The Tomb of Jesus Christ in Japan

Japan is well known for a variety of sightseeing spots, but this particular one is pretty much unheard of. Allegedly, there is the tomb of Christ. Yes, you read it right: the tomb of Jesus Christ.

Grave of Jesus Christ in Shingō

Grave of Jesus Christ in Shingō

Surrounded by mountains and a Lake Towada, the remote village of Shingo is a beautiful place to visit. However, it is not known for its beauty, but its alleged tomb of Christ is the main attraction there. Furthermore, the village is home to not only the tomb of Christ, but also its a home of his descendants: the Sawaguchi family. Interestingly, the village was renamed Shingo in 1955, but till then it was known as Herai. It is speculated, that it is a form of the word Hebrai, which means Hebrew in Japanese.

It all started, when in 1930s a young Shinto priest Takeuchi discovered documents, which were written in ancient Japanese. Later, these documents were called the Takeunochi documents and they were claimed to contain the testament about Christ’s life in Japan. The documents were confiscated by the government and were nowhere to be seen since.

A copy of the Takenouchi document on display in the village of Shingo.

According to the legend, Jesus avoided the crucifixion, by fleeing to Japan. There, he settled: got married, had children and died at the age of 106. The legend has been engraved on a stone for visitors to see.

Sign explaining the legend of the grave of Jesus Christ, in Japanese.

Sign explaining the legend of the grave of Jesus Christ, in Japanese.

“When Jesus Christ was 21 years old, he came to Japan and pursued knowledge of divinity for 12 years. He went back to Judea at age 33 and engaged in his mission. However, at that time, people in Judea would not accept Christ’s preaching. Instead, they arrested him and tried to crucify him on a cross. His younger brother, Isukiri casually took Christ’s place and ended his life on the cross. Christ, who escaped the crucifixion, went through the ups and downs of travel, and again came to Japan. He settled right here in what is now called Herai Village, and died at the age of 106. On this holy ground, there is dedicated a burial mound on the right to deify Christ, and a grave on the left to deify Isukiri. The above description was given in a testament by Jesus Christ.”

This plaque, laid on the floor between the two tombs, reads “This plaque is a gift from the city of Jerusalem, as a token of friendship between the State of Israel, the city of Jerusalem and Shingo.”

This plaque, laid on the floor between the two tombs, reads “This plaque is a gift from the city of Jerusalem, as a token of friendship between the State of Israel, the city of Jerusalem and Shingo.”

Regardless of the credibility of the legend, the village has become an attraction for tourists and pilgrims from all over the world.

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