The scroll is on display in the “Village of Christ Legend Museum,” which closes in the tourist off-season between October and April, and is the basis of a very different take on the incredible tale.
According to the document, Jesus arrived in Aomori at the age of 21, where he took the name Daitenku Taro Jurai, studied the Japanese language and developed a deep affinity for the country and people. Eleven years later – conveniently the same period in the Bible that his whereabouts cannot be accounted for – he returned to Judea but fell foul of the Romans.
Instead of being crucified, however, the Romans got the wrong man and nailed his brother, Isukiri, to the cross. Carrying his brothers ear and a lock of hair from the Virgin Mary, Jesus fled across Siberia to Shingo, where he grew rice, married a local woman called Miyuko and had three daughters, it claims.
At the ripe old age of 106, Jesus died peacefully and was interred in the mound that sits on Mr Sawaguchis land.
“My family has always owned this land, but Im not even sure how many generations there are between us,” says Mr Sawaguchi, with his self-depreciating chuckle.