This article discusses inculturation, focusing on two cases of Marian devotion in Japan and India. First, this essay examines the historical context of how Japanese underground Christians, during the time of persecution, strategically hid their devotion to the Virgin Mary by using the imagery of the bodhisattva Kannon, and analyzes how this visual and verbal change impacted their belief system. Then, this essay explores how the Italian Jesuit Costantino Giuseppe Beschi (1680–1747) introduced an inculturated form of Mary into Tamil Nadu and then studies its interaction with local converts in South India. Both Maria-Kannon in Japan and the Virgin mātā in Tamil Nadu demonstrate that inculturation is not just a strategy or a temporal adjustment; rather, it is the dynamic relationship between the Christian message and a particular culture, resulting from the insertion of the Christian life into a cultural community where it takes root and brings forth new life.

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