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Silence
 
by
Shūsaku Endō
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Silence

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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  4,557 ratings  ·  545 reviews
Silence is a novel of historical fiction by Japanese author Shusaku Endo. It is the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to seventeenth century Japan, who endured persecution in the time of Kakure Kirishitan ("Hidden Christians") that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion.

Written mostly in the form of a letter by its central character, the theme of a silent God who a...more
Published (first published 1966)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mariel
Jun 12, 2011 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my day depends on the setting sun
Recommended to Mariel by: george michael's faith
This book ruined my life. Sorta true. It's the catchiest review intro I'm going to come up with. I'm afraid to review this book and remember why it set me off to feeling hopeless and stupid. Band aid scenario. Pull it off!

I don't have the religion or spiritual kinds of faith. I'm dyslexic when it comes to religion, maybe. My mind jumbles the meanings and I just don't speak that language of KNOWING what you can't see and this is good and this is always bad. I don't look at someone who does have i...more
Harun Harahap
Saya telah menganut sebuah keyakinan, lalu mengapa kau mengusikku?

Pertanyaan inilah yang berada di benak saya ketika membaca novel ini. Saya adalah salah satu orang yang tidak menyutujui Kristenisasi, Islamisasi atau apapun itu teruatama kepada orang yang telah menganut keyakinan. Dengan iming-iming hadiah atau bahkan pemaksaan, semua hal tersebut saya anggap tidak benar.

Ada kejadian yang menimpa saya beberapa minggu yang lalu. Di tengah percakapan antara saya dan klien, dia(klien) setelah men...more
K.D. Absolutely
Sep 03, 2013 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2012)
Mind-blowing. It tells about the 17th century Japan when the Tokugawa shogunate was in power. During this time, practicing Catholics were called Kakure Kirishitan ("Hidden Christians") because they had to do their religious rituals underground. This was also the time of "fumie" a metal plate bearing the images of Jesus and Mary. The religious police asked the families suspected to be Catholics to trample this fumie to prove that they had not converted from Buddism.

It was also during this time w...more
booklady
Silence is a modern classic by Shusaku Endo. On the cover a crucified Jesus hangs from Japanese writing characters. My friend, Carol, recommended this book to me awhile back and I've had it sitting on my bookshelf. Then during Holy Week while I was finishing Fr. Neuhaus’ Death on a Friday Afternoon, he mentions the heroic struggles of the European missionaries who gave their all to travel around the world to share the Gospel message. Sometimes it just seems appropriate to leave off one book and...more
miaaa
Feb 28, 2010 miaaa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to miaaa by: Wiwiet
Setiap tanggal 2 September, Gereja Kristen Batak Simalungun (GKPS) memperingati masuknya zending atau pengabaran injil ke tanah Simalungun yang akrab disebut dengan Pesta Olob-Olob. Berbeda dengan gereja-gereja di pulau Jawa yang mayoritas hasil kerja misionaris Belanda, maka rata-rata gereja di tanah Batak dilakukan oleh misionaris dari Jerman.

Besar di lingkungan gereja, aku terbiasa mendengar, melihat dan mempercayai bahwa tugas pelayanan itu adalah pekerjaan mulia dan masih sangat dihormati...more
John Ferry Sihotang
Review: Damai di Bumi, Gelisah di Hati

Buku ini mengembalikan niatan awal dan kenangan saya saat berstatus seorang seminaris, yang bercita-cita menjadi rahib katolik. Sebagai calon pastor yang baik, para seminaris diwajibkan mengikuti bacaan rohani tiga kali seminggu. Kepada siswa seminari baru dianjurkan membaca buku "Sahabat-Sahabat Yesus", ada puluhan seri; bercerita tentang kisah santo-santa (orang-orang kudus) dan beato-beata (yang berbahagia), juga kisah para martir gereja, yang mempertahan...more
gieb
Jun 25, 2010 gieb marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Membaca review teman-teman terhadap buku ini, saya jadi benar-benar tertarik untuk membacanya. Di beberapa review, saya melihat ada ketidaksetujuan kepada usaha pemaksaan keyakinan kepada orang lain. Ya. Tentu mempunyai keyakinan adalah hak asasi setiap manusia, termasuk tidak mempunyai keyakinan juga merupakan hak asasi manusia. Tetapi saya berpikiran, bahwa ketidaksetujuan teman-teman tentang usaha pemaksaan itu, seperti sedang bercermin terhadap keyakinan yang dianut sekarang.

Kita memang sep...more
David
Quite possibly among the most profound and stirring books I have read that address the issues of faith. While this is based on the true events in japan, jesuit/christian missionaries going over to convert the japanese people and the subsequent fallout and harsh persecution of the people who practiced christianity. Part of my interest lies in my background with Jesuits and my Catholic/Christian faith. But I think that this book goes well beyond this scope and quite honestly my offend or disturb m...more
Whitaker
"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" [Mark 15:34] These words, attributed to Jesus Christ, are said to have been uttered while he was hanging on the cross. They are words of despair, and surely, doubt. The Son of God doubts, and as far as is narrated in the gospels, receives as an answer only silence.

This incident crosses, of course, the mind of young Sebastian Rodrigues, the priest in the novel who finds himself confounded by the hard question of god's silence and inaction in the face of anguish, s...more
Stephen
A tough one to recommend, how, I don't know, but here it goes: The defining moment of this tragedy comes early on. The story sets itself up as a world without escape, not even into the imagination. The warlords of Japan have consolidated power by 1600. The Buddhists who have aided the enemy have been destroyed. Foreign influence in the form of Christianity has been banished. More than a hundred years of civil war has practically come to an end. Buddhism remains, because it can be controlled, but...more
Francisco
In the 16th century, Japan has outlawed Christianity and feudal lords torture Christians to renounce their faith. Silence tells the story of Sebastian Rodrigues, a Portuguese priest who comes to Japan during this time and struggles to keep his faith alive. It is difficult to write a "religious" book without pushing a particular perspective, but Endo does this amazingly well. Endo's mastery is an ability to write with restraint, holding back judgment, so that we as readers end up seeing all sides...more
jana
لا تتغيّر نظرتي أبدًا, لكنها في كل مرّة وكل تجربة جديدة تتوّثق أكثر: الأدب الياباني عظيم ومُلهِم!


1) رواية خالدة.
قرأتها للمرّة الأولى سنة 2007 ومازلت للآن أحتفظ بطعمها الفريد إلّا أني فضلّت إعادة القراءة. كنت انتظر شيئًا مكرّرًا في داخلي, لكني تفاجأت أن الطعم الفريد محتفظًا بقوّة تجدّده بنفس التفرّد والملكيّة. كأنها المرّة الأولى..

2) ذات عيارٍ ثقيل, حرفيًا: ثقيل جدًا
تطرح بين طيّاتها, قضية اصطدام الحضارات والتراث والعقيدة, بين طرفين يُبدع الكاتب بشكلٍ فظيع بسرد التفاصيل الصغيرة لكلٍ منهما. بين ال...more
Ordinary Dahlia
Sama seperti Harun direpiu sebelah, aku tidak setuju dengan yang namanya kristenisasi, islamisasi, buddhanisasi atau apalah sebutannya. Rasanya dunia akan damai kalau hal-hal tersebut tidak ada dan setiap orang bisa menghormati kepercayaan orang lain. Kepercayaan adalah hak paling asasi manusia, itu yang kutahu.

Tema yang sudah sejak awal tidak kusukai membuat buku ini terasa biasa saja. Penderitaan Bapa Sabastian tidak benar-benar menarik simpatiku. Malah terpikir "salahmu sendiri, kenapa jauh-...more
Gertrude & Victoria
Shusaku Endo's soul-searching novel Silence is an alarming look into some complicated and contentious issues. This book, like other great books, poses more questions than it answers. These questions trouble theologian, priest, and lay-believer alike, and Endo does not impose his own views, but instead, leaves the matter open for the reader to ponder. He does not share completely western notions and sensibilities concerning Biblical interpretation, so a different understanding is brought to light...more
Darryl
This brilliant novel, which is widely considered to be Endo's masterpiece, describes the persecution and fate of Japanese Christians and Portuguese Catholic priests in the years during the 17th century Shimabara Rebellion and its aftermath.

First, a little bit of historical background. Christianity in Japan began in the 1540s, soon after Portugal began to trade goods with that country. The first Jesuit missionaries were met with resistance in their first efforts to convert the Japanese to Cathol...more
Jessica
There are certain books that deal with faith and doubt in a way that hits so close to home that I really need them to end a certain way for the sake of my own belief system. Silence is one of those books, and the fact that it didn't end the way I wanted it to means that I'm still somewhat reeling from having read it and am not yet sure how to talk about it, let alone say whether I liked it or not.

Endo seems to be tackling the very idea of relying on others for our own strength and faith, though...more
مهنا
" يا مقطوعة الصّمتِ الحزينة , ماذا أقول ؟ "

ها أنا ذا إذا , أكتب عن هذه الرواية فور أن استيقظت , حتى أن عيني لم تعتد على شعاع الشمس بعد ..
وما كنت لأفعل مثل هكذا أمر إلاّ لأنني أحببت – فعل محبة كامل وليس محض إعجاب – بهذا العمل و هذا الكاتب ..
ولا أستثني المترجم , فقد غدا له من المحبة نصيبٌ كبير .
لنبدأ بالرواية , ثم الكاتب , ثم المترجم ..

الرواية :
المقصود بالصمت - الذي عُنوِنتْ به الـ 280 صفحة بالترجمة العربية – هو صمت الإله !
حيث يشكل هذا الصمت الهاجس الأكبر لدى بطل الرواية – الراهب رودريجيز – ا...more
David Gregg
"Silence" has a Biblical quality to it. I suppose it is the way it raises tremendous difficulties — moral and theological conundrums, and existential crises — and then only subtly, even indirectly, points in the misty direction in which we might find answers for ourselves. This great art, which Scripture does so well, is knowing when to fall silent.

Such silence affects us strongly: it is pedagogically provocative and aesthetically magnetic. It is the silence which challenges us, drives us to re...more
Matthew
First and foremost, I was enthralled by what this book had to teach me about Portuguese missionaries in Japan. For centuries Japan cut itself off from the outside world, protective of their way of life - but those dastardly Catholics managed to sneak through anyway and what happens to their bodies and souls in this book is horrifying and stomach-turning.

In a fascinating afterword, the author explains that in the mid-nineteenth century, when Japan opened up to trade and commerce with the outside...more
Omar
في ثلاثينات القرن السابع عشر، يخرج ثلاثة رهبان من بلدهم البرتغال متوجهين إلى اليابان، لم يكن هدفهم مجرد الدعوة والتبشير بالمسيحية، بل كان للتحقق من الشائعة التي لا يمكنهم تصديقها من أن القس فيريرا وهو الذي تعلموا ودرسوا الدين على يديه قد ارتد عن المسيحية. إنهم لا يكادون يصدقون أن فيريرا قد ارتد وهو الذي كان قد قضى عشرين عاماً في اليابان داعية ومبشراً بالمسيحية، ثم إنه لا يمكن أن يكون الاضطهاد الديني والتعذيب الوحشي للمسيحيين في اليابان في تلك الحقبة هو سبب ردته خاصة وأن أخبار المسيحية والمسييحين...more
José-contemplates-Saturn's Aurora
Preamble

Jesuit priest Francisco Xavier called Japan “the light of my heart…the country in the Orient most suited for Christianity”.


Fact: Kakure or Japanese crypto-Christians, meeting in secret for 240 years…reciting a Japanese version of the “Hail Mary” and yet nobody knew what it meant for many years.

Estimate: 30,000 Kakure live today in Japan.


Chronology
1587- Hydeyoshi started persecution of Christians.
1614-26 priests punished in Nagasaki.
1614-expulsion from Japan of all missionaries; 70...more
The Holy Terror
Nov 13, 2011 The Holy Terror rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Catholics who want to learn about Japan's history
Recommended to The Holy Terror by: my pre-modern Japanese history professor
I read this for a pre-modern Japanese history course and as far as assigned reading goes, it wasn't bad. It's a pretty easy and fast read but a lot of the themes either went over my head or were unrelatable because I'm not Catholic. I had a hard time connecting with the characters; I just couldn't understand what they were going through.

This novel tells the story of a fictional Portuguese priest named Sebastian Rodrigues who is modeled after a real priest, Giuseppe Chiara, who went to Japan in 1...more
Melissa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew
this review first appeared on [http://intraspace.blogspot.com]

this was a novel i was inspired to read by reading about it in philip yancey's book 'soul survivor'. i got this copy from mum for christmas.

endo has been called 'japan's foremost novelist' and 'silence' (first published in 1969) has been called 'one of the finest novels of our time' by graham greene. endo is a catholic christian, and much of his work deals with the tension between his catholicism/christianity and his japanese culture....more
Lane Severson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cristina

http://llivroseamoras.blogspot.pt/


Comprei este livro por impulso, a única razão por o ter feito foi por se passar no Japão, e também por as personagens principais serem portuguesas. Bem...tive uma grande surpresa, pois aqui os japoneses são os maus da fita. Com este livro aprendi mais um pouco sobre a História do Japão e de como neste século se mistura com a História de Portugal. O séc. XVII, altura em que decorre a acção, foi um período negro na História da Religião Cristã no Oriente. A sua di...more
Ben
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jake Cole
Having heard about the book through Martin Scorsese's long-gestating plans to adapt it, I finally gave the book a shot and feel two things. 1) It's obvious why Scorsese would want to film it, what with its themes of religious doubt and suffering lining up neatly with his own preoccupations and 2) As good as the book is, there is room for improvement. Endo's writing segues awkwardly from an epistolary collection of writings from his protagonist, Rodrigues, to limited third-person, a shift that wo...more
Homer Harianja
Beginilah Shusaku Endo memandang kekristenannya. Ia seperti baju setengah pakai. Artinya, kekristenan yang diperolehnya secara temurun adalah pergumulan yang belum selesai. Sempat menjadi penganut nihilisme di masa mudanya, sampai kemudian dia memutuskan katolik adalah agama terakhirnya.

Berbeda dengan agama suku yang bersifat lokal, agama seperti islam dan kristen sejak mula tidak dimaksudkan atau berhenti pada daerah agama itu diturunkan. Istilah dakwah ataupun penginjilan adalah bukti bahwa ke...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
This is a short novel, only 201 pages, and I read it in just a few hours. The prose is spare, almost minimalist, but that doesn't mean it isn't in the end powerful. The translator in his introduction calls the author Shusaku Endo the "Japanese Graham Greene," and in this work of historical fiction set in the mid-17th century, Endo tackles questions not only about what it means to be Japanese and Christian, but Christian period. Or to believe in any spiritual creed. Questions such as can Christia...more
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Bapa Rodriguez << SPOILER ALERT >> 1 56 Jan 18, 2009 08:18PM  
  • Black Rain
  • Some Prefer Nettles
  • The Diary of a Country Priest
  • The Wild Geese
  • The Waiting Years
  • The Three-Cornered World
  • Thousand Cranes
  • The Silent Cry
  • The Decay of the Angel
  • The Ruined Map
  • Shipwrecks
  • The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
  • Viper's Tangle
  • The Setting Sun
  • The Twilight Years
  • Tales of Moonlight and Rain
14164
Shusaku ENDO (遠藤 周作), born in Tokyo in 1923, was raised by his mother and an aunt in Kobe where he converted to Roman Catholicism at the age of eleven. At Tokyo's Keio University he majored in French literature, graduating BA in 1949, before furthering his studies in French Catholic literature at the University of Lyon in France between 1950 and 1953. A major theme running through his books, which...more
More about Shūsaku Endō...
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“Sin, he reflected, is not what it is usually thought to be; it is not to steal and tell lies. Sin is for one man to walk brutally over the life of another and to be quite oblivious of the wounds he has left behind.” 55 likes
“Trample! Trample! It is to be trampled on by you that I am here. ” 5 likes
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