... in faith at my finger tips

Published on 17 Sep 2019
A woman having her nails painted.

I have a monthly manicure at a salon. At the end of a long teaching career, I seek to harmonize, as best I can, with the students I teach, graceful young women at Kyoto’s oldest women’s university. This university is Buddhist, and the students are respectful of faith and curious about Christianity. I want them to see the sign the Cross…on my nails.  

So, my manicurist caringly hand-paints, or fashions diminutive crucifixes in little stones and pearls. She has taught her young assistant too. And while this is going on, there is much talk about Christ, and Church-related things.

Before I attended the wake and funeral of a Jesuit friend, she painstakingly painted IHS, and asked what it meant. No one else talks about these things, she says…only us.

Kaoru, like many in Japan, has no faith. It is said that there are fewer than one percent of Christians here, and understandably, she is afraid to enter a church. But she has asked me how she could obtain a bible.

Faith-sharing will continue at the nail salon in Osaka.