He’s very keen on faces – the face of Christ and how it’s not described in the bible, but also that of the Japanese: blank, emotionless faces, faces like folded paper. He’s trying to see their soul in the face.
With very few words, Endo creates beautiful images of the rain, the night, and the mountain shack. Helps that I’ve seen a lot of classic Japanese films, too.
Kichijiro is a wonderful character.