Shingō, Aomori

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Shingō
新郷村
Village
Shingō Village Office
Shingō Village Office
Flag of  Shingō
Flag
Official seal of  Shingō
Seal
Location of Shingō in Aomori Prefecture
Location of Shingō in Aomori Prefecture
 Shingō is located in Japan
 Shingō
Shingō
 
Coordinates: 40°27′49.19″N 141°10′27.53″E / 40.4636639°N 141.1743139°E / 40.4636639; 141.1743139Coordinates: 40°27′49.19″N 141°10′27.53″E / 40.4636639°N 141.1743139°E / 40.4636639; 141.1743139
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Aomori Prefecture
District Sannohe
Area
 • Total 150.77 km2 (58.21 sq mi)
Population (October 2016)
 • Total 2,495
 • Density 16.5/km2 (43/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
- Tree Aesculus
- Flower Asian skunk cabbage
Phone number 0178-78-2111
Address
039-0801
Website www.vill.shingo.aomori.jp
Grave of Jesus Christ in Shingō

Shingō (新郷村, Shingō-mura) is a village located in Aomori Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 October 2016, the village has an estimated population of 2,495, and a population density of 16.5 persons per km². Its total area of the village is 150.77 square kilometres (58.21 sq mi).[1] The village promotes itself as the home of the Grave of Christ (キリストの墓, Kirisuto no Haka) after a local legend.

Geography[edit]

Shingō is in south-central Aomori Prefecture, east of Lake Towada. Much of the village is mountainous, rising to over 1000 meters in altitude near the border with Akita Prefecture. The village has a cold Humid continental climate characterized by cool short summers and long cold winters with very heavy snowfall (Köppen climate classification Dfa). The average annual temperature in Shingō is 8.7 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1342 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 22.2 °C, and lowest in January, at around -3.7 °C.[2]

Neighbouring municipalities[edit]

Aomori Prefecture

Akita Prefecture

Demographics[edit]

Per Japanese census data,[3] the population of Shingō has declined over the past 40 years.

Census Year Population
1970 4,754
1980 4,332
1990 3,724
2000 3,343
2010 2,851

History[edit]

The area around Shingō was controlled by the Nambu clan of Morioka Domain during the Edo period. During the post-Meiji restoration cadastral reform of April 1, 1889, Herai Village and neighboring Nozawa Village were formed. On July 29, 1955 the western portion of Nozawa Village merged into Herai, which was then renamed Shingō.

Education[edit]

Shingō has two public elementary schools and two public middle schools operated by the village government. The village does not have a high school.

Economy[edit]

The economy of Shingō is heavily dependent on agriculture. Notable crops include edible chrysanthemum, Japanese yam and tobacco. Traditionally a horse breeding area, Shingō is also known for its cattle ranches.

Transportation[edit]

Railway[edit]

  • The village has no passenger railway service.

Highway[edit]

Local attractions[edit]

Tomb of Jesus Christ[edit]

Crosses mark the graves. The cross on the right is the alleged grave of Jesus Christ.
Sign explaining the legend of the grave of Jesus Christ, in Japanese.

Shingō village is the location of what is purported to be the last resting place of Jesus, located in the "Tomb of Jesus" (Kirisuto no haka), and the residence of Jesus' last descendants, the family of Sajiro Sawaguchi.[4] According to the Sawaguchi family's claims, Jesus Christ did not die on the cross at Golgotha. Instead his brother, Isukiri,[5] took his place on the cross, while Jesus fled across Siberia to Mutsu Province, in northern Japan. Once in Japan, he became a rice farmer, married, and raised a family with three daughters near what is now Shingō. While in Japan, it is asserted that he traveled, learned, and eventually died at the age of 106. His body was exposed on a hilltop for four years. According to the customs of the time, Jesus' bones were collected, bundled, and buried in the mound purported to be the grave of Jesus Christ.[6][7]

Another mound near the alleged grave of Jesus is said to contain an ear of the brother of Jesus and a lock of hair from Mary, the mother of Jesus, the only relics of his family Jesus could carry when he fled Judaea.[8] The claims started in 1933 after the discovery of supposed "ancient Hebrew documents detailing Jesus' life and death in Japan" [9] that was supposedly the testament of Jesus. These documents were allegedly seized by the Japanese authorities and taken to Tokyo shortly before World War II and have not been seen since.[10]

The English text on the sign explaining the legend of the Tomb of Christ reads:

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.

The above description was given in a testament by Jesus Christ.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "詳細データ 青森県青森県新郷村". 市町村の姿 グラフと統計でみる農林水産業 (in Japanese). Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2017. 
  2. ^ Shingō climate data
  3. ^ Shingō population statistics
  4. ^ "From Japanese text of the sign included in this article". 
  5. ^ "Japan Travel: Jesus in Japan". Metropolis. Archived from the original on 2006-08-25. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  6. ^ "The Japanese Jesus Trail". BBC. September 9, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  7. ^ "Land of the Rising Son". Fortean Times. May 1998. Archived from the original on 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  8. ^ Bird, Winifred, "Behold! Christ's grave in Shingo, Aomori Prefecture", Japan Times, 25 December 2011, p. 10.
  9. ^ "The Japanese Jesus Trail". BBC. September 9, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  10. ^ "Land of the Rising Son". Fortean Times. May 1998. Archived from the original on 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Shingō, Aomori at Wikimedia Commons