Pope Francis Visits Japan For The First Time In 4 Decades

Pope Francis is beloved for his willingness to challenge stated norms and to talk about hard truths. So it wasn’t a surprise that his long-anticipated trip to Japan after close to 40 years, made waves with the public.

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But what the internet never expected, was a glorious shot of Pope Francis wearing a lovingly constructed manga-printed kimono shirt, emblazoned with a cartoon version of his face, sakura blossoms & messages of thanks.

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Here’s a viral tweet that brought Pope Francis’ bold fashion choice in Japan to the Internet’s attention.

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If you would like the watch his entire encounter with youth believers, here’s the 1.5 hour clip on YouTube. Pope Francis begins donning the shirt at the 1 hour, 28 min mark.

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Pope Francis given warm welcome at massive youth meeting in Tokyo

In the early afternoon of Monday (25 Nov), Pope Francis met with thousands of youth at the Cathedral of Holy Mary in Tokyo, as part of his Japan visit.

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He was welcomed with enthusiastic cheers, and took his seat while several youth made speeches and awards were given out.

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After he completed his sermon, there was just one surprise left in store.

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Sakura kimono shirt bore Pope Francis’ face & Mt. Fuji

To a pleasantly surprised crowd, 2 ladies brought out a traditional kimono shirt, designed in honour of Pope Francis.

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The outerwear bore Pope Francis’ face along with sakura blossoms, Mt. Fuji and messages of thanks in various languages.

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We also spot an adorable sea of supporters, drawn in the iconic monochromatic manga style at the bottom of the montage.

Wore the shirt gamely for a ‘thumbs-up’ photo op

Undeterred by his age, Pope Francis did have to rely some help to don the traditional kimono shirt properly.

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With the help of 4 aides, Pope Francis successfully wore the shirt.

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Turning around to greet the crowd, he clasped his palms and did a double ‘thumbs up’ pose, to raucous cheers & applause from his supportive audience.

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Pope Francis also didn’t forget to thank the youth that helped him wear the shirt, turning around to shake their hands.

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Perhaps charmed by his genial nature, the girls kept on smiling even as the event drew to a successful close.

We’re forever blessed

Thankfully, Pope Francis’ momentous arrival in Japan went off without a hitch. We’re also impressed by his sporting nature and respect for Japan’s culture and traditions.

Now we’re forever blessed with this adorable image as a bonus.

We hope he enjoyed a pleasant stay in Japan, having toured Hiroshima & Nagasaki too. Hopefully a visit to Singapore in the near future will be on the cards soon.

Featured image adapted from Pope In Japan 2019 on YouTube.