Japan is not a country that is known for its Islamic population. As a minority, they face difficulties in their daily lives as well as in work settings. From an individual perspective, these are the common things they face:
While Japan is known for its diverse cuisine, it can be difficult for Muslims to find food that adheres to their religious dietary restrictions. The most common issue is with alcohol, which is present in many Japanese foods. Even if the ingredients list does not indicate that the food product contains alcohol, there may still be traces of it in the final product because some foods are brewed or distilled in alcohol-based liquids. This makes shopping difficult because many Japanese foods contain alcohol, pork, or pork products, including pork extract. Ingredient labels are also written in Japanese with no English translations which can make it even more cumbersome for those who are not literate in Japanese. Some Muslims have said that their colleagues politely accepted their refusal of alcohol at Japanese welcoming parties or end of year festivals, but others have reported being criticized for this refusal as well.
Many Muslims in Japan have found ways to adjust to the work culture and still remain true to their faith. In particular, devout Muslims who pray five times a day for ten-minute intervals will find it difficult to fit into a culture in which constant hard work is expected and highly valued. Though this may be a source of discomfort for some, many Muslims have found ways to compromise by making up prayers after work that may have been missed during work hours. Though many practicing Muslims can “collect” prayers that have been missed during certain parts of the day or night, there are those who have yet to find solutions for their difficulty fitting into Japanese culture without compromising their beliefs.
Muslims do fasting from sunrise to sunset of not eating or drinking everyday for 30 days during the month of Ramadhan (the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar). It would be a challenge in times where they need to break their fast at a sooner time during the shorter day periods for example in winter. In other case, it might be beneficial for the flexibility made for people working in lunch hours and breaks in return for an earlier finish.
Muslim women choose to wear their hijabs—some wear them only at their mosques for prayer, while others wear them every day. This difference in adaptation and interpretation makes Islam a diverse, accepting, and accommodating faith. However, while the rules are clear-cut when it comes to what a Muslim should and shouldn’t do, they’re less so when it comes to how they should deal with their colleagues at work who don’t share the same beliefs.
If you are a muslim or , visit our other post about halal here…
There are several restaurants and grocers that provide halal food in Japan. In addition to these food places, there are also many catering services which offer halal food to their customers. These websites help Muslims find the halal food they need to eat while visiting Japan or living permanently.