Easter was celebrated by Tokyo Orthodox community this Sunday. Lots of eggs were boiled, painted, blessed and eaten. Boiled and painted eggs along with baked Easter bread called kuliches (куличи) are used to break long fast. The colorful tradition dates back to pre-Christian pagan festives.
There are two major orthodox churches in Tokyo. Newly renovated Nikolai-do or Св. Николай cathedral in Ochanomizu is the more famous one. It’s certainly one of the most impressive historic constructions in Tokyo, which survived major catastrophes of 20 century: Great Kanto earthquake of 1923 (although roof collapsed) and 1945 American bombing and fires triggered by the bombing.
The congregation combines Japanese, Greek, Romanian, Bulgarian, Ethiopians and other Orthodox and non-Orthodox nations. My friend recently baptized his baby daughter there.
Another church is much smaller and caters solely to Russian-speaking community. It’s located between Ochanomizu and Sugamo and called Podvorje or Подворье. See also page in Japanese.
Prior of the Podvorje Father Nikolaj Katsuban
Usually I visit Podvorje on Easter eve, but missed it this time. Here are some old photos from past Easters celebrated in Tokyo. I used Fuji 400 slide film for the above photo of Fr Nikolaj Katsuban who heads the Podvorje and Kodak 100 slide film for photos of midnight procession. Using lower speed film at night sounds somehow illogical, but the photos were taken on different days and I probably didn’t have choice of film then. I scanned the slides with my antique Nikon LS-1000 film scanner.