Religion: The Battle of Amami Oshima

Life is grim on Amami Oshima, an island in the typhoon-swept East China Sea, 200 miles southwest of Japan. The islanders are beset by leprosy, poverty, poisonous snakes, and fire. Again and again, storm-spread fires have all but wiped out the wooden shanties of Nase, the island's largest town (pop. 43,000). This month such a fire razed one of Nase's poorest sections—and blazed up into an ideological battle between a Communist and a Christian.

The well-matched antagonists are an agile-minded Red politico and a Franciscan priest from New Haven, Conn. Father Jerome Lukaszweski rushed food, milk and clothes to the disaster area:...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!