AOMORI — Some 500 tourists attended a festival Sunday in the village of Shingo, Aomori Prefecture, where women in kimono danced in a circle around a cross erected on a spot that locals believe is the tomb of Jesus Christ.
Village legend has it Jesus survived his crucifixion and secretly came to Japan and lived out his natural life and died in the village, which used to be called Herai, a word that apparently came from the word Hebrew.
To console the spirit of Jesus, the women danced a traditional Bon dance while singing "Nanyadoyara," which has been passed down from generation to generation in the village. However, even locals have no idea what it means. The festival has been held since 1964.