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