In less than an hour, a bullet train could transplant us from urban life to a mountain retreat. Crisp air welcomed us as the landscape rolled out to prepare the way. Towering mountains spread out in every direction, desperately holding on to their white hats as long as possible. Winding roads spider-web out among the trees, who long to show the masterpiece of reds, oranges, and yellows. Lakes rest snugly in valley basins, reflecting the sky and mountains. Further on, where only the deer, boar, and bear play, a wilderness, scarcely touched by humans, stretches as far as the eyes can see.
The serenity may not last, though. With a mighty lurch, the ground begins to tremble. Rocks, dirt, and trees tumble, wrecking animal and human homes. With a sudden gust, trees bend, kneel, and snap as the sky grows darker. Mud tumbles down the hills, carrying anything in its path with it. With a powerful explosion, the top of a mountain erupts. Rocks and ash are launched far away as molten rock froths out of a crater. The sheer power of natural disasters, though beautiful, reminds that something is not right in the world.
Japan is beautiful. That beauty leads to fascination and worship. Such locations must have deities who live and rule. When a volcano explodes, the deity must be mad, while the nearby lake deity is still calm. It is easy to see how an animistic tradition developed in Japan. God deserves more than this. God made the volcano, but He is also the same God who made the lake. The whole world is God's kingdom though currently cursed by sin, and we want to share that with the Japanese people. Why should the Japanese people settle on worshiping nature when they can choose to worship the Creator and King?