In my third year of living in Japan I felt like the common adventure would no longer cut it. It was time for true adventure. An epic worthy of tales. So I set my humble sights on visiting the tomb of our lord and saviour. Apparently, contrary to popular belief, he hadn’t died on the cross and gone to heaven, but instead come to live out his life in Japan until the ripe age of 106. The rascal.
Aomori prefecture is the northernmost point of mainland Japan. Roughly a 9 hour drive from Tokyo, it is a tranquil slice of countryside. Scenic rice paddies enclosed by rolling hills and mountains covered in lush green forests. It’s no little surprise then that Jesus Christ decided to move there rather than be nailed to a wooden cross. There, in the village of Shingo, you’ll find not one, but two graves. One for Jesus, and one for his less known brother, Isukiri.
Legend has it that Jesus was never in fact crucified. It was his brother, Isukiri, who switched places with him at the last moment, and took his place on the cross. Casually, I might add. Jesus then took a lock of Mary’s hair and Isukiri’s ear (we can’t judge him for being creepy, he is the Lord’s son afterall) and moved to Japan where he diligently studied the Shinto faith, married a Japanese woman, had three children, and died peacefully at the age of 106. Supposedly the people of Shingo village are his descendants and are supposed to resemble him in appearance.
These beliefs stem from what are known as the Takenouchi Documents. They are cult texts which frankly make scientology seem dull and plausible by comparison. According to those texts, before history, the world government was located in Japan (who would have guessed). Then, the 5 great holy masters of the world, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Shakyamuni Buddha, Confucius and Lao Tsu were born into the 5-coloured races which are just branches of the Japanese race. They went out into the world for study and training. Taking that in mind, I imagine the rest of this article will seem sane in comparison.
There is a little museum dedicated to the history and belief of this particular sect. In it you can find the will and testament of Christ, a history of how he came to Japan, as well as some creepy dolls.
I didn’t have the heart to tell the little lady working there that Jesus, having come probably from the Middle East, was as likely to have had blue eyes as the cat-robot Doraemon. What particularly impresses me is the route Christ supposedly took. Apparently after the Jews didn’t take to the Shinto faith he went from Alaska to Japan. But how he got from Judea to Alaska is not even mentioned. I’m pretty sure there weren’t boats that could make a trip across the Atlantic back then. Then again maybe he just walked, who knows?
The icing on the cake, in my view, is this plaque that the government of Israel donated to this site to authenticate it. I’m sure that the people of Israel, who might or might not still hold a grudge towards the Christian faith for the upheaval of their own religion, were absolutely chuffed to authenticate something so bizzare and stupid with regards to the Christianity. I can just imagine some rabi who gets all kinds of letters everyday proclaiming witnessed miracles and holy acts reading this letter sent from Japan no less, proclaiming this version of events. I’m sure the explosive laughter from his office must have been mistook for pure religious extacy.
If your lust for crazy is not sated, feel free to experience it yourself. There’s a Christ festival held on the first Sunday of June every year.