From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Forget Nazareth: Jesus of Japan

Shingo 'Tomb of Christ'     (Public Domain)
Although only 1% of Japan's population is Christian, a story persists that Jesus once lived there.

As the story goes, an itinerant shepherd turned garlic farmer settled in a mountain hamlet of northern Japan approximately
2,000 years ago.  He allegedly lived to be 106 after falling in love and fathering three children.  Some call him Daitenku Taro – others call him Jesus Christ.

Smithsonian Magazine reports that this Japanese hamlet, Shingo, now advertises itself as "Christ's Hometown."  Never mind that only one Christian lives there and the nearest church is 30 miles away - the Shingo annual Christ Festival and Legend of Christ Museum are going strong.

So how did Jesus of Nazareth happen to end up in the hills of Japan?  Local folklore has an answer for that too.  It is said that Jesus did not die on the cross, but rather his "kid brother, Isukiri" did.  It is also said that Jesus was over in Japan during those twelve "lost years" that many have wondered about.

It therefore makes perfect sense (assuming you believe the rest of this tale) that Jesus would seek refuge in the "promised land" of Japan after being persecuted in Jerusalem.


Copyright January 29, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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