A conference devoted to the history of Orthodox monasticism and the practice of monastic life on February 12 in Osaka, Japan. The clergy of the Western Diocese of the Autonomous Orthodox Church of Japan participated in the conference: Priests John Ono from Kyoto, David Midzuguchi from Osaka, Isaiah Sakai from Toekhasi, Paul Oikava from Kagoshima and George Matsusima from Nagoya. Hieromonk Gerasim (Shevtsov), the monk-in-charge of St. Nicholas Monastery in Tokyo spoke on "Russian Orthodox monasticism".
Before the start of the session in Osaka's temple, a moleben (prayer service) to Bishop Nicholas of Japan was served according to a rite adopted by Tokyo's St. Nicholas Monastery. The moleben is based on the moleben to St. Sergius which is served in the Trinity-St. Servius Lavra.
About 100 people attended the conference. In addition to faithful of the Western Diocese, participants included faithful from Tokyo. Such a number of attendees, considerable for the Japanese Church, bears witness to the great interest in monastic life among the Japanese Orthodox. Numerous questions on prayer, and monastic life were addressed to the clerics.
Father Gerasim (Shevtsov) noted that the conference demonstrated that one conference is insufficient for familiarity with the history and variety of Orthodox monastic experience. Considerable educational activity and also practical participation are necessary for monasticism to stop being considered somewhat exotic.