Ed. Note: These are notes taken from a pdf file of a newsletter entitled, Intercessors for Japan. It is published by the Association of Intercessors for Japan, a Japanese Christian missionary group. This article is part of a series by Rev. Minagawa on indigenization of Christianity in Japan. Here, he reviews the prehistory of Japan and its link to the Hebrew people. It may show how the work of James Oda fits in with Takenouchi and Hotsuma studies. Even the Amatsu Kami may refer to leaders who arrived by sea (ama) rather than from Heaven (ama).
Intercessors for Japan, September 5, 2004
Preface to Japanese Missionology (10) Part 2: Indigenization of Christianity by Rev. Hisakazu Minagawa
References cited in this newsletter:
A Commentary on the Japanese Chronicles: the origin of the Japanese letters goes back to the age of gods.
World Pictorial Dictionary of Letters (Yoshikawa Kohbunkan Publishing House) lists four kinds of letters: Hirumi, Ahiru, Toyokuni, Hozumafumi (pp520-521).
Cosmic Letters of Japan’s Jomon Period, by Yoshinori Takahashi, Tokuma Shoten: lists four kinds of letters, Hokkaido Itai (Ainu letters), Ahirukusa, Toyokuni, and Izumo letters. Takeuchi Document was written in Toyokuni letters, also called Katakamuna, and believed to be the origin of katakana.
The World of Gods, Part I, by Graham Hancock, Shogakkan Publishing: in Jomon times the archipelago was connected to Taiwan and the Korean Peninsula, China and Siberia.
The History of all Nations in the Time of Gods, authored and edited by Yoshimiya Takeuchi, amended by Yasuhiro Takeuchi. This is a large volume of 473 pages, which was selected and edited the Takeuchi Document [sic].
Solving the Mystery of the Takeuchi Document, by Yasukazu Fuse [We have this book].
The War of the Emishi Aterui, by Tsutomu Kuji.
Jewish Culture in Japan, by Arimasa Kubo, Gakken Publishing.
The Jomon Culture
Minagawa writes: In the ultra ancient time of megalithic civilization, there were many worship places in the mountains of the Japanese Archipelago, particularly in the triangular shaped mountains. The Japanese pyramid (Hira Gingu) is said to be older than that of Egypt, and at the top of it they raised a rock pillar in center and many of them were surrounded by stone circle [sic]. Eventually, the custom was born to consider the mountain itself as the spirit of a deity.
By the time they reached the middle Jomon period, instead of a pyramid the Shinto shrine style emerged where a large wooden pillar was raised as the sacred pillar (Shin no Mihashira) in a hut on the flat land.
In Japan the Takeuchi Document records that there was a ultra ancient civilization that was far advanced than today, an unbroken line of the Sumera Mikoto ruled the world dynasty; but it was repeatedly hit by a cataclysm. Particularly, during the era of the Emperor Usukine, two reigns prior to the Emperor Jinmu, it is recorded that the worldwide great fluctuations in weather took place and many people died due to cold weather in Japan. In order to restore devastated civilization and culture, the Emperor Jinmu traveled to western nations to gather talented people, returned to Japan, and built the Dynasty of the Kanyamato. [The History of all Nations in the Time of Gods, see above]
Beside this document, there is the Orthodox Takeuchi Document kept by the Takeuchi family of Toyama. According to Mutsuyasu Takeuchi, the head of the family, the Japanaese Sumer race (the Emperor’s race) traveled around western countries in two groups: the group who used the Korean Peninsular route and the group who used the southern sea route, and they reunited in Mesopotamia. The Sumer group was called Sumerian and built the Sumerian civilization, but they were disappointed by it.
This was because while the Sumer race’s philosophy of the Old Shinto was the way to live in harmony with nature and utilize the power of nature, in the desert region nature and man were against each other. In despair the Sumer race returned to Japan in two groups. The Sumer race that took the ocean route arrived at Takachiho, Kyushu and came to be called the Yamato (Hyuga) race. Since they came by sea (ama) they were called ‘decended from sea (ama kudatta).’ One other hand [sic], the group that took the land route returned to Japan through the Korean Peninsula and settled in the Sanin area, and they were called the Izumo tribe. They conquered the aboriginal Japanese and built the Kanyamato Dynasty. (Ref. pp 315-6, Fuse)
The Yayoi Culture
Kuji says the languages used by the aboriginal Japanese (the Jomon people) were Ainu, Emishi, Hyato, and Ryukyu languages, etc., and they described the harmonious relationship of nature and man as it was; however, he stated that the language of the Yamato tribe that invaded Japan was a fusion of Chinese, Korean, Sumerian, and Hebrew, etc., and it was the language for man to control nature.
Minkawa adds: … the Yamato race conquered and/or appeased the aborigine to unite the nation. However, the Hebrews also revered the mountain topto worship the God who created heaven and the earth… It may be easier to believe that they were not foreigners but the Jomon people who once left Japan but came back… I believe that they had the same philosophy and faith that believed in harmony of nature and man.
Several hundred years prior to the arrival of the Hatas, the Primitive Jewish Christians, in the second century, the Jewish culture that came to Japan through the Silk Road of land and the Silk Road of sea gradually was accepted. The structure of shrine became similar to that of the tent in the Old Testament. Torii, a pair of guardian dogs, etc. were placed at the shrine. These many new customs, including carrying a portable shrine, were indigenized. (see Kubo).