Jesus of Japan
According to the good people of Shingo, a tiny village in far northern Japan,
Jesus spent his 20s not woodworking in Nazareth, but trekking through Japan where—like many a gaijin teacher after him—he fell in love with the culture and learned Japanese. At age 33, he returned to Judea to preach about the “holy land of Japan” and was soon condemned to crucifixion for this heresy. However, Jesus’ twin brother Isukiri somehow took his place on the cross, while Jesus escaped back to the promised land of Japan. He settled in the farming village of Shingo, where he married a local girl, had children and happily tilled the rice fields until his death at 106. You can find his burial place in the village today—just look for the sign that says “Tomb of Christ: next left.”
Granted, the accuracy of Shingo’s gospel revisionism may be slightly doubtful—the legend only dates back to 1935, when a Japanese priest discovered what was supposedly Christ’s will. But what is certain is that the story has attracted thousands of tourists to an otherwise undistinguished mountain town four hours or so from Tokyo on the bullet train.
Read more: TIME Magazine
Color me a tad skeptical.
Unsurprisingly, however, there are a variety of ‘Jesus’ items for sale in the Shingo village including everyone’s favorite