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PACIFIC RIM MISSION

A CONVERSATION WITH FUJIKO SIGNS

From the September 2006 issue of The Christian Science Journal


is one serious spiritual pioneer, just not the dour missionary kind. She laughs when asked what it's like being a Christian Scientist in the religiously diverse "frontier Far East." And again as she describes connecting with a Christian Science lecture audience by playing and quoting from a song in Kiki's Delivery Service, and animated film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. But since laughter is a universal language, her instinctive good humor dovetails naturally with a multilingual, multicultural life and mission.

Having studied East Asian languages and literature in the United States, Fujiko went on to teach Japanese and Japanese literature prior to working as a market researcher, translator, and interpreter in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. But even in the world of silicon chips, her love of language continued to grow—along with her hunger for a reliable spiritual approach to healing. And the two loves inevitably united for her. "I love the Japanese word wakaru," Fujiko said at one point in our conversation, "which means to understand and comes from the Japanese word for to divide. You know how Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is like gathering the good and casting away the bad? So in wakaru the Japanese already had this concept of dividing for beneficial ends."

Now a Christian Science practitioner and teacher (teaching and living part time in Tokyo), she also travels as a lecturer based in East Asia. Fujiko's husband, Mark, teaches and researches in biotechnology at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. They have two daughters, one in college and another attending an international high school in Japan.

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