canonization. Her ambivalence towards her
Catholic faith is challenged as she traces Kolbe’s steps from his
childhood to his self-sacrifice in Auschwitz, with his time in
Japan standing in between as the ascetic crucible which made him a
saint.

Ayako writes: “Before he died, this priest flung a tough
question like a red-hot iron rod at the dried-up soul of modern
Man. The question was, ‘what does it mean for us to love one
another?'”

Translator Kevin Doak joins the show to discuss
Miracles, Catholic fiction in Japan (which extends far
beyond Endo’s Silence), and…Endo’s Silence.

Watch discussion on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Ne9Yz5lC7qI

Links

Miracles
https://www.wisebloodbooks.com/store/p114/miracles-sono-ayako.html

Kevin Doak, “Beyond Endo: The Hidden Renaissance of Japanese
Catholic Novelists” https://benedictinstitute.org/2019/07/beyond-endo/

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