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A Surprising Japanese Interpretation of the Lost Years of Jesus Christ

A Surprising Japanese Interpretation of the Lost Years of Jesus Christ


Most Christians believe that Jesus was born and died in the Middle East. However, there is a small group of people in Japan who believe a completely different story.

Some Japanese researchers think that Jesus’ history is different from what is generally believed.  This alternative version of Christ’s story was forgotten until 1935, when Kiyomaro Takeuchi (Takenouchi) reportedly discovered an ancient document in Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan. The text of the manuscript presented a shocking tale. It says that Jesus was buried in Herai Village in the Aomori district in Japan.

Moreover, the document declares that he was buried at the site with his brother. The text looked very authentic and there was no reason to doubt that it could be an original. Nonetheless, the Japanese government decided to ban the document from public view. It became a part of the collection of the museum in Tokyo which was bombed during World War II. All of the museum’s archives were destroyed; however the Takeuchi family had made copies of the ancient text before they informed officials of the discovery. These copies became the gates to a forgotten legend in Japan.

A copy of the document on display in the village of Shingo.

A copy of the document on display in the village of Shingo. (Check Your Facts)

The Legendary Tomb

One of the copies of the document is now located in a small museum in Shingo Village (traditionally known as Herai) near the famous “Tomb of Jesus.” Analysis of the text proved that it was originally written in ancient Japanese. Nowadays, not many people have enough knowledge on this type of writing to read it themselves, but it is also almost impossible to fake such a manuscript.

Moreover, the first linguistic research proved that the traditional name ''Herai'' doesn't belong to the Japanese language, but it seems to be surprisingly similar to the word ''Hebrai'', meaning ''Hebrew''. In the ancient Hebrew language the word ''Herai'' resembles the phrase ''a mountain''.

"Tomb of Christ" (Shingo, Aomori, Japan).

"Tomb of Christ" (Shingo, Aomori, Japan). (thor hestnes/CC BY 3.0)

According to the description posted near the tomb:

''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.''

Sign explaining the grave of Christ in Shingo, Aomori, Japan.

Sign explaining the grave of Christ in Shingo, Aomori, Japan. (Public Domain)

Another Version of the Story

Another version of the story is known from the book Thiaoouba Prophecy by Michel Desmarquet, who tried to find the real story of Jesus in Japan. According to the story he described, Jesus left home at age 14 and arrived to Japan when he was 50 years old. There, he got married and had three daughters. He supposedly taught his rules on living, but it seems that during his travels through Asia, his teachings became more global than before. He reportedly lived in Herai for around 45 years and died there when he was about 100 years old. The Japanese version of his story described his brother as two years younger than him. They were said to be buried at the same site.

Archaeologists have looked for evidence such as bones, teeth, or artifacts, which could suggest the existence of a burial at this place. Unfortunately, nothing like this had been found so far. The burial is located on a mountain and it is shaped by the soil. Nowadays, there are also Christian crosses and other features related to Christian symbolism.

The most interesting evidence confirming the strange connection between the Japanese and Hebrew languages is an ancient song that has been known in Herai for the last 2000 years. It contains the lyrics "Nanya Do Yara Nanya Do Nasareno Nanya Do Yara", which means "What is it? What's happening? What are you going to do?"

According to Dr. Tom J. Chalko, when repeated many times these words have a different meaning. The first part of the song “Na-nee-ya” when translated means "it is ME, Joshua, the child given by Yehova (Ya)". He believes that the song sounds like the Hebrew which is known from texts that may have been written in Jesus’ lifetime.

Who was Jesus in Japan?

It seems unlikely that Jesus really escaped from the Middle East. But, if it was possible, he would perhaps have chosen the same destination as Mary Magdalene. In this case, he would have traveled to southern France and lived there with his family.

Why would have went to Japan? In Asia, there are a few more stories about a wise man from the Middle East who reportedly traveled to the East. He was seen in India, Nepal, and even China. In the Kashmir region, people worship another tomb of a wise man called Jesus. It is almost impossible that so many stories from different parts of Asia don't have any reasons behind them. Especially when it is acknowledged that for many centuries Christianity wasn't a popular religion in Asia.

Christian Martyrs of Nagasaki Japan. (c. 17th century)

Christian Martyrs of Nagasaki Japan. (c. 17th century) (Public Domain)

However, there must be something more hidden behind this story. It is possible that one of Jesus’ students, maybe even one of his apostles, traveled to Asia. At this point, it is necessary to remember that in ancient times the word ''brother'' could be used if two men were relatives, but also if they had a strong bond as, for example, close friends.

Or were the travelers just Christ’s followers who wanted to share knowledge of their leader? Perhaps they were people who escaped from their homeland after the execution of Jesus because they didn't want to follow his fate? These questions may never be answered…

Top Image: ‘Jesus Discourses with His Disciples.’  (1886-1894) By James Tissot. (Public Domain)

By Natalia Klimczak


Tomb of Jesus in Shingo Village (Herai) in Japan. The Song reveals the Truth by  Dr T.J. Chalko PhD, available at:

The Japanese Jesus trail  by Duncan Bartlett, available at:

The Little-Known Legend of Jesus in Japan by Franz Lidz, available at:

Did Jesus Christ live and die in northern Japan? by Andrew Pothecary, avaliable at:

The ‘Real’ Jesus Christ Was Never Crucified – A Small Japanese Village Has His Tomb by Alap Naik Desai, available at:

Behold! Christ’s grave in Shingo, Aomori Prefecture by Winifred Bird, available at:



Thank you I did not know of a 3rd burial place of the man called Jesus, There was one "known" as Jeshua Ben Joseph that the Christian religion ( 30,000 world wide often conflicting interpretations) is built upon. The Hebrews believed in the power of name. Others so first named may have taught similar values. FYI: The government of India has a documentary that relates that a man named Jesus lived / died is buried there. The teachings of the Koran say Jesus never died on the cross. The only way to know is to go within.Let memory MEM of the Tree of Life reveal to you from her waters as did Carl Jung and so many to relate how history got fictionalized, twisted and why.

newborn's picture

The teaching by Jesus was weirdly in contrast to the prevalent judaic culture even strange enough for his own disciples. Nevertheless many were struck by this revolutionary teaching and accepted it. The crucifixion was a political consequence issue by then. Strict, orthodox Jews knew that it was the end of their power (political and religious). Finally the teaching reached the entire world and is the bases of the most sophisticated set of philosophy, theology and civilization rules. Even Marxism is unthinkable without a Christian culture background. So someone could say China was finally «Christianized» to some extent outside de works of missionaries who were rejected.

This is a study I did some years back that looked at the connection between Japanese and the Hebrew language….

I thought it very interesting...

Dr. Derek Cunningham
Author of:
The Map that Talked - How astronomy was used to map the ancient world
The Babel Texts - Decoding the early text of the Stone Age
Scotland and Shakespeare's Third Prophecy - Recovering Scotland's Forgotten past

It would be contemporary and historical if this Japanese document were an original. But as the article states this is a copy and a recent one at that. It’s difficult to rely on heresay when attempting to trace something so far back in time. Lhasa in Tibet is another apparent host of a person “Issa” who taught a similar doctrine. The existence of scrolls dating  back to the 1st century is writtne about in a book from the late 1800’s, but again, the only actual evidence is the claims of the author Nicholas Notovich. The scrolls still apparently lie silent in the monastary in Tibet.

Another difficulty in determining who this person was come into play when the title Jesus of Nazareth is applied to him. The city of nazareth did not exist as a city until the 4th century. Therefore, the mistranslation (whether intentional or not) is likely from the word “Nazarene”, not the Nazareth. “Jesus the Nazarene” would place him at the center of a religious order who relied heavily on messianic prophecy. It is also believed John the Baptist was a member of this order. We’re dealing, yet again, with a lack of contemporary evidence. Only speculation. We cannot use the bible to argue the historicity of the bible. Evidence must come from other contemporary, secular sources. Alas the evidence is scant at best.

The East seems to be the only place on Earth where there is any actual, contemporary historical record of Jesus, Yeshua, ever having even existed. It is more likely that he did not, and that his story, so similar to many others around the world, is just another version of the original Horus story with different names and a few changes in details.



Natalia Klimczak is an historian, journalist and writer and is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the Faculty of Languages, University of Gdansk. Natalia does research in Narratology, Historiography, History of Galicia (Spain) and Ancient History of Egypt, Rome and Celts. She... Read More

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