This monumental twist seems as plausible and satisfactory of a possible end to Jesus’s life as any. The BBC investigates:
A Japanese legend claims that Jesus escaped Jerusalem and made his way to Aomori in Japan where he became a rice farmer. Christians say the story is nonsense. However, a monument there known as the Grave of Christ attracts curious visitors from all over the world.
To reach the Grave of Christ or Kristo no Hakka as it is known locally, you need to head deep into the northern countryside of Japan, a place of paddy fields and apple orchards. The story goes that after escaping Jerusalem, Jesus made his way across Russia and Siberia to Aomori in the far north of Japan where he became a rice farmer, married, had a family and died peacefully at the age of 114.
Halfway up a remote mountain surrounded by a thicket of bamboo lies a mound of bare earth marked with a large wooden cross. According to the local legend, Jesus did not die at Calvary. His place was taken by one of his brothers, who for some reason is now buried by his side in Japan.
Tthe legend of Jesus the rice farmer does not stretch back very far. It only began in the 1930s with the discovery of what were claimed to be ancient Hebrew documents detailing Jesus’ life and death in Japan. Those documents have now mysteriously disappeared and the grave has never been excavated.