One hypothesis states that the “Japanese are actually a part of the Lost Tribes of Israel. During the constant warfare and strife that engulfed Israel, 10 of the 12 Tribes of Israel dispersed into Asia and have since disappeared.” I highly doubt this is the case, but some of the similarities between Jewish and Japanese culture and language are quite interesting as can be seen in these videos.

For example, the Japanese Shintoist Holy day is the Yamaboko Junko, or “Going atop the Mountain to lay to rest the Shrine”. The day Noah’s Ark rested atop Mount Ararat lies on the same day. The word “Essa”, which is a carrying chant chanted by the holders of the Omikoshi, or portable shrine, is a word which really has no meaning in Japanese but means “Carry” in Hebrew.

One of Japan’s largest festivals, the Gion Festival, is believed by many, including the Gion Festival officials, to be the same as Ancient Israel’s Zion Festival. The month long festival is almost identical in each event, date, etc. The artwork depicted on the portable shrines in the festival are from ancient Japan, but are renderings of landscapes in the middle east – camels walking the desert, pyramids, Baghdad Palaces, and most surprising is a grand picture of Rebecca offering water to Isaac which is confirmed to be a rendition of Genesis 24 in the Old Testament.

Part 1 with subtitles

Part 2 without subtitles

Part 2 with subtitles

Sources:

Are the Japanese actually Jewish? – Looking at the mysterious connections between Japan and Judaism (Oniazuma)
The Japanese-Jewish Connection (JapanBlog)

In both Japanese and Jewish cultures tradition plays an important role. This is a scene from Fiddler on the Roof about tradition in Japanese and English version.

Japanese Theater

Film starring Topol

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