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    Jesus’ Life, Family, and Death (in Japan) You can even visit his grave!

    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!

    Japanese road sign for Jesus grave

    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.


    wooden cross on burial mound with white fence

    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:

    five pointed star carved on wooden door

    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)!

    sawaguchi from the family line of jesus

    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.

    family cut out for photos

    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.

    Article Vocabulary

    • kirisuto キリスト Christ / Jesus Christ
    • katorikku カトリック Catholic
    • inbousetsu 陰謀説いんぼうせつ Conspiracy Theory
    • kazoku 家族かぞく Family
    • matsuri 祭りまつり Festival