People often ask "How many Japanese muslims are there in Japan?"
It is one of the most difficult questions to answer.
Its because we have no official organisations which register muslims or such.
This time I myself went through goggle to find the answer.
Even the following numbers are based on estimation from the number of residents in Japan from muslim countries.
As you may realise, its based on something very doubtful, "muslim countries?".
Anyway according to the report by Waseda University of Japan, there are about 125,655 muslims in Japan.
This number covers non-Japanese from muslim majority countries 113,000, the wives 7,100, illegal residents muslims 3,000 and other Japanese muslims 2,750.
Wow! We are 4 of 2,750!
In another famous report, the number is 82,000 including non-Japanese and Japanese.
126,000,000 is Japanese population. Umm, we are about 0.1%.
However compared to the time when I converted into Islam, I feel we have much more muslims. I daily see many muslims around me.
Many muslim tourists are visiting Japan nowadays as well. This may be the reason.
I am glad to see many muslim kids living in Japan. Many Arab, Indonesian or Pakistani faces are speaking just like my kids.
According to the first report, the number of kids are about 1,000.
I was teaching in an Islamic kindergarten when my sons were small. After they grew up, I and my husband have arranged a muslim boys' class. From this April I am teaching in an Islamic school.
My sons are already in high school and junior high school, but up to now there's no even a single Islamic book for kids.
Is 1,000 small or big as number?
There are many beautiful and useful Islamic books for kids in the world but none in Japan.
We have Japanese tales which almost all Japanese kids can tell from their heart, "once upon a time, there was an old couple..."
We have famous three Taro stories which are Momo Taro (peach boy), Kin Taro and Urashima Taro. For girls we have Kaguya Hime.
I know muslim kids in the world can tell stories of prophets likewise.
But even I often forget that this story belongs to which prophet?
Some patient mothers are telling such stories translating into Japanese but most mothers are busy and have even no time to tell stories. If only we have such books for our kids in Japan to read.
We can't keep saying "well, we are minorities so...".
I must stand up and find a way!