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Forget that bible thing. Someone must have edited out the good part. You know, the part where it says that Jesus came to Japan when he was 21 to study theology, returned to Judea at the age of 33 to preach, and then got crucified…or so we all thought!

What *really* happened is that Jesus escaped crucifixion, got his brother crucified instead of him, and traveled back to Japan where he married a nice lady named Miyu, had several children, cultivated onions/garlic (really tasty ones, too), and lived to a mere 104-118 years of age. The villagers of Shingo (新郷) buried him, and put up a two big crosses, one for Jesus’ sacrificed brother, and one for Jesus. They even have annual “Christ Matsuris” (Christ festivals) to celebrate his existence. Sounds like a crummier version of Christmas to me.

Conspiracy!

There is even a song that is sung at every Christ Matsuri, which is suspiciously similar to something from the Hebrew language. Cercle has kindly laid it out plainly for us to see (and goes into more depth about the whole conspiracy):

Naniyaa dorayayo (ナニヤアドラヤヨ)
Naniyaa donasare inokie (ナニヤアドナサレイノキエ)
Naniyaa doyarayo (ナニヤアドラヤヨ)

First of all, the meaning of these phrases has been lost (it’s not Japanese!), and secondly, in the middle part, nasare is very similar to Nazareth.

Cercle goes on to talk about the supposed family line of Jesus Christ, the Sawaguchi’s. They’ve got a few things going for them. First of all, their family symbol is very similar to David’s Star. Check it out:

Sure, it’s missing a point, but you can’t have everything. Secondly, take a look at this picture of this member of the Sawaguchi family. Looks pretty not-Japanese if you ask me. Looks like he could be related to…*gasp*…someone from the West(ish)!

Maybe it’s just the clothes he’s wearing. Who knows? When the BBC interviewed this guy’s grandson, he was pretty down to earth. Looked Japanese, told them that they were a Buddhist family (is he saying that Jesus was a Buddhist too?) and not Christian / Jewish / or anything like that.

Tourist Attraction

All in all, I think it’s just an awesome tourist attraction. I would sure love to go there and buy some “Jesus Christ in Shingo” mugs and ice cream, not to mention an awesome photo opportunity.

Look! You can be Jesus and his family! This thing alone makes me want to go so bad.

Me? I’m thinking it was just some crazy white dude who washed up on shore (maybe a viking?) and claimed to be someone that sounded something like “Christ” (you know how bad Japanese are at saying non-Japanese words), and things unraveled from there. I like “Chris” the viking. Anyways, what do you think? Tell us in the comments.

Sources

Cercle: http://www.zetetique.ldh.org/herai_en.html
Daitenku: http://perdurabo10.tripod.com/id1157.html
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes…
Ashland Daily Tidings: http://www.dailytidings.com/2006…
Sci Fi Dimensions: http://www.scifidimensions.com/Apr00/oddities…

Article Vocabulary

キリスト (kirisuto)
Christ / Jesus Christ

カトリック (katorikku)
Catholic

陰謀説 (inbousetsu)
Conspiracy Theory

家族 (kazoku)
Family

(matsuri)
Festival

  • djarno

    Sounds like a Japanese version of Mormonism.

  • http://nakanakaikenai.blogspot.com/ pestonio

    I'm in Japan at the moment. Maybe I'll go visit this place. I love the Japanese take on western popular culture and it doesn't really get any bigger than fake Christmas, uhh, I mean Kirisuto-matsuri…

  • Jennifer

    Lmfao…wow. I love Japan and the ways in which we suffer miscommunications with each other.

  • http://www.thesoulofjapan.blogspot.com tony

    I've been there twice. I forgot to take the picture of the plaque from Isreal which was flown over by an Isreali delegation a few years ago. If you check my flickr “Tony Alexander” you can find it.

  • http://www.thegue.com Captain_Ron

    I agree, only somehow this seems to make more sense, haha

    Unless they were both right and there were an army of Jesuses all over the world!

  • djarno

    “Army of Jesuses.” Wow. I want everyone to take a couple of minutes to ponder that idea.

  • Finlay Clark

    Haha! Japan what were you thinking!
    Thanks for the research Koichi

  • moshi_moshi

    Sorry for double posting, I'm making an account.

  • http://www.hoolan.wordpress.com Rob_Hoolan

    Haha Japan seems to be the only country that can bastardize religion and not be called racist.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    did you take a picture as jesus' family?

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I love how a lot of people think it's Santa's birthday, and then have Christmas Cake :)

  • http://www.vietamins.com Viet

    KFC Strawberry Shortcake Christmas Cake……………… yum/

  • WOTDsctoo

    If we want to take a picture, how do you decide who gets to be Jesus? D:

  • Eevee

    This is too, too interesting. As a Christian, I find this amazingly hilarious. And as always Japan comes out with 500 points for originality. I can only hope that the number of Christians in Japan is not affected by this place or story…

  • http://www.julieinjapan.com Julie

    Janken, obviously. It's Japan.
    ;)

  • Ana_chan

    Awesome article! Yay!
    I agree with the theory of the white dude who somehow ends up in Japan; indeed, either his name got rather harmed when “translated” in Japanese (the same happened to me) or the bloke really thought he was Jesus. And who could blame him for remaining in Japan instead of going back to the crazy continent, really?
    I think the whole “Jesus-picture”–which is hilarious, really–is what we meddlesome westerners get for messing with religion in Japan; it seemed complicated enough as it was with Shintoism and Buddhism.

  • emiko

    since i'm a christian i can't say that i agree with the article, but over all i really thought it was interesting!

    chris the viking?

  • gohkal

    Reminds me of the Jesus in India stories (goes to India to learn the ways of Hinduism then returns to Judea with new fangled ideas).

    hungry for some niniku ramen now….

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/CHESTERlikesSUBARU Chester_King

    I WANT to believe.

  • http://www.thesoulofjapan.blogspot.com tony

    Correction. I have the picture of the plaque in my flickr.

  • http://www.thegue.com Captain_Ron

    Perhaps this explains Segata Sanshiro…

  • Kristin

    Hmmm… Maybe not a viking, since they didn't know about the whole christ thing. Would be cool if it was the grave of Thor the thundergod or something. I once heard that one of the former african colonies got its name by the english because they asked the natives what it was called and the natives replied with hello in their languange or something and the english thought it was the name. Puh, long sentence. Just saying, maybe they just thought they were talking about two different things. “what's your name dude on the beach?” “Jesus christ you've got some nice women in this country!”. ….maybe.

    Nicely done by jesus, faking his own death. Could explain the whole showing up alive later deal. “Oh i have to go back to heaven now” but really it was his wife who had told him he wasn't allowed to stay for longer than 30 days (or however long it was) so he had to go back to japan.

  • http://rainbowhill.tumblr.com/ jrfiction

    Legend has it that one of the 3 sacred treasures of the Japanese imperial family is a Hebrew mirror thousands of years old. The so-called mirror of Yata (Yata no kagami) is inscribed with “eheyeh asher eheyeh” (I am that I am), the name given to god in Exodus 3:14. No one living has ever seen it, yet every few years the silk cover which protects it from prying eyes is covered in yet another layer of silk.

    It is held at the Grand Shrine in Ise, and is considered so sacred not even the emperor himself has seen it.

    Remember that large parts of the life of Jesus, if you believe in the man as a historical figure, remain undocumented. It is quite like that in time between his coming of age and his return to Israel in his late twenties he went travelling. Perhaps the true life of Christ is more fantastic than we could ever imagine.

  • derek

    that made the hairs go up on my neck…
    good work.

  • Pingback: Topic Agnostic » Blog Archive » Christ spent the last 12 years of his life in Japan, escaped his crucifixion, returned to Japan, got married and lived to 104, 106 or 118.()

  • Maciel

    haha the tourist attractions
    thats funny

  • Chris_paros

    LOL, I can imagine their faces if some viking guy just washed ashore… It could also be a sort of “nihonjinron” theory but I dunno… Stil pretty funny though!

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  • Emi

    ^_^ lol

  • http://izeyhec.blogspot.com/ Izeyhec

    just shows that it is a wonderful place lol

  • aki

    stupid japs. they hate anything western that's why they created such myth.

  • http://tofugu.com Tofugu_Erin

    Brb, deleting this ridiculously racist comment.

  • http://tofugu.com Tofugu_Erin

    Neat story!

  • http://tofugu.com Tofugu_Erin

    Hahahahahaha.

  • http://omareduardo.com/blog/ omareduardo

    now this makes jesus' story so much more interesting.
    to think that i spent so many years being lied to…

  • rspencer

    i prefer Jesus over your stupid obese bald buddha.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Thing is, that dude ain't buddha, everyone in the West's got that one
    wrong

  • http://www.luiyuming.com astrorainfall

    This is a great post. Amazing and bizarre….

  • rspencer

    who said Jesus is buddha? then you are wrong.

  • rspencer

    who said Jesus is/was buddha? then you are wrong.

  • rspencer

    who said Jesus is/was buddha? then you are wrong.

  • http://stshores24.com stshores24

    Hmm, can you say 'syncretic'? :)

  • fuazu

    lol…this is interesting
    for a second there,i wanted to believe

  • http://youtube.com/pigstaanime kakapoopy

    thats REALLY funky and very amusing haha. ITS SO WEIRD!

  • altonet

    Interesting, though I'm a bit confused ………… @.@

  • subhrajit

    i neeeeeeeeeeeeed a friend live in japan.(no age limit)

  • Alexandre

    This is no more, no less “amazingly hilarious” than any other holy site in Israel. They serve to attract tourists and belong more to fables than reality. And for those who are looking for the Holy Graal, might as well come have a look in Japan!

  • Alexandre

    Obviously, the emperor himself doesn't believe the story or he'd be a Christian…

  • http://www.jesusemptytomb.com Jesus Empty Tomb

    Interesting like the theories of the Mormons.

  • Pingback: Jesus in Japan « Tobidasu ♥♥ 飛び出す()

  • Grant

    THe post Kristen mad shows she/ he is not a big cristian becouse he died and came back alive 3 days laer. and It is posible it is a scam mde to make the town atorist atraction, It would be a big hit with the ani christins out there that awant to take out oour fathe.

  • Grant

    I forgot to say you defonently could not get to the islands of japan from Isreal in 3 friken das, But then again he did come back and we do not know what appened after. and a lot o her life was undocumented.

  • Grant

    THe post Kristen mad shows she/ he is not a big cristian becouse he died and came back alive 3 days laer. and It is posible it is a scam mde to make the town atorist atraction, It would be a big hit with the ani christins out there that awant to take out oour fathe.

  • Grant

    I forgot to say you defonently could not get to the islands of japan from Isreal in 3 friken das, But then again he did come back and we do not know what appened after. and a lot o her life was undocumented.

  • http://hi.baidu.com/yishiym123 DeepBlue

    Haha! Japan what were you thinking!

  • http://hi.baidu.com/yishiym123 DeepBlue

    Haha! Japan what were you thinking!

  • thesilencelies

    Isn’t that what the church is meant to be? seeing as the word Christian means little christ…

  • thesilencelies

    Isn’t that what the church is meant to be? seeing as the word Christian means little christ…

  • thesilencelies

    the stuff on the mirror sounds… interesting, but it would have to have come by trade. Jesus was far, far too poor to go travelling anywhere. Even once he was on his mission he barely left judea, and that was with a whole gaggle of people supporting him…

  • thesilencelies

    the stuff on the mirror sounds… interesting, but it would have to have come by trade. Jesus was far, far too poor to go travelling anywhere. Even once he was on his mission he barely left judea, and that was with a whole gaggle of people supporting him…

  • giraffe

    Sounds to me like a Western Christian missionary did a horrible job of translating whatever they were trying to tell the people in this town. And then got booted out of Japan before the error could be corrected.

  • Genkakuzai

    Believing that Jesus was an actual historical figure is far from the same as believing he was the son of god, so I fail to see how that’d automatically make the emperor a Christian.

  • Genkakuzai

    As far as people know. Talking about a historical figure who lived 2000 years ago as if we know exactly how his life transpired is a bit naive.

  • Wendybird

    There was no such thing as too poor to travel back then. You walked everywhere anyway, unless you were very rich indeed, and everything from Israel east to India observes hospitality laws that would ensure you food and shelter in any habitable region. According to the bible Paul went to Asia, no reason why Jesus, or for that matter some follower of his, couldn’t have made it that far… even to Japan if he had been able to drum up a boat. And of course we all know Jesus could have walked across. ;)