Most people believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross at Golgotha in Jerusalem over 2000 years ago. Not so, according to legend in the far north of Japan in the small village of Shingo in Aomori Prefecture.
Claims that Jesus did not in fact die on the Cross in Jerusalem but that his brother, known in Japan as Isukiri, took his place began in the 1930s, with the "discovery" of an ancient divine text. Jesus supposedly fled to the Tohoku region of Japan via Siberia and took up rice farming, living to the ripe old age of 106.
Now the site of the Tomb of Christ consists of two wooden crosses marking the tombs of Jesus and his brother, a meditation path and a museum housing the sacred documents. There's even a commemorative stone from the Israeli government marking the spot, no doubt glad to wash their hands of any inherited historic responsibility for Christ's torture and execution, for which they have been blamed over the centuries.
Shingo village is a long, winding 31km along Route 454 off Route 103 from Towado-ko. Nearby are the equally mysterious Oishigami Pyramids, supposedly predating the Egyptian Pyramids. Total nonsense of course as they are a grouping of boulders, but let's not let the truth get in the way of a good story.
One explanation for the Tomb of Christ appearing in northern Japan is that a local "Hidden Christian" (Kakure Kirishitan 隠れキリシタン) in the Edo Period had passed himself off as The Saviour in a fervor of religious belief and these old, half-remembered tales formed the basis of the "sacred documents" later revealed in the tempestuous, seemingly apocalyptic times of the 1930s.
Tomb of Christ map
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