This year Easter fell on Sunday, April 16, 2017. For most Christians, who use the Gregorian Calendar, Ester falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon, after the Spring Equinox. That formula ensures that the holiday regularly falls between late-March and early-May. Orthodox (Eastern) Christianity, which still uses the old Julian calendar, celebrates Easter on a wider variety of dates.
Japan has many native festivals for all seasons and occasions. But that does not stop it from adopting redundant (foreign) festivals like Valentine's Day (introduced by Isetan Department Store in 1958 as a confectionary marketing scheme), Halloween (promoted as simple Cosplay, at which Japanese already excel), and Christmas (framed as a romantic time for lovers).
Now confectionary companies are pushing Easter like never before. Rabbit and Easter Egg images are easy to find, and I've even seen some TV commercials promoting Easter chocolate. An article in a recent edition of The Japan Times English-language newspaper reported that surveys indicate only about 20% of respondents understand what Easter is. Of course, when they do these surveys they probably lead off with questions about the Easter Bunny and eggs. They are confusing images that most people, let alone most Christians cannot explain, and inability to answer the question colors how familiarity with the holiday is judged. How fair and balanced are the surveys? How fair and balanced do they need to be?
I've spoken to Japanese - and foreigners - who say "the re-birth of Jesus." Obviously, you see the hurdle the Christian idea of resurrection has to overcome here, competing with the deeply-ingrained Asian idea of reincarnation (not the same thing at all). The challenge is that the idea of resurrection here is confronting the idea of reincarnation on its home turf. What surprised/disappointing me is that the same confusion among Western foreigners.
I find such discussions very engaging and meaningful. But contemporary secular/atheist-minded folk tend to see it as a useless topic on the one hand, ad the difference between the two (the difference between reincarnation and resurrection) as a difference that makes no difference on the other hand.
They are wrong.