Where Did Jesus Die? - The Alternative Japanese Legend


If, as a Christian (or otherwise) you’ve not heard the legend of ‘Jesus in Japan’, you’re no doubt not alone.  It’s something of a little known curiosity, and you certainly won’t have read about it in the Bible.  Because while most Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross, following crucifixion at Calvary (Golgotha), Jerusalem.  The Japanese legend is somewhat different...

The legend goes that Jesus did not die in Calvary, but that instead, one of his brothers took his place upon the cross, and that Jesus escaped across Siberia, to Japan - where he settled, married, became a rice farmer, and ultimately died.  And it is in the town ‘Shingo’, that those who believe in the legend say that the true grave of Jesus Christ can be found.


The town of Shingo, also known to some as ‘Kirisuto no Sato’ (Hometown of Christ) is (apart from the Jesus legend) known for little more than the garlic farms, and apple orchards abundant in the area.  So that while unspectacular in many ways, halfway up a local mountainside, surrounded by bamboo thickets, lies a mound of earth, surrounded by a white picket fence, adorned with a simple wooden cross.  And it is this humble monument that is said to be the true grave of the son of God.  Though with only around 1% of Japan’s population being Christian (with most being Buddhist), this belief in Jesus having died in Japan is not a particularly well known, or supported belief,  even within Japan.

One point of interest though, regarding the legend, is that with Jesus having said to have settled, and married in Shingo.  Jesus’s offspring, and descendants, are still said to live in the area.  Meaning that that nice portly gentleman serving you your apple ice-cream (should be visiting the area) might just have a touch of the divine about him - being the son, of the son, of a son, of the son of God.

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