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In the distant corner of northern Japan, a place known for terraced paddy fields and apple orchards, is the small village of Shingo, where lies a curious little attraction. It’s a small mound of bare earth, in the middle of a bamboo grove, that is surrounded by a short white fence and marked with a large wooden cross. Under the pile of earth, allegedly, lies the remains of Jesus of Nazareth.

According to this bizarre folklore, Jesus did not die on the cross at Calvary; instead, it was his kid brother, Isukiri. Jesus managed to escape crucifixion by switching places with his brother, while the real son of God fled across Siberia to Aomori prefecture in the far north of Japan, where he became a rice farmer, married, had a family and eventually died of old age at 106. There is even a family in the village who is said to be the direct descendant of Christ.

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Photo credit: vera46/Flickr

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