A short, shameless plug for one of my favorite blogs by a missionary in Japan: http://www.simon-cozens.org/blogs/simon
Read. This. Guy. The author, Simon Cozens, is quite a brilliant guy with insights I can’t even dream of coming up with. He even helps run a publishing company called Wide Margins with fantastic books about Japan that you can check out here: http://www.wide-margin.co.uk/books

I especially enjoyed Simon’s recent post helpfully critiquing a recent blog post by an acquaintance of mine, Dr. Joseph Kim, entitled “Why Japan?” While Dr. Kim’s post was an informative and extremely helpful blog post, I find that the method of throwing dreadful facts in people’s faces about Japan rarely produces true, heartfelt compassion for the people of Japan (if that’s your goal). I completely agree with a commenter who noted he doesn’t find “this approach of motivating people to give by shocking them with the names and numbers of ‘Japan’s big sins'” very helpful. At any rate, it’s very important to read the post if you aren’t familiar with the many social ills that plague Japan.