Islam di Mata Orang Jepang

Author: Hisanori Kato
Interpreter: Ucu Fadhilah
Publisher: Penerbit Buku Kompas
Publication year: 2014 
176 pages

After enjoying Hisanori Kato's first book Kangen Indonesia, I am curious to read his latest book. Since he lived in Indonesia for seven years and noticed that Indonesia has the largest moslem population in the world, he wanted to explore more about Islam. 

Kato said that Japanese not know much about Islam and the little thing they know unfortunately associated with negative things such as terrorist of 9/11 tragedy, conflict and war. Kato as a Buddhist learnt about Islam also here in Indonesia. By simply noticing his Indonesian fellow teachers, he obtained many interesting aspect of Islam. At first he got lots of different questions about Islam such as: wondering why moslem welcoming Ramadan month solemnly and do the fasting for one month, do five-time prayers, not eating pork or drinking alcohol. He's really interested to know more detailed about the reasons behind one moslems' obligation.

Kato not only started the research but also interviewed nine public figures from Gus Dur, Ulil, Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, Eka Jaya (member of FPI) and many more. Most of the sources he interviewed were amazed to find a Japanese and also a Buddhist who wanted to learn about Islam therefore they welcomed him for the interview session.

I know the topic of this book is actually quite serious, but again Kato with his simple words could transform his research and interview into an easy to read book. He described about the character of the person he interviewed, his feeling towards them and how they treated him. It turns out that it is interesting to know the outsider's opinion (Japanese) as a complete observer towards our religion. With his clear mind, this more-than-10-year research, is really important for our reference.