Report from Japan
Anon in Japan says:
I served in the third circuit of shikoku Japan. A few years ago, a well-known theocratic family disassociated. They all disassociated as a whole family. this family often had a part in assemblies, everybody knows this family very well. Everybody shocked to hear the news.
Then Society sent a couple of Special pioneers there. They dealt with various assignment and many people in the circuit appreciated their work. But,, later they also disassociated, and left the org. Then, Large theocratic family including grandparents, parents,and siblings in kagawa Prefecture all disassociated and the whole circuit shocked to hear the news. Then other elders followed suit and many people left the organization. Many responsible JWs are gone, and Shikoku become a place where the need is great.
Many brothers were sent to shikoku area .to make circuit spiritually strong again. But the problem is those newly sent brothers looked down on R&F members because they were deemed spiritually week and inferior. many R&F members were discouraged and became inactive. Me and my family left the org. so many old-timers are faded or disassociated, and it had a huge impact on the circuit. Finally society made a last-ditch effort and sent Michael Linton to shonai congregation.
愛媛県新居浜市庄内 (EHIME NIIHAMASHI SHONAI)
https://apps.jw.org/J_CONGSHARE?g=ED62AC47-FF09-4B3A-B399-70DF6AA53EEE 792-0050 1746-2HAGYUNIIHAMA-SHI, EHIME
Michael Linton is a son of James Linton, who serves in the branch committee of Japan. My friend who owns real estate left the org because an elder of the congregation forced him to sell the property and donate the money to WWW Society is working very hard to stop people from leaving, but all their efforts are going down the drain.
How fascinating - like a chain reaction of JWs disengaging from JW organization. Japan's population is also shrinking so that doesn't help the JWs retain numbers and/or gain growth.
For several years, Yearbooks show literally hundreds of congregations have been dissolved and publisher numbers are on a decline.
Here's a sampling of the decline over the latest 20-year period as shown in the Yearbooks:
1996 213,961 peak publishers 3552 congregations
2016 214,173 peak publishers 3059 congregations
So in the latest 20-year period, the number of peak publishers has grown by little more than 200 (212) and there are now just under 500 fewer congregations (!) (493).
From a much trumpeted country of huge JW growth from the 1970s through the 1990s to one of stagnation and decline.
And to think that back in the 1980s, our Japanese "brothers" were upheld as the very personification of the term "dedicated" ! (And by contrast, the rest of us were portrayed as mere slack-@$$es).
Very interesting what is going on in Japan. I wonder how it will play out and whether other countries will follow the same pattern. The number of congregations is also beginning to decline in Germany and a few other countries.
Steve the peak year in Japan was a bit later, around 2000 or so, and the publisher numbers are down since then. Pioneer numbers and hours are also down whereas worldwide they've continued to increase.
Plus you mention the declining Japanese population. To be clear Japan's population was still growing until as recently as 2011. It is set to decline in future based on reasonable demographic projections, but it doesn't yet explain the decline in JW numbers since the 1990s.
Good news Wifi!
The population of Japan are having fewer offspring than in other parts of the JW world. This means that any increase has to come more from outsiders instead of born-ins. The Japanese being sophisticated people, have access to free internet information which kills the cult mentality.
It's worth continuing to observe the stagnation of JWism in Japan as it should set a pattern for other developed lands.
Well my own slide into inactivity has been parroted back to me as "the love of the greater number cooling off".
Unfortunately whatever the figures say, whatever positions move to ones 180 degrees in the opposite direction, however reality differs from expectations the cognitive dissonance is so strong that everything signifies an outworking of Jehovah's purpose.
It's of interest to us looking in to see how perhaps the numbers reflect the malaise but for most of those inside it means nothing.
Good news! Weren't the Japanese the most intelligent people on earth? Well, took a few decades but it finally shows!
I remember a post a few years back of photos taken of a Japanese assembly hall that was in bad need of repair. Yet it hadn't been fixed. The allegation was made that it was lack of funds. Telling indeed.
How many more will leave after they see the highly insulting and stereotypical "Lot's Wife" soap opera Drama? It will be even more of an exodus. Asian's as a whole strongly encourage higher education, and furthermore it's necessary to get even the most basic of jobs over there. Many children in Hong Kong have after school activities and tutors, that take them to 6-7:00pm! They "ain't got time for dat", "education is from Satan, and a good job is evil, live like a pauper and give us your money" American religion bullshit! It simply does not mix with the Asian culture. I foresee even more mass exodus as they all get fed up with the JW guilt-trip. Their tolerance for this bullshit is so much lower than the gullible, spoon-fed American religious fundies of North America.
I can hear that classic witness song now "wondrous expansion is now taking place!" (Except in Japan)