Nagoya Mosque, Bab al-islam Gifu Masjid and The Muslim Culture Center in Japan

Impressions from Visitors

Hereby we show the a part of the impressions received from the visitors to the mosque in 2016 together with the photos

Here are the impressions of (visitors) in the second half of 2015
Here are the impressions of (visitors) in the first half of 2015
Here are the impressions of (visitors) in 2014 and before

2017.4.28 Students from Aichi Gakuin University

This was my first visit to a mosque. The mosque has a very homelike atmosphere and I have noticed that it is a place for Muslims themselves to exchange thoughts among each other too. When I saw how Muslims from various countries use their common language of Islam to establish friendship relations between them, I felt how difference the Islam we see in media is. I think that now the going-alone bad image of Islam is caused by the extremists who assume the name of Islam. I have realized how important it is to come to a mosque, see by one’s eye and understand from experience before we adapt a prejudiced view of point.

2017.4.8 Teachers from Aichi Prefectural High School

 I am working as a high-school teacher, and I am about to teach Islam in school lessons, so I thought I could be instructed about Islam in this mosque, and was kindly allowed to join a study and observation tour round the mosque. / To be honest, just up till I arrived at mosque, I was wondering; -and excuse me for my rudeness- “what kind of place would it be?” “What if it is a dangerous place? Won’t they try to induce me to do weird things?” Also, I even felt a little afraid when I saw lot of foreigners at the entrance of the mosque. I think this enigmatic fear has been my impression towards Muslims so far. / However, such an impression entirely vanished in the course of listening to Madam Sarah’s speech, touching the cheerfulness of the Muslim children and listening to the talk of Muslim persons. I soon realized that I was arbitrarily holding the impression that “Islam = frightening” all the way without any basis. I believe I want now to teach my students what I newly know about Islam, based on my own (experience of) misunderstanding till now, and on what I felt and learnt at mosque. Thank you very much for the precious experience.

2017.3.11 NAGOYA YWCA


2017.2.18 authorized people in fine arts

Attending the speech and observation of the prayer was an extremely meaningful experience. As a Christian, and through drawing pictures, I express the relations of course between Catholic and Protestant, and the Eastern Church. However, I felt that there is necessity to know about (others) like Judaism and Islam. The (talking about) writing culture and how to perform the prayer and alike were extremely useful. I want to come to mosque again when there is a chance.

2017.1.29 (IARF)International Association for Religious Freedom

170129IARFThank you very much for today. I went back home with full satisfaction after I got a fulfillment that exceeded my expectations. I feel that 100% of what I heard was various things I have not known. (Omission). I believe it was a very significant (meeting) because (it was a chance) to hear from some persons for the first time or to meat persons who I misunderstood while not knowing the truth (about them). I am happy that I could approach (Muslims) as fellows who aim at the same peace target even though their belief is different. After I touched the wonderful principles of Islam, I want to integrate the good things into my own life.

2016.12.19 Teachers & Students from Meijo University Senior High School

161219 After I heard today’s speech, I was very shy that I myself used to steel myself against someone just because he was a Muslim. I would like to remove the prejudice or misunderstanding about Islam as much as I can.

 I became to think that even those who have prejudice (against Islam) would feel that Islam way of life is more interesting than their current life.

 Honestly, I had a sort of prejudice against Islam that it (Islam) was dreadful or weird. However, my idea about Islam changed after hearing today’s speech. I was glad I could hear an actual speech from a Muslim. Thank you very much for the valuable experience.

2016.12.15 Teachers & Students from Chubu University

DSC_0285 My previous image about Islam was that it forces females to perform routine household chores in their everyday life, repeats fierce wars with other countries, and always just causes mere annoyance. Of course that was partially dueto the influence of TV and media, but already the Islam image of horror was predominating. I have understood now that people who are performing fierce wars are very small groups, while other Islam believers are leading a very ordinary life.

 I was greatly astonished by the fact that (percentage) of IS doesn’t even reach 10 % of the whole (population of Muslims). I felt angry to hear that the rest good-natured Muslims who compose over 90 % are actually labeled as “terror-causing believers” because of the fierce conducts of those Muslims who doesn’t even reach 10 %. Such cases of labeling are not restricted to the matter of IS only; when a deplorable event is caused by someone who is a student in the same university or even who has the same hobby, the rest of whole members will be labeled (with that event). Unfortunately, this is our world. I am already making efforts in order definitely not to become a society member who arbitrarily judges on human natures after seeing only one small proportion, however, these feelings were raised more after this time’s study meeting.

 I was very envious to know that a Muslim female is much appreciated. Also, since I am myself a female, and I am doing a research bout the current (situation) of females in their existence and way of work, it was very great to learn about “state of Muslim female”. I believe it is not accepted to widen the prejudice against Islam by Mass Media. For that very reason, I have realized that the most important thing is to obtain right knowledge oneself and then to go spreading that knowledge to people who has not known yet.

2016.12.9 Students from Aichi Prefectural Public High School

 Attending your kind lecture today was a part of a class work at our school called “presentation”. I attended your kind lecture after I made my own preliminary investigation; however, my new discovery was that understanding the present situation of the Islamic world or the way in which Muslims think is done by meeting and talking actually face to face. The biggest shock to me was that a lot of misunderstanding resides in the recognition or impact of the information I got from the mass media so far. I want to tell the right information I got today, how misunderstanding produces another misunderstanding, how bitterly scratching the feelings hurts, tell that to many people through a presentation.

 We are visiting the mosque this time because we need to inquire Muslims directly so that we give a presentation about Islam which was decided by a class in our school. I was able to see, hear and feel that Muslims are evaluating peace. I will do my best to let my classmates know the real Islam

2016.12.2 Students from Chukyo University

DSC_0243 I am glad that I was able to know the real state of Muslims through my visit to the mosque!
 I am glad I was able to obtain the right knowledge about Islam by hearing a lot of information this time, and also, it was a very good experience because I was able to tell this information to persons in my University. Thank you very much.

2016.11.22 Students from Aichi Toho University

161122 At first I had a frightening image but I was impressed by the appeal of appreciating the females and by the aspect of appreciating the protection of the weak. I realized there are various people living in the world and I felt I would like the discrimination and prejudice to vanish.
 I realized that IS and Islam should not be taken as same. I think that even in the education field, the teacher should sufficiently support (the feelings of) the Muslim students.

 I had a mistaken preconception about Islam, but now that I have heard the speech of a Muslim I think I have the right understanding, and I will utilize it in the practices and conclusions from now on.

2016.11.5 Students from Yokohama City University


2016.11.4 Students from Seirei High School, And from a Prefectural High School

161104Although it was my first time to watch (Muslim’s) prayer and to listen to their speech directly, thanks to the gentle and polite correspondence I could have very pleasant time. My understanding of Islam became deeper after (the speaker) answered various questions cheerfully, and I could listen to such a fresh voice that we can not hear by reading the book only. At the same time, I felt that it was such an experience that can make me think I need to learn more. Thank you very much!!
Talking about difference in sense of values between Japanese and Muslims took only a short time, however, I could learn many new things, and some of my doubts about religion were cleared off and I felt refreshed somehow. It was really good I could listen to that speech.

2016.8.26 a Student from Kyoto University of Foreign Studies

I listened to a kind speech about receiving Muslims in Japan. My way of thinking (regarding that receiving) had some hinging on what is called Halal certification, but today’s speech kindly made me notice that I mistook approaching (matter of) hospitality towards Muslims. I also believe that it would be good if thoughts of people concerned in Muslims’ receiving, including Madam Sara who kindly gave me the speech, spread, and then we can wipe out, even a little, the negative image of “strictness” and “difficulty” which Japanese people easily tend to embrace about Muslims’ receiving. Thank you very much for your kind careful correspondence with me today.

2016.8.12 a Student from Yokohama National University

I thought I knew somewhat about Islam, but after hearing today’s speech I realized again my own ignorance. My interest in Islam got further deepened, therefore, I intend from now on to come again, and continue making investigations even in Yokohama. I am very grateful for the extremely precious experience you granted me.

16.07.29 An Associate professor and Students From Nagoya University of Foreign Studies


I am so grateful (to you) that I was able to convey to the students the fact that diverse cultures exist nearby. Just like every year, a terror accident in France takes place and the students head to the mosque with face expressions that show their complex feelings, however, they go back every time with bright faces.

My parents were worried when I told them I was going to a mosque today, but the mosque was actually an attractively calm place. Also, I understood from Madam Sarah’s explanation that Muslims love peace.

Now that I have actually gone to a mosque and received an explanation, I am able to understand very well. I have realized how far our thoughts are influenced by the media.

I wanted to come to listen to the explanation again. I don’t believe that Islam is a dangerous religion any more.

It was good that I was able to receive an explanation about Islam in a mosque in Japan before I go to study abroad in France. I intend not to look at Muslims in France with a prejudiced eye.

2016.7.23 A Teacher and Students from Aichi Prefecture public high school


Thank you for the very easy-to-understand speech about Islam. The interchange with (Muslim) students of our generation was specially very enjoyable. I was very tensioned in the beginning, but my tension was relieved little by little. Everyone! Thank you.

For me, I have learnt just a little about Islam in junior high school. I actually have felt that even if somebody is a Muslim he is not unique, and that there nothing different from us. It is just that the actions of minority group such as IS and alike are wrongly combined in our perception. The biased coverage of the media is one factor. I believe it is necessary to strengthen the right understanding through visiting the mosque.

2016.7.4 A Teacher and Students From MEIJO University Senior High School

DSC_0413Assalam Alaikum! Thank you for everything you offered me the other day like the lecture about the Islam, the guidance through the mosque, the food, and the warm reception in spite of your busy time. I personally experienced that Muslims are all kind and not so different from us.

 I was astonished by various things when I visited the mosque this time. The most astonishing thing was that there were many and very cheerful persons among Muslims. From their prayer and media, I arbitrarily had the image that Muslims were quiet, but I was astonished to find them cheerful and lively.

 Since ISIS is causing troubles to the whole world I had a negative image about Islam as I did not know anything about it. However, after I received the lecture (in mosque) this time, and as I learned in the ethics school lessons, I realized more strongly that it was wrong to disown Islam and Muslims. I felt the great kindness of the persons who actually came to the mosque and welcomed us cheerfully. I thought that it was very regrettable to arbitrarily decide that Islam was a radical religion just because we do not know anything about it.

 I have not (actually) seen the prayer before, but I was astonished that even children were properly performing prayer together with adults. The food that we received in the mosque was very tasty. I was worried whether I would be able to eat, since I have many likes and dislikes, but I was delighted that everything was easy to eat. Especially the curry was all easy to eat and very tasty.

 I felt that Islam is something close to us after this visit. Also my point of view has changed. I believe that my range of thinking has become wider. Really thank you very much.

2016, 7, 1 Students from Nagoya City University

Thank you for your warm reception today although it is the middle of Ramadan. While I am myself making a challenge to fast this very day, I am impressed by the people who follow this doctrine again and again for long years. Also, it was a chance to think of the meaning of practice of faith, after I saw the aspects of the practicing of the doctrine with deep understanding of its meaning, not only the mere performing of the doctrine itself. Today my affinity towards Islam was flowing all at once after I received your warm reception. I will come for a visit again for sure. I really thank you for today.

2016.6.27 an associate professor and student visitors From Osaka City UniversityFrom Osaka City University

 I visited Nagoya Mosque accompanying students in their investigation. Although I have visited mosques in Osaka and Kobe, but (in this visit) I received a kind extremely easy-to-understand explanation, which started from the basic things, and was about the state of Islam in Japan; a state that I have not understood well before. Also, I believe that the advises we received (in this visit) regarding the setting of the students’ investigation were very significant. In general, I realized the characteristics of Nagoya Mosque which are not available in other cities in Japan; such as (gentle dealing with Japanese Muslims and Muslima, the wide heart with which visitors from any country are received). I intend to revisit the mosque with the students again, and Looking forward to that, thank you.

 It was really a precious experience to hear a considerably detailed speech that starts from the basics. Since I myself have been to Indonesia, I was expecting that I knew a little about Islam and Muslims. However, I noticed, after I heard the speech, that I did not know at all that there were in Japan Muslims who were facing hard facts that I do not know. If I had not come to the mosque this time, I would have continued my life without noticing the presence of minorities in Japan. In this sense, I believe it was really good to hear that speech. I hope that from now on I would like to attend tea parties and lessons please.

2016.6.26 Nagoya Gakuin University Students-sponsored Exciting Tour

DSC_0397Thank you for granting us your precious time the other day. Now that we have heard Madam Sara’s speech this time and have seen the prayer actually, many of us say that Islam, opposite to what we used to think before, is not strict and (our) image of Islam has changed. Also, I was very interested in the idea that while fasting and after (a Muslim) passes through the trying time, he finds the heartwarming time. Thank you for all sorts of preparation you did before that day. When there is a chance I would like to go to mosque again.

16.06.24 Students from Nagoya University of Foreign Studies

Since I am a Muslim living in Japan, I used to think that food is definitely the worst difficulty I have. However, I was mistaken, it is prejudice. Now that I have heard the speech of this time, I believe my understanding of Islam has become deeper, and therefore, I would like to start doing what I can to eliminate the prejudice to even a little.

2016.6.17 A Teacher and Students From MEIJO University Senior High School

On the occasion of my graduation thesis whose theme is related to Islam; I came this time on my first visit to a mosque. I expected that I have, to some extent, knowledge about Islam after I have studied books and (data) on Internet. However, now that I have been able to actually hear the live voice of Muslims, I felt very shameful while noticing that I had many misunderstandings. I believe we should not swallow the whole information from media, rather we should have flexibility and take that information together with the word said by madam Sarah that [when there are 1.6 billion persons there are then 1.6 billion way of thinking].

2016.6.1 Nagoya Gakuin University Students

After I heard the speech of today, I felt how much we are influenced by the opinion of the media. Also, I felt how much the impression changes after one actually hears the speech even if he had already knowledge in his head.

2016.6.1 Students from Sugiyama Jogakuen University

 The most remarkable thing I felt today when I came to this mosque is the extreme kindness (of the people there) and the homely comfortableness. I had a little feelings of fearing or some prejudice before I came, but now I feel shameful that I looked at Muslims with such a discriminating eye. Now I understand that extremists are only a small part of 1.6 billion Muslims, and not all Muslims are like that, but rather most of Muslims are usual kind people. The bad things done by people are more highlighted than the good things done by them, and I felt it was queer to lump both things together.

 I used to feel a little afraid when I just hear “Islam state”, but (now) I believe there is nothing dreadful about Islam at all. I used to think that I would never like to do fasting or such alike, but I did not know that fasting is such an enjoyable thing. Moreover, I was astonished to hear that it (Ramadan) is the most weight-gaining month. Since my impression of Islam has dramatically changed, I would like to try to talk (about it) to other friends.

 I had no relation with religion before at all, and although there were some Buddhist and Christian friends round me but no Muslim was, so what I thought today after I heard various things in the speech is that (Muslims) are unexpectedly usual.

 I used to have the image that Islam is frightful before I learn (at mosque), however my thoughts have changed and I believe (now) that the extremists are only a small proportion while most Muslims are kind good people. And since I believe that facing prejudice is very disgusting and bitter, I wish that prejudice of more even one person against Muslims would vanish.

2016.5.22 Japanese Language teache

As I am a Japanese language teacher who met so far many young Muslims, I thought I knew Islam in general, but (in today’s visit) I learnt many things and there were many things which I didn’t know or I misunderstood. (Omission)/ Although it doesn’t seem to be may fate to become a Muslim at the moment, I believe that it is a very good thing to be able to acquire many good customs and points of view through Islam teachings such as Ramadan, daily prayers, appreciating the females, quitting idolatry. Because it is the human who forgets soon and flows with the bad stream…(Omission)/ I believe the human history contained various tragedies resulted from ignorance and misunderstanding, however, the influence of media that reports accidents, troubles, terror actions and violence is great in a country like this, most people of which (Japanese) do not have a any chance to contact directly with usual kind Muslims. Now that I have heard the speech this time, I really wish that Japanese media quits using [Islam state], its Katakana (ISURAMIKKU SUTEITO) or its abbreviation (IS) easily.

2016.5.20 A Teacher and Students from Al Fala High School


2016.4.30 A Company Employee

I have learnt a lot of things about Islam and Muslims by hearing (today’s) speech which can not be heard from outside (Islam). / My heart was very touched when they kindly taught a stranger like me how to tie a scarf (Hijab) just upon hearing a few words from me about my interest in it. I will be glad to have an opportunity to talk with everybody at leisure.

2016.4.24 A Company Employee

I feel honored to be able to hear (today’s) speech which I have an extremely deep interest in its (contents) such as the difference between Kur’an and Hadith, or the original meaning of Shee’a and Sunnah. Although I came here supposing I had studied about Islam, I realized that I had mistakes in several points because of my misunderstanding or prejudice. I am heartily grateful that you granted me the opportunity to restudy the basics of Islam.

2016.4.20 Students from Nagoya University Of foreign studies

We were able to know that there are several misunderstandings about Islam and that we – Japanese- are told considerable wrong information through mass media. In this context, the most impressive thing to me was the word of Jihaad. Just before today’s visit, I used to think that Jihaad was to fight in a holy war. However, it was revelatory to know that the meaning of Jihaad was to exert efforts. Thank God I came to the visit today.

2016.3.26 Teachers, students and others from Aichi Prefectural University, Ritsumeikan University and Osaka University

It was a precious speech (today) that made me reconsider my own understanding and made me wonder; didn’t I myself know anything, or didn’t I keep thinking of the mosque based on a certain premade image!. While I feel shy because I have not headed to visit Nagoya Mosque in spite of that I have lived for 15 years in Nagoya studying about making a multicultural country, I am thinking to continue studying in the same way of today (the visit).

You gave us a precious speech that you kindly conveyed in an easy-to-understand way. It is relaxed to have prejudice and to discriminate, just like one’s surrounding people, without knowing (the truth). I am going to learn myself then I will start talking about establishing a society in which children can live smoothly. I realized the significance of knowing.

After I had visited the mosque in the city I live in and had actually heard the speech of a Muslim I felt that Islam was not an odd thing, rather it was a familiar thing. Being a familiar thing is an important standpoint for deepening the right understanding of Islam.

It was a very precious time (at mosque) in which I directly met (you) and I could listen to a powerful, broad-minded and heartfelt speech. I believe we should first know about the existence and feelings of people from various beliefs and points of view.


2015.10.24  愛知県公立高等学校生徒 

・先日ムスリムの方々に出会い、本当に沢山のことを学ばせてもらうことが出来ました。/ 私は初めてみなさんに出会ってお話をするまではイスラム教といえばやはりイスラム国のイメージや私自身の知識も全くなくて不安もありましたが、2時間という時間の中でみなさんと会話をしたことでみなさんが今までの人生の中で感じてきたとことや思っていること、色んな思いで生きているということが分かりました。どんなことがあっても「自分たちはイスラム教の人で良かった」と言えるみなさんが格好良く見えました。/ 不安や緊張もありましたが、みなさんが優しくフレンドリーに、そして明るく関わってくださったおかげで私自身すごく貴重で楽しい時間を過ごさせてもらうことが出来ました。/ 今回みなさんから学んだことを今度は私たちがその思いを引き継ぎ、大学生、高校生の前でイスラム教についてみなさんの思いを伝えたいと思います。/ そしていつか、私たちから世界へその思いを伝えることが出来たならと思います。/ 今回みなさんに出会えて良かったと心から思います。/本当にありがとうございました。アッサラームアライクム!!
・This encounter gave me so much information about what’s the true meaning of Islam. Having conversation with them made me realized that they are just like one of us. What we saw and heard from television or any social media sites about Muslim / Islam are sometimes different from the real meaning of their religion. They are not all scary or dangerous. / In the interview that we did, they gave us a warm welcome and make us feel comfortable.
・ I was really moved with what I learned that day. I learned so many things about Muslim culture and religion. Now I understand the true meaning of their religion. We have to respect people no matter if we have different beliefs. I want to tell the whole world about what I learned. I really want people to not judge them. We are all the same.

2015.10.23  横浜市立大学学生

・実際にお話を伺い、これまで本や論文からは知りえなかった現状や情報を得ることができました。今回の訪問で感じたことは多々ありますが、その中でも最も強く感じたことは、メディアによる風評や目先の利益に捕らわれることなく、正しい理解と適切な行動をすることの重要性です。/ また、当たり前かもしれませんが、ムスリムだけに限らず、どんな宗教に属していても、自分を肯定できる環境を作り出すことの大切さを改めて実感しました。/ 今後は、自分の目で確かめ、知り、経験したことを大切にしながら、物事・問題の本質を自分の力で見極める力を身に付け、イスラームにアプローチしていきたいです。私はノンムスリムですが、自分なりにできることを考えながら、今取り組んでいるイスラーム研究を意義のあるものにしたいと強く思っています。/ また、ぜひお話を伺いたいです。ありがとうございました。

2015.9.18  愛知淑徳大学学生


2015.9.14  京都大学学生


2015.8.31  中京大学学生


2015.8.29  岐阜県立関高等学校生徒


2015.8.28  福井県高等学校教諭


2015.8.7 聖霊高等学校生徒


2015.7.24 椙山女学園大学学生






2015.7.22 南山高等学校女子部生徒


DSC_0748・イスラム教について知れば知るほど、あんなに遠くに感じていたイスラム教がとても身近なものに感じられました。教科書だけでは学び尽くせないことがあるのだと実感し、ぜひ多くの人にイスラム教について知ってもらいたいと思いました。/ テレビなどでは、やはり過激派や対立、争いのことばかりが報道されており、イスラム教について知らない人々はどうしても「怖い」「厳しい」といった気持ちを抱いてしまいます。たしかに、一部の人間がイスラム教徒を名乗り、卑劣な行為をしています。しかし、それだけがイスラム教のすべてではないということもまた事実です。むしろ、私たちには知らないことばかりで、過激派の人々はムスリムとは違うんだ、ということを私たちは理解しなければいけないと思いました。(中略)/ 私は受験勉強真っ只中ですが、今回お話をうかがうことができ、受験勉強の何倍も素晴らしいものを得られた気がします。これまでの自分の考え方も見直すことができ、たくさん感動し、本当に忘れられない意義深い日となりました。/ こんなすてきな価値観をもつイスラム教に対して誤った理解をしている人が多くいるのが悲しいです。また、自分もその一人であったことを悔しく、恥ずかしく思います。/ たとえ違う宗教をもっていても、みんながそれぞれ平和ならいいのに、それを理解しないがゆえに対立が起こり、せっかくの平和な世界を壊してしまうのは、みんなにとって悲しいことです。お互いのことを少し知り理解しようとすればきっとみんな理解し合えるはずなのに。そんな世界が訪れることを心から願います。そして私も、少しでも力になれたらいいです。まずは今日帰ったら家族にたくさんお話ししたいと思います。貴重な経験を、本当にありがとうございました。


・これまで私はイスラームへのイメージの1つに男尊女卑だという考えを少し持っていました。しかし、その認識は間違っているのだと知りました。普段から女性は器用さの必要な仕事、男性は力仕事などそれぞれの能力に応じて分担しているのでそれに対してお互い不満に思うこともないし、女性が肌を見せないのは万一の事故を未然に防ぐ目的から。快適な生活のために自分たちのできることをきちんとやり協力し合っているというのを聞いて、イスラームの社会は一人ひとりが尊重されている、とてもいい社会だと思いました。(中略)/ 私は身近な人たちに今回聞いたことを伝えていきたいです。世界にある様々な宗教が争い傷つけ合うことなく、これからも人々の心に生きていけることを願っています。モスクに訪問させていただいたことで、机に向かう勉強では得られない大事なことを学びました。今回得たことを忘れず、これからに生かしていきたいと思います。

2015.7.20 桜花学園大学学生

DSC_0732・The visit to the mosque was good and very interesting experience for me. I had a good image from what Sarah said and I could get a lot of information from her.

・Before I talked with Sarah, I thought Islam is really strict because of ISIS and the media. However, I could know the true Islam from Sarah and realized I should not believe all the information from the media.

・Before, I thought Islam was a scary religion, however I learned that ISIS is not following Islam and that Islam is not a scary religion. I learned that Islam is not a strict religion, it is very flexible. For example, if I cannot go to the religious place to pray it is OK which I think is good especially for old or sick people.

・Sarah’s talk moved me and helped me to understand Islam better. I could feel her passion and desire to fix the impression many people have about Islam today.

・After our tour of the mosque, I could understand Islam more deeply. I am interested in Islam now.

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