Shingo and Jesus

I've found a very interesting topic to talk about, but I saw myself hesitant in writing it. However, as you may have figured, I never ran away from a writing idea. I'm very impressed in how much sense of humor does the human being is capable of possessing, as well as how little.

There's this little village in Japan called Shingo, formerly known as Herai, which claims that in its burial ground there lies the grave of Jesus. The town's legend even goes as far as saying that Jesus didn't really die in the cross and resurrected later on, but that his little brother Jsus Chri took his place; Jesus escaped to Japan (where he studied theology for 12 years, apparently, prior to him going back to Judea and being arrested), formed a family with his wife Miyu and died at some age greater than 100. The town has actually made the whole issue as a way of tourist attraction with a museum, dancing spectacles, etc.

The truth of the matter is that, well, this is really just a tourist attraction: the town had financial problems and the town prefecture came up with this idea to bring in extra money, and it has payed off. They even have the Garden of Eden somewhere! The story is very well made up, with bogus documents to supposedly back it up, there's also a lot of "unknowness" to the whole thing (nobody knew where this buried person came from, there is a song that is sung at every festival that nobody knows what it means, etc.), and there's a lot of technicalities added in to increase the level of apparent veracity (Jesus signed a document as "Christmas God" at one point). It is really quite amusing and, from the looks of it, the town people actually see it as a type of dōjinshi (a sort of fan fiction) of the Christian story. Besides, tourists that go there to see the tomb are welcomed with other forms of entertainment and sight-seeing that make the trip worthwhile even if they don't buy into the whole thing. I'm actually now interested to go there and have a laugh myself.

I won't bore you with the views of the persons that see this as an abomination, but will, however, state that I think it's a good opportunity for them to laugh at themselves. It is very interesting how the Christian religion is perceived by the Japanese, and the fact that they accept it so openly is very inspiring. In any case: it's a joke, yes, about a very prominent figure, yes, but it is not harming anybody; quite the contrary, it is helping out a whole village in need, an idea which I think Jesus would've liked. I'm quite amazed at the degree of humor these people have, and humbly take my hat off to the amount of time they've maintained it: more than half a century.

I wonder if they would have done the same with the story of Muhammad...

2 comments:

aDn said...

like your blog!!! never really take the time to read other blogs. Yours is nice though, and this post is good. Have you ever heard what they say about greek mythology... some guys say that in their stories they talk about this guy who died and came back three days after (my general knowledge is crap so don't annoy me if you already knew what i'm talking about). And then there's the popol vuh half written by the monks trying to convince the locals about the story. It's just such a mess but anyway, I find that some parts are believable. And that really the idea was beyond fighting about who's a better saint catholics, protestants, muslims, etc.

Nihil said...

i've heard that the reincarnation concept is not solely a christian thing, but i haven't heard of the ones coming from the greeks and monks. cool!

thanks for reading... finally =P