Muslims silently prayed in the mid afternoon in early August, in a quiet residential area of Shibuya Ward, Tokyo. Two student representatives of Nagano municipal Seibu Junior High School had come here to visit the Tokyo Camii mosque, to learn more about the culture and customs of Turkey.
Mu Suzuki, 15, a third-year student of the school, had an impression of Islam as “a scary religion that causes terrorism.” What he saw, however, were believers worshiping after cleansing their hands and mouths with water, with gentle expressions on their faces.
Suzuki said it reminded him of the behavior and expressions of Japanese visiting shrines.
“Essentially, we aren’t that much different,” he said. “There’s a lot you won’t understand if you don’t see and hear it for yourself.”