Having grown up in an environment where everyone I knew was Catholic, I’m always interested to learn that my childhood religion into the histories of places where I assume Christianity wasn’t ever a driving force. For example, Christianity plays a surprising role in the history of Japan. Prior to 1637, a segment of the Japanese people openly practiced a brand of Christianity that we now refer to as the Japanese Catholic Church, but the Shimbara Revolution of 1637 forced these Japanese for Jesus to worship a lot more quietly. Consequently, these people are known as Kakure Christians, from the Japanese word for “hidden.” And one of the ways they could practice their chosen religion was to do so under the guise of it being a more accepted one. That’s why this statue is so interesting:
|the virgin mary in her best party costume, basically|
|psylocke on the left, kwannon on the right... i think...|
Nope. But I still learned something.
While an X-Men-Star Trek connection would span geeky universes, Guinan actually gets her name from a real-life saloon owner, Texas Guinan, who served drinks in Prohibition-era New York and entertained patrons with her Waco-bred manner. She’s a thoroughly cool lady, and if her existence comes as news to you, I strongly encourage you to read up on this kickass dame of yore.
On one hand, oh well. It would have been cool to put two and two together and make four. In this case, two and two are just two and two. On the other hand, however, I pulled up enough cool bits of history — like, history history and pop culture history — that I couldn’t just toss it all aside. From covert Catholics in Japan to a Texas-to-the-core saloon mistress yet still manages to ding two nerdish pegs from my youth? That’s a trip worth taking.