Hi, everyone. Thanks for your interest and suggestions on my post (my reaction to the post "Jesus in Japan"). Some asked me if there are more evidence specially about the Jewish influences. Well, my answer is yes. My book "Rediscovering Japan, Reintroducing Christendom: 2000 years of Christian History in Japan" will be released in February 2010. In this book of almost 250 pages you find hard facts concerning this. The name of the publisher is University Press of America / Hamilton books. I am not sure how much the book will cost, but I think it will be something like 29.95$.(I think from coming December, you can pre-order this book, from the publisher)http://www.univpress.com/
I have done more than 4 years research on this subject, and tried to write the book as objective as possible. For instance there are almost 500 words in Japanese that resemble Hebrew words with similar meanings. Also some Japanese festivals resembles with those in the Old Testament Jewish festivals. Well, you can find all these in my book. Best wishes to you all.
Samuel Lee (Lecturer in Japan's Christian History & Cultural Sociology of Japan Amsterdam, The Netherlands / www.ProjectJapan.org)
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It is amazing that you post this subjecet on your facebook. As the matter fact my new book: "Rediscovering Japan, Reintroducing Christendom is all about such things. In fact Christianity did not enter Japan during the 1500s by the Catholic Missionaries, but rather through the Church of The East, who came from Assyria and Persia. Also the tribes of Israel came to Japan, some of these were also Christian Jews. Judaism as well as Church of the East have strongly influenced Shintoism as well as Japanese Buddhism. All this in details you will find in my new book which will be published by Hamilton Books, Univ Press of America.
Concerning the grave of Jesus: that grave is belonging to some early missionaries of the Church of the East and some believers in the Hatta (Hada) clan. The researchers in the past have interviewed the family who owns these graves, and they all admitted that it may have belonged to some holy people. Here is a fragment from my book, Rediscovering Japan, reintroducing Christendom: 2000 Years of Christian History in Japan (Univ. Press of America: Release Time: January 2010):
"The So-Called Grave of Jesus There is a legend in Japan which claims that Jesus Christ was not crucified on the Mount of Golgotha, but came to Japan and lived there to the age of 106 in Shingo Village; it also claims that he is buried there. This village is not far from Hachinohe City in Aomori Prefecture, where a Christ festival has become a tourist attraction in Japan. Historically, it has never been proven that Jesus ever came to Japan. Even the suggestion that this was the case has no basis in theological and/or historical evidence. Still, there might be some remnant of Christian history behind this local festival, even if it is now used by the authorities to make money by attracting tourists. Keiko Nagai wrote an article in Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper, on July 31, 1996 about this legend. She interviewed the Sawaguchi family, which owns the land where the graves are located. They, who have inherited the land from generation to generation, never suggested that this grave belonged to Jesus Christ, but rather to an unknown exalted person. The family was urged to care for it from generation to generation. It was only in 1935 that rumors about the grave involving Jesus were started by someone from Ibaraki. Keiko Nagai asked the village mayor, Junpachiro Hosogawa, at the time also the high priest of the village shrine, about this matter. He answered: “We are often asked that it is a wonder that Christians don’t file claims, but we have never had any complaints. They understand that we are not treating the matter comically or as a lark.” Also, a local official confirmed that there is no evidence that Christ is buried there (Nagai, 1996). Why there is such a legend in this particular Japanese village if it is factually not the case that Christ ever visited Japan? Upon his travel there, Joseph Ken, Jr., also interviewed the family who owned the land on which the tomb was located. They, too, confirmed that it was not the tomb of Jesus. However, they did mention that there were seven graves of foreigners located there. A local tradition developed in the village that the tombs must not be disturbed; supposedly, a curse would come upon anyone who tried to open them. But, in the pre-war years, the grandmother of the family had decided to open up one grave in spite of this. She brought out some artifacts. Subsequently, the military police to came and dug up all of the graves and took their contents to Osaka. It appears that they were the graves of ancient Christian settlers (Ken, Jr., 2008), perhaps missionaries or merchants. Joseph Ken, Jr. notes in his work, Lost Identity, that, in this area, there were people with some very interesting surnames, such as “Yohane” or “John” in the Bible, and “Yakobu”, or “Jacob.” Another fact worth noting is that the old name of this village was Herai, which resembles the Japanese pronunciation of Hebrew or Heburai. In this village, people of Shingo have certain song sounds similar to some in Hebrew. Those who learned this song from generation to generation sing Nanyadoyara Nanyadonasareno Nanyadoyara as they dance around the grave. These words have no meaning in Japanese, but in Hebrew it could mean “We praise your Holy Name; we will destroy the aliens and praise your Holy Name” (ibid)." Kind Regards
prof. Samuel Lee Lecturer in Japan's Christian History & Cultural Sociology of Japan Amsterdam, The Netherlands / www.ProjectJapan.org
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